Hd. Qrs 4th Bg.
Dear Brother & Sister
This is a beautifull Sabbath Morning and having a few minutes from other duties (for we have to work on Sabbath as well as any other day) I thought I would write you a time our *** you will excuse its brevity and not think I am sick. The weather is very warm the roads dusty – and if there is no changes from what we now see we will most likely moove and fight inside a weak The result we do not fears for the Army have every confidence in Gen Grant and Meade and it is hoped we will be successful Our Corps was revewed yesterday by Genl Grant we have four Divisions. In all 25,000 men. They looked splendid I do wish you had been here. It was splendid all the artillery and Cavalry of this Corps was also reviewed I have not heard from you for some time but know you are busy and have not much time and your letters are always looked for anxiously. Love to all the dear children and all the friends – write soon give me the news of the day I must say that we have the 148th Pa Volunteers in our Bg. Comd by Col. James Beaver and is acknowlage by all to be the best regt in the Army of the Potomac. I saw *** boys and Conners and all the Clarion boys in that regt frequently if you see their parents tell them they do well and have the honor to belong to that regt
Twenty-eight year old Charles F. Smith was from Unity Township in Westmoreland County (near Latrobe), Pennsylvania. He enlisted in Company K of the 53rd Pennsylvania Infantry on October 29, 1861. Eventually he became the Aide-de-camp for Colonel (later Brevet Major General) John Brooke. He served on Brooke's staff through the entirety of the war and was wounded severely in the neck at Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862. At Gettysburg in July of '63 he was with Brooke on the charge up to Rose Hill from The Wheatfield. After the brigade reached its most advanced position, Colonel Brooke sent Smith to find Brigadier General John Caldwell to ask for support, but was wounded during his trip and unfortunately never reached the general. Smith eventually rose to the rank of Captain and continued his service with John Brooke through the end of the war. He lived until 1925.