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    [Civil War]. Union Soldiers' Letter Archive. Comprised of nineteen war-dated letters spanning the years 1861 through 1865. The letters are from several soldiers, many of them from the Wyeth family, all from the state of Indiana, to each other and home to friends and family.

    Edwin R. Wyeth, a member of the 14th Indiana Infantry Regiment, writing to Low Townsend on October 12, 1861, near Huttonsville, Virginia, gives news of a recent battle (probably Greenbrier River, one of the first battles of the war): "Well I suppose that I must tell something of the Battle as much as I do know...from all accounts it was a pretty hard fight we lost 3 men out of our Regiment...the Rebles [sic] run up a white flag but they got reinforcements and then they took it down...our Batterys [sic] had to shoot all their ammunition away they killed all their Cannoneers and silenced all their guns They fought for about five hours..." Ed writes again the following year, this time with exciting news of the president. Writing from Fredericksburg, Virginia, on May 24, 1862, he says: "Yesterday Our division was Reviewed by Abraham Lincoln...and the Hon Edwin M. Stanton...old Abe looks very common to be President of the United States..." Less than three months later, the 14th is "...now in the grand Army of the Potomac Commanded by little Mc [George B. McClellan] himself..." In a second letter to Low Townsend, dated August 3, 1862, he claims to have "...seen the wonder of the world (the Monitor)...She looks just like a Board with a tub set on it and Sent afloat...I now would like to see the Merrimack but she is blown up." By December, Ed and the 14th find themselves fighting for their lives at the Battle of Fredericksburg. He describes the carnage in a letter dated December 20, 1862, five days after the battle: "I was at the Battle and I hope that it will be the last one our Brigade was the first to make the charge...the dead lay so thick that you could step from one to the other and not tetch [sic] the ground..." This letter contains a second letter addressed to the "Express" in which he gives a detailed account of the battle for publication in their newspaper.

    In 1863, Charles P. Wyeth, a relative of Ed Wyeth's, writes to him on February 8, 1863, with regard to the recent announcement of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, which Ed had apparently expressed misgivings about: "...in answer to that portion of your letter in which you speak of your...antipathy to the emancipation proclimation [sic]...I will just say that whatever effect it may have I do not see how any unprejudiced mind can look upon it only as a measure...in crushing out the unholy Reblion [sic] and destroying the poisonous egg that has hatched Secessionism and forever putting to rest the question that has agitated us ever since we have been a Nation, tho I say this I still care as little about slavery as ever but I belive [sic] if we ever put down this rebelion [sic] we have got to make them feel the strength of every engine that can be brought to bear against them and I do not see...why we have not just as much right to take from a rebel ten thousand dollars worth of negroes as that amount of cotton [sic] or tobacco..."

    Other letters included mention such events as the Battles of Chancellorsville and Corinth, "...there is a great battle a pending that will go off in a few days our outside encampments and the secesh are not over three miles a part [sic], and there is skirmishing a going on every day...," and Sherman's offensive march through Georgia, "Genl Sherman left our corps to guard the gap...Hooker coming coming [sic] to our help drove the rebels back with great loss...Hookers men drove them back some distance...then that night the rebs evactuated [sic] the place we have been driving them ever since." This archive is packed with information of which this is only a small portion.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    11th Thursday
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