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    Captain Frederick K. Fletcher, U.S. Colored Troops, Autograph Letter Signed "Fred." Four pages of a bifolium, 5" x 8", "Defenses of Bermuda Hundred Va."; December 5, 1864. Fletcher was Captain of the U.S.C.T. 19th Infantry, which was stationed to defend the area until March of 1865. In a letter addressed to his cousin Abby, Fletcher writes about the recent activities of the regiment, with descriptions of picket duty. It reads in part:

    "...We are now in rather an unpleasant place. Our division occupies the space between the Appomattox and James Rivers. We picket the entire distance and it...takes a third of the men any day for picket. It is in the same place that you perhaps will recollect of reading the fact in the papers...It has been picketed by one years men from Pa and the rebels had been having things pretty much their own way. And they were not much phased when we came here. The two picket lines...are not more than one hundred feet apart and Johnnies didn't like the idea of facing a darky with a musket in hand...The first day we picketed here were standing about on the line as there had been a truce between the pickets and both sides exposing themselves freely trusting to each others honor. The rebs without giving our men any notice whatever or not a given signal fired upon our men as they stood there exposed killing and wounding several...Capt. [Frank] Holsinger who had charge of the pickets from our Regt had his arm broken by a bullet...Since that time firing has been kept up between the pickets and to show ones head on the line is certain death so the men have to lye in their holes during the day and are relieved during the night under cover of darkness. The bullets from the rebel lines come into our camp and we have men wounded quite frequently...We are about to organize with other colored troops in the army of the James into a corps call the 24th Army Corps..."

    The 19th U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment was organized on December 25, 1863 and served at key battles such as Siege of Petersburg, the Crater, Globe Tavern, Petersburg, and Appomattox Court House. Frederick K. Fletcher enlisted at the age of 22 as a First Sergeant and was mustered into Company H, 13th New Hampshire Infantry. He remained with the regiment for two years before he was promoted and commissioned into Company F of the U.S. 19th Colored Troops Infantry. He ended the war as a Lt. Colonel by brevet and was mustered out on January 15, 1867.

    Condition: Flattened mail folds. Light edge toning.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2020
    22nd Wednesday
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