Written on "Union" patriotic letter sheet
"We see in almost every paper that [General Stonewall] Jackson is coming on to us with a very large force, but we ainít scared much. Wilson, you had better think that cannon balls make a loud noise. I seen one strike near a man. He walked along a few steps when another struck in a few feet of him then he ran, the thought, it was time to get away. When a shell strikes the ground it makes the dirt fly in every direction."
4 pages, 5 x 8, in ink, on patriotic letter sheet, with an illustration of Columbia seated next to an American shield with a sword on the ground, and the motto "UNION" printed below the vignette. Written by Private William R. Tittle, to his brother, future Union private, Samuel Wilson Tittle. Comes with the rare imprinted regimental envelope. Addressed to Mr. Samuel W. Tittle, Melmore, Seneca Co., Ohio, C.D.S., Winchester, Va., Jul. 2, with 3 cents rose George Washington postage stamp Scott #64]. Imprinted regimental imprint at the top of the cover, "From 55th Regiment O.V., U.S.A. Docket written at the bottom of the envelope indicating the place and date of the letter, "Cedar Creek, Va., June 30/62."
Camp on Cedar Creek, [Virginia], June 30th, 1862
I received Allenís letter 28 and was glad to hear that Sarah was getting better and hope that she is well before this time and hope these few lines may find you all well. I was surprised to hear that you had not heard from me from the 21st of May. It is sure I had never wrote home from [when] we left Franklin till we came back to Mt. Jackson. There I wrote home. This was the first chance I had to write. We couldnít get paper and we didnít have time. When we did stop we was all so tired that we didnít care much about writing, but at the same time we are always glad to hear from our friends at all times tired or rested. Then I wrote a week ago yesterday from Strasburg. I give an account of our fight as near as I could and marching. We made some hard days marches since we left Franklin. I have got all my letters that was sent to me lately. We didnít get any mail for one week after we left Petersburg and since then we have got it middling regular. I have never got a letter from Benjamin and I would like to know what is the reason he donít write. Wilson, I would like to know whether any of you has any notion of enlisting. If you should mind, and consider all things, for there is a great many that didnít and you may easily know how such ones like it by this time. It is not playing war here like it was at Camp McClellan. I have got the first time to fall out of the ranks yet, but the 2 day of June we stopped at one oíclock and there was only 12 to stack arms in Co. H and another Co. was about the same and I couldnít of went 1 mile further. Now I would like to know what officers gain in running men so fast, but I am satisfied to do all I can. Our train came yesterday about 1 oíclock with our tents and cooking utensils and knapsacks. We soon had our tents up and sleeped in them last night. Very soon after we had them up it commenced to rain. It appears like living again, but it is not likely that we will stay here long. We see in almost every paper that [General Stonewall] Jackson is coming on to us with a very large force, but we ainít scared much. Wilson, you had better think that cannon balls make a loud noise. I seen one strike near a man. He walked along a few steps when another struck in a few feet of him then he ran, the thought, it was time to get away. When a shell strikes the ground it makes the dirt fly in every direction. This is a fine valley. There is a large crop of wheat standing here and I think the most of it will not be cut for there is not men enough here to cut it and there is a large crop of corn, but very little of it is worked any. There isnít one acre out of ten that is cultivated. Our clothing has got through to the poor house. They have lost a good deal more than they ought to have done. They made a mistake at New Creek about the weight. The whole thing cost somewhere about 3 dollars and Clay Holtz  the other fellow they sent along is likely taken prisoner. He was left at Franklin and that is the last we have heard of him. There was some of the boys that was left there taken. There is a good many officers belonging to the 55th Regt. resigning on account of poor health. The officers belonging to Co. H is all right yet. Mr. Tallman  and Riker  and several others didnít come here. They was sent on to the post hospital 12 miles from Cumberland. Ed Holmes  and Lewis Perkley  have been quite poorly. They was overheated by marching. All that Ralph has to do is to stop and get their things at Folkners. I will pay my part here. I must close for this time and hope these few lines may find you all well.
From your Brother,
Wm. R. Tittle to S.W. Tittle
Light staining. Misspelled words. Very fine patriotic letter sheet. Excellent content. Rare imprinted regimental cover. Bold and neatly written.
The hard fought 55th Ohio Infantry saw action at McDowell, Va., Franklin, Va., Luray, Va., Cedar Mountain, Va., 2nd Bull Run, Va., Chancellorsville, Va., Gettysburg, Pa., Aldie, Va., Bristoe Station, Va., Missionary Ridge, Tenn., Resaca, Ga., New Hope Church, Ga., Kennesaw Mountain, Ga., Marietta, Ga., Peach Tree Creek, Ga., Atlanta, Ga., Savannah, Ga., Averysboro, N.C., Bentonville, N.C., and Goldsboro, N.C.
At 2nd Bull the regiment lost 18 killed, 36 wounded, and 2 were captured; at Chancellorsville, they lost 19 killed, 63 wounded and had 37 men captured; at Gettysburg, they lost 7 killed, 18 wounded and 10 were captured; at Resaca, Ga., they lost 19 killed, and 29 wounded; at Averysboro, N.C., they lost 4 killed and 13 wounded; and at Bentonville, N.C., they had 2 killed, 16 wounded and 1 captured.
William R. Tittle, the letter writer, was 25 years old when he enlisted on December 30, 1861, as a private, and was mustered into Co. H, 55th Ohio Infantry. He was promoted to corporal on October 3, 1862, and sergeant on August 1, 1863. He was mustered out of the service on December 29, 1864.
Samuel Wilson Tittle, the recipient of this letter, was 19 years old when he enlisted on May 2, 1864, as a private, and was mustered into Co. B, 164th Ohio Infantry. He was mustered out of the service on August 27, 1864, at Cleveland, Ohio.
 Clay Holtz was 19 years old when he enlisted on October 5, 1861, as a private, and was mustered into Co. H, 55th Ohio Infantry. He was captured on May 27, 1862, at Franklin, Va. He was mustered out of the service on October 23, 1864.
 Edward Tallman was 42 years old when he enlisted on September 25, 1861, as a private, and was mustered into Co. H, 55th Ohio Infantry. He was discharged disability on August 29, 1862, at Cumberland, Maryland.
 Jeremiah Riker was 39 years old when he enlisted on September 17, 1861, as a private, and was mustered into Co. H, 55th Ohio Infantry. He was discharged for disability on October 19, 1862, at Fairfax Seminary Hospital, Va.
 Edwin Holmes was 26 years old when he enlisted on September 16, 1863, as a private, and was mustered into Co. H, 55th Ohio Infantry. He was discharged for disability on October 19, 1862, at Columbus, Ohio.
 Lewis Perkley was 19 years old when he enlisted on September 28, 1861, as a private, and mustered into Co. H, 55th Ohio Infantry. He was promoted to corporal on May 1, 1863, and was killed in action on May 15, 1864, at the battle of Resaca, Georgia, during the Atlanta campaign.