Siege of Vicksburg, May 26
The 81st has suffered terribly in the attempt to storm a fort. On the 22nd, our brave Col. Dollins fell- shot through the head. Lt. Col. Campbell & Maj: Rogers were cool & calm amid a fearful shower of bullets & balls. No braver or more deserving men are living than they. They are admired & loved by the men. Capt. C. S. Wall- (illegible) captains was severely wounded in both his arms (illegible) thigh. He is commanding Co "D". Lt. Hugh Warwick- 2nd Lt. Co "A" fell on the bloody field: also, 1st Lt. (Larmer?) - Co "G". These men were among the very best & highly esteemed officers of the Regiment. Adj: R. Hammack- the idol of his friends & the pride of the Regiment- was (dangerously?) wounded in his thigh. His leg has been amputated. Fourteen non-commissioned officers and & privates were killed by the fatal shot where our men were ordered to charge up a hill- right in the face of a (illegible?) fire! (illegible). Commissioned, non- commissioned officers & privates were wounded
many of them mortally. I am proud to inform your excellency that no man faltered or left the ranks until till he was either killed or wounded. No man disobeyed orders when commanded for the second time to march to the field of a (illegible) body, every man that could walk followed the noble & gallant commanders to the bloody field-Lt. Col. Campbell & Maj: Rogers being left unharmed amid the fearful slaughter & carnage around them. Thus is the patriotism of Southern Illinois shown in its true light to the world. Thus is the loyalty of (illegible) proven to an ad (illegible) (illegible). Our noble Regiment has non (equals?) on the blood-stained fields of Post Gibson, (illegible) Jackson & (Champion Hill). And now the crowning glory has been achieved by an (illegible) Regiment in the (illegible) of (bicksbuey?) While we mourn the loss of the true (illegible) who sealed their devotion to their country with their blood, the living are ready & willing still to do &, if need be, to die for our cherished union & the rights of man! Our brave men have fallen- but they have died gloriously - looking proudly to heaven from their death-bed of (illegible). The tears of a sorrowing people will (illegible) their graves, while the living & the dead of the glorious 81st Illinois should be held in everlasting remembrance by all the loyal & noble men of our nation. " The just shall be (had?) in everlasting remembrance; but the memory of the wicked shall not,"
William S Post Champlain 81st Illinois
81st reg R
Post William S Champlain 81st, Regt Ill Vol Vicksburgh- May 25 (1863?)
Their Regiment has suffered terribly their brave Col Dollins fell and they have lost ninety officers and men- they are still ready for the fight says the regiment from (illegible) has won laurels before Vicksburgh
(Recd?) Ex (illegible). June 5th 1863.