DescriptionEdward Gridley Civil War Archive comprised of eight war-dated letters (spanning the years 1863 through 1864), two Grand Army of the Republic medals, one military discharge (1865), and one spent Minié ball which wounded him at the Battle of Cold Harbor. Edward Gridley was born in 1837 and enlisted as a corporal in Co. "H," 9th New York Heavy Artillery on August 21, 1862. Gridley spent the first year of his military career on garrison duty around Washington, D.C. On June 12, 1863, while on duty at Fort Mansfield [Maryland], he wrote home to his brother, William, about a Confederate raid into Maryland, the beginning of Lee's Gettysburg Campaign: "...the rebs tried to make a raid into maryland yesterday morning they crossed the river about eight or ten miles from here at poolsville. thirty of our men drove two hundred of back acrossed [sic] the river they killed four of our men and we killed eightteen [sic] of them or rather I had heard so perhaps when we get the particulars it will be difirant [sic]...how long can this rebelion [sic] last..."
Sometime prior to July 12, 1863, he received a wound to his shoulder and was laid up in a hospital in Philadelphia. In a letter to his brother, A. G. McAllister, writing for Edward, says of the wound: "...his shoulder pains him more than when you were here...The surgeon took a large piece of bone out this morning...and his shoulder feels quite comfortable since..." This would not be the only time Gridley would be injured, but as this particular wound was not serious, he was quickly back on duty at Fort Mansfield. In May 1864, the 9th was attached to the Army of the Potomac and they found themselves on the front lines during the Overland Campaign. A more serious injury occurred June 3, 1864 at the Battle of Cold Harbor. Gridley was wounded again in the shoulder and transferred back to a hospital in Philadelphia. Writing to his brother on November 26, 1864, nearly six months after being shot, he is hopeful that the wound will soon heal: "I am in hopes that the last piece of bone has come out if it has I think I shall get along now but I shall never have the use of my shoulder. I suffered greatly before that bone came out the doc tried two morning to pull the bone and he reached in my wound with his forseps [sic]... they sliped [sic] of[f] three times...the third morning the bone had nearly worked out itself...the doc took it out...I tell you Brother dear I have suffered almost death..."
One of the most impressive pieces of this archive is the very Minié ball which did the damage at Cold Harbor. Broken into two separate pieces, the largest of which measures approximately 1" x .5". The spent projectile shows the twisting and bending of the impact. The smaller piece, measuring .75" x .25", was broken off on impact.
Also included is Gridley's discharge from service, one partially printed page, 8.5" x 10.5" (sight), Philadelphia, February 11, 1865, for being "Unfit for duty in Vet[eran]Res[erve] Corps/Wounded at Cold Harbor, Va., June 3, 1864." Some minor damage to the upper left corner, but not affecting the text. Framed to an overall size of 11" x 13". With one Grand Army of the Republic membership badge and one G.A.R. officer's badge.
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