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    Description

    Union Soldiers Group of Eight Letters, including one with Siege of Petersburg content. Eight letters by Lieut. Robert S. Thompson of Company D of the Pennsylvania 62nd Brigade, 31 pages, from various locations and spanning the months of March through December 1864, all addressed to Ms. Amanda Wallace of Pittsburgh, who is likely a pen pal he has never met. Detailed content regarding his service and daily camp life. In brief part: "Near Beal[e]ton Station, Va March 29th 1864... I do hope we may have success whatever may be the sacrifice. I have confidence in Lieut. Gen. Grant if only the Washington Department only [scratched out] allows him to have his way... Our Army has been consolidated into 3 corps... You say you have 'brown' complexion. I hardly know what kind that is... April 8th 1864... I almost shudder to look back over the terrible scenes of slaughter I have witnessed and then to think that the end is not near yet... all is quiet in camp. The men are nearly all in good health and spirits. They are now busy kicking foot ball... April 18th 1864... One of my brothers was a Capt in the 103rd but resigned on account of ill health shortly after the seven days fight [Seven Days Battle, June 25 to July 1, 1862] before Richmond... The anticipation of the coming battle does not sadden me. Though we generally do look forward to a great battle with a sort of indescribable feeling of hope and fear... City Point, Va. June 19th 64 [Second Battle of Petersburg]... Our Regiment was engaged last evening again though not hotly. Lost a few more men. I fear if they continue fighting we will not have many to go home... We are now on the South side of the James River and a severe battle has been fought around Petersburg. We have lost heavily - many noble men have fallen - I was at the Regt today and I had to go on my hands and knees to get to them - as the Rebel sharpshooters kept banging away at everyone that raised his head. I saw one shot down while I was there, by his exposing himself to view. I think Petersburg will fall tomorrow..." Townsend was overly optimistic regarding the impending fall of Petersburg. The Siege of Petersburg continued until March 1865, with heavy losses to both sides. Townsend was mustered out the following month on July 13, 1864.

    His last letter is written as a civilian from Marietta, Ohio. In part: "Dec. 22 1864... We are again greeted by glad news of Victory!! Hurrah for Sherman & Thomas. Although I am a Copperhead, I do most gladly rejoice in Victory..." Copperheads strongly opposed the war, and most blamed Lincoln and the abolitionists for the outbreak as well as the prolonged period it was lasting. Unlike most Copperheads that resisted the draft and actually encouraged Union Soldiers to desert, Thompson served a full three years in the army. Accompanied by seven of the original transmittal envelopes. Overall condition is very clean, save a few minor separations at folds.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2009
    16th-17th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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