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    "It is heartrending to behold a battle scene"

    Battle of Chickamauga, Union 21st Ohio Infantry: Loyal B. Wert Autograph Letter Signed. Two pages of one leaf, 7.5" x 9.75", "Camp At Chatanoga, Tenn," September 23, 1863, in pencil to "Dear and beloved wife." Loyal Wert was thirty-one when he enlisted as a musician in the 21st Ohio. In this letter dated just three days after the Battle of Chickamauga, Wert writes about the battle and the 21st Ohio's three bayonet charges after they ran out of ammunition. With folds and some expected soiling. In part:

    "Our line of battle is formed at this place and whilst I write this our men are skirmishing with the enemy and I think there will be a great battle fought at this place. We had a battle with them on last Sunday and it was a very hard one. All of our regiment was killed or wounded or taken prisoner except one hundred and eighty. So.[Solomon] Smith was killed dead and John Kauffman is wounded in the arm. . . . Our regt. got out of ammunition made three bayonet charges after all the ammunition was all gone and drove the Rebels and then they had to surrender, but some of the men would not stand it and they cut their way out and ran away. . . . There is only 15 men in our company. I tell you it makes me cry to think of it. . . . I tell you this battle beats Stone River. This was the hardest fighting ever known and it is not over yet. The Rebels throwed shells in our camp yesterday but they done no damage. The Rebs have a much larger force than we have. The prisoners say they have one hundred and fifty thousand. . . . The battle lasted two days Saturday and Sunday. We were forced to fall back and leave the field so we did not get a chance to bury the dead and a great many of our wounded fell in the hands of the Rebs. It is heartrending to behold a battle scene."

    The 21st Ohio fought in some of the Civil War's bloodiest engagements: Stones River, Chickamauga, the Atlanta Campaign, and in Sherman's March to the Sea. The Battle of Chickamauga, which last from September 19-20, 1863, was the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War (surpassed only by Gettysburg) and was possibly the most important Union defeat in the Western Theater of the war. The 21st Ohio carried five-shot Colt revolving rifles during the battle, which they used to repel heavy Confederate assaults on the 20th. By that afternoon, the regiment was low on ammunition, so they fixed bayonets. After defending themselves with their bayonets, the regiment surrendered and most members were taken as prisoners. They were soon sent to Andersonville. Also included is the patriotic envelope addressed to Mrs. Susan G. Wert of Hicksville, Ohio. Postmarked Nashville without stamp.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2014
    12th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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