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    [Civil War]. William N. Green, Jr. Archive consisting of seven letters spanning the years 1862 through 1864.

    Within a week of going the 102nd, the regiment made their way south into rebel territory. Writing to his uncle on March 17, 1862, he said: "We are at last on the sacred soil of Virginia...through mud knee deep and a drenching rain..." The regiment was assigned to guard duty around "...5 camps, 1 commissary store house, 1 Quartermaster's store house and he Head Quarters of Brig. Gen. Meade..." By June 21, when he wrote home to his grandparents, he is still in Virginia, but has yet to see action: "We are marching through a most lovely and beautiful valley...we are encamped on the bank of a beautiful stream...and all around us are Regiments of Inf'y, batteries of Artillery & troops of Cavalry..." He makes mention of "scenery" of a different sort, saying, "There are a great many pretty girls in this country but they are all secesh and it is rather unpleasant to talk with them as they are so loud in their sympathy with old Jeff Davis..." Like all young soldiers, the men of the 102nd are "...looking for a fight and ...hope that we can have a chance to whip the Rebels." He soon got his wish. Young lieutenant Green was captured at Cedar Mountain, Virginia, in August 1862 and spent forty-six days in Libby Prison before being released.

    Green was promoted to captain on December 19, 1862, and six weeks later wrote to his grandfather: "Our Regiment is reduced considerably...we have been through several battles and it has been said that there is no single body of troops in the country that has done more marching than 'Stonewall's Rebel Brigade' and 'Banks Old Corps' in which we are." Green received a second promotion and transfer on June 13, 1863. Now a lieutenant colonel, he was placed on the field staff of the 173rd New York Infantry, stationed at Port Hudson, Louisiana. Writing on August 16, 1863, to his grandfather, he expresses his wish to see "...the Secessionists punished as they deserve..." Three months later, at Vermillion Bayou, Louisiana, he writes to his grandfather about a recent encounter with the enemy: "Our Brigade supported a reconissance [sic]...last Thursday and in a severe artillery fight which lasted 15 minutes. we lost 2 killed & 5 wounded, and one man who pretty badly frightened by a piece of shell passing through his hat just grazing he top of his head but not injuring him." On March 10, 1864, his regiment was in Franklin, Louisiana, but was soon to "...start on our march towards Alexandria La. where the Rebels are said to be strongly fortified."

    Sadly, Green was wounded at on April 9, 1864, at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, and had his left arm amputated. He received brevet promotions to colonel and brigadier general dating from his wounding. He lived another five weeks before dying of his wounds in New Orleans. After receiving the sad news of his death, A. H. Green wrote to his brother: "You have doubtless...heard of the death at New Orleans on the 13th inst. of our noble boy William. The news of this sad affliction reached us here day before yesterday...He is a loss to us all...His military career was a great success, but that has ended with his life....We are all in tears and feel deeply for his...parents...He is gone and no noble soul remains behind." He was twenty-one years old. Despite the expect age toning, the letters are all in great condition.

    More Information:

    William Green was only eighteen years old when he enlisted in the 25th Massachusetts Infantry on September 16, 1861. He served for six months before being promoted to second lieutenant and receiving a transfer to the 102nd New York Infantry.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    11th Thursday
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