Apr 13, 2023 - Sale 2633

Sale 2633 - Lot 39

Price Realized: $ 1,375
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
(CIVIL WAR.) Groups of letters from 6 Civil War soldiers representing New York, Vermont, and Illinois. 31 war-date soldier letters; condition varies, some with original stamped covers. Various places, 1861-1865

Additional Details

Private DeWitt C. Ormsbee of the 1st Vermont Heavy Artillery. 6 letters to his sister. On the Third Battle of Winchester (a.k.a. Opequon): "It was a hard one, we lost 97 men out of our regiment [out of 400]. . . . The bullets come as thick as hail and mowd us terribly. We were in the center and rite in front of the Reb's artillery and they sent the shells among us like torpedoes but we drove them handsomely." Two other letters are written from the Siege of Petersburg. 21 March 1865: "I guess the Rebs have got some colord troops in front of us here. I expect we shall have some rough times here before a great while." Virginia, October 1864 to June 1865.

Private Charles Burroughs of the 4th Vermont Infantry. 3 letters to a friend named Gifford. Best line: "How did you pass Christmas? I got drunk as Hell." Virginia, February and December 1863.

Private Thomas Goakey of the 55th Illinois Infantry. 7 letters to his mother and siblings. From Dallas, GA on Sherman's March, 31 May 1864: "The Rebles charge on our works and they were nicely piled up here then, for they were cut down like grass with a scythe and they soon scaddle back on duble quick times." Georgia, North Carolina, and elsewhere, March 1864 to June 1865. With 12 related family letters, including 3 from soldier brother Augustus Goakey of the same regiment dated 1862-1865.

Lieutenant Miles J. Jones of the 85th and 160th New York Infantry. 4 letters to mother. One letter is on patriotic letterhead. The two 1863 letters are written on bayou duty in Louisiana: "We lost a gunboat on the 28th up in the Teche at Franklinville, Co. F of this regt was on board of it and thay had five men killed and some wounded" (31 March 1863). Various places, December 1861 to August 1863.

John A. Yeckley of the 28th New York. 3 letters to a brother and his friend Josephine, plus one related letter. While on a bridge repair detail: "They sent some of theirs around to us, but no one was hurt. One ball upset my coffe while I was eating dinner. That is the closest they have come to me" (9 March 1862). Various places, October 1861 to March 1862.

Elisha Comstock of the 34th and 186th New York Infantry. 8 letters to friend Frederick Smith and family. Various places, October 1862 to May 1865.