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    D.S. Kern - Confederate Texas Letters to His Wife Mary. Autographed letters signed. Velasco, Texas. April 7, 1862 and April 21, 1862. 5 1/2 pages with map of area around Velasco. Small folio. Neatly penned. Several small chips affecting only several letters. Very good copies. "During the Civil War the port of Velasco was fortified by Confederate troops and eight gun batteries, and Union ships were forced to go to New Orleans for drinking water, food, and fuel. The port played an active role in the exchange of cotton for European guns, ammunition, milled goods, and medicines for army and home use." -- New Handbook of Texas. These two letters provide insight into the trials and tribulations of a soldier in Velasco. On April 7th, Kern writes: "...we have had some little excitement since we have been here. A large War Steamer anchored two miles off San Luis Island and sent out a serf boat under a white flag with 7 or 8 men in it. The 2nd Lieutenant & 8 men went out in a skiff to communicate with them when they were all taken prisoner and carried out to the War Steamer. In a short time two Boats left the Steamer... Cap Ballew did not even attempt to stop them...." He comments on enlistments and general military information. "There has been 4 or 5 companies left Bates Regiment to go in for the war and in a short time there will be but 2 companies left here if all get off that is now ready." He discusses sickness in camp. Having the mumps. In his second letter of April 21st he notes: "I have been appointed assistant surgeon for this regiment and having been acting in that capacity since the 12th...." Comments on the military organization and command at Velasco, and conditions: "We have had a cool norther for 2 days & nights. But has now moderated. Well I tell you now that with the confused State of things here the Fleas full grown and flies in number. Thousands... and what little military duty we perform & cooking & eating we keep busy." The map he drew was to gi

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    March, 2006
    4th Saturday
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