Sep 26, 2019 - Sale 2517

Sale 2517 - Lot 83

Price Realized: $ 625
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
"ALL COVERED IN THEIR OWN BLOOD, MANY WOUNDED AND SOME DYING" (CIVIL WAR--VERMONT.) Holbrook, Augustus L. Letter describing the horrors of war at Lee's Mill, Williamsburg, and Seven Pines. Autograph Letter Signed to brother-in-law Cyrus Holcomb and sister. 4 pages, 8 x 4 3/4 inches, on one folding sheet; short separation at center fold. Camp Lincoln, near Richmond, VA, 23 June 1862

Additional Details

This letter was written by Augustus Luke Holbrook (1835-1911) of Isle La Motte, VT, a musician in the 5th Vermont Infantry on the Peninsular Campaign. He recounts three of his regiment's harrowing battles, starting with the 16 April action at Lee's Mill during the Siege of Yorktown, where "I helped take care of the wounded all night . . . a horrible sight it presented, men dead, all covered in their own blood, many wounded and some dying, and the groans and calling for their dear friends, their minds perfectly bewildered." At the 5 May Battle of Williamsburg, he saw "men piled in places as they fell from the unerring aim of our troops, in piles of from four to ten. . . . I went all through the woods and battlefield and counted nearly a hundred dead rebels, and did not commence counting until I had passed I should think as many as I counted. An awful slaughter." The 31 May Battle of Seven Pines / Fair Oaks was the worst yet: "Deep ditches filled with dead rebels and covered so lightly that the blood oozed out from them and the ground completely alive with bugs and maggets."