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    Description

    David Seibert of the U.S. Signal Corps Archive. Seven letters by Seibert, all addressed to his parents. The letters are war dated, dated from May 25 to October 17, 1864, with one undated. All but one letter measures 5" x 8", and are between two to three pages in length.

    On August 7, 1864, Seibert wrote to his father from the Signal Camp at Harper's Ferry, having travelled from Frederick, Maryland. A number of the leaders of the Union Army were descending upon the camp, and it caused a buzz among the men. General Sheridan would go on to use Harper's Ferry as a military hub, creating the Middle Military Division, in order to move against Confederate General Early in the Shenandoah Valley. Seibert writes, in part:

    "On Friday evening while at General Hunter's Headquarters some excitement was caused by a report current of Generals U.S. Grant and Genl Sheridan on a special train. He arrived here at 8 1/2 o'clock. I am, however, at a loss to tell whether Grant is here yet or not, but Sheridan is still here and Hooker is also here. Sheridan is reported to take command of this Dept. Another Raid and [illegible] is anticipated. We expect some work is on hand and I expect something will be done now. We have now about 60,000 troops in this Dept."

    Two weeks later, on August 20, Seibert relayed the movements of the Federal Army after the Confederates, writing, "We started out after the Rebs about 10 days ago and followed them up the valley as far as Strasburg when we discovered them in force. Longstreet the same time coming up from Richmond reinforcing Early. We had some brisk skirmishes with them. They trying to flank us. The army has consequently fallen back and is now bet. Berryville & Charleston awaiting for the enemy to make an attack."

    Seibert and the army also ran into trouble with bushwhackers while in Winchester, Virginia. His October 17 letter describes how "I met a man belonging to the 17th Pa Cavalry going home, it then being about 9:00 P.M. he informed me that he had just been encountered by a number of Mounted Bushwhackers, about 8 or 10. He give his horse the spurs and got away. This having just happened about 1 ½ beyond where I met him. He stated the matter to and advised me not to go any further for fear I might be gobbled up...I was also informed yesterday that one of our sergeants was killed by a bushwhacker a short time ago in the vicinity of New Market while going out to establish a station. His horse being rather poor, he could not get away." He also went on to talk of the upcoming presidential, and was proud to note that his regiment strongly backed Lincoln. He writes, "The election of the 93rd turned out well. They had only 22 copperhead votes in the whole regiment. The Union had six out of every seven votes. That is the way the soldiers voted for Lincoln in November. Look for the copperheads. They will have to seek their holes by election time, it will be too cold for copper snakes."

    These letters provide a brief yet interesting look at a Civil War corps that does not often get much attention. The U.S. Army Signal Corps was established in 1860 and was used for communication and control of the armies. Although they did not engage in fighting, they provided valuable information such as weather forecasting and vital military intelligence.

    Condition: Letters range from very good to fair, all with usual mail folds and some light toning at the edges. Some letters have had the blank sections of the bifolium removed. A few have uneven spots of soiling throughout, and some tears. One letter has tearing that that been repaired with tape, and chipping around the edges.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2018
    25th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 267

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