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    [Battle of Ball's Bluff]. Union Soldier's Letter by F. Moore, 6th New York Light Artillery. Four pages on a bifolium, 5" x 8". Poolesville, Maryland; October 26, 1861. Moore writes his parents five days after the Battle of Ball's Bluff to let them know that he was well and that "old Jeff has not got a hold of me yet." He later described the battle: "...by what I can learn Gen. Baker had orders to send five hundred across the river to reconnoiter and collect as large a force this side as he could so as to draw their attention this way. The five hundred crossed and got within a mile and a half of Leesburg when they ware [sic] attacked by a large force and drove back to the river. Gen. Baker seeing that they ware [sic] about to be cut to pieces crossed with some two thousand infantry and one piece of the Rhode Island Artillery our Lieut. Bramhall having command he being the only artillery officer on the ground at the time the gun got a crost [sic]. Our guns did not get any further then the Island and it was a lucky thing for the boys that they didn't. Bramhall got the Rhode Island gun a crost [sic] dismounted it and carried it up the hill mounted it again by this time the enemy was within two hundred yards of them. They drove the enemy back three different times when finding that he could not hold the gun having all his men shot down and wounded in four different places himself he had the gun spiked...he was so weak from the loss of blood that he fell before he got half way...his wounds are not very serious one ball passed through the calf of both of his legs....Our loss is supposed to be not less than ten or twelve hundred killed and wounded." The letter is on patriotic letterhead and accompanied by a patriotic canceled postal cover.

    Franklin Moore (1837-1918) was a carriage maker in Rahway, New Jersey, when he enlisted in the army as a private on June 15, 1861 in New York City. On June 20, 1861, he was mustered into the New York 6th Light Artillery, which was attached to General Stone's Division of the Army of the Potomac until December 1861. The New York 6th Light Artillery participated in the Battle of Ball's Bluff during its time it was attached to General Stone's Division. Moore mustered out of the service in New York City on June 21, 1864. After the war, he worked as a wheel-right and in the hardware business.

    The Battle of Ball's Bluff took place in Louden County, Virginia, on October 21, 1861. One of the earliest engagements of the Civil War, it was a defeat for Union Army of the Potomac under General George McClellan.

    Condition: Letter has horizontal folds and very slight tears along the crease of the bifolium, otherwise it is in good condition. The front of the canceled postal cover is torn.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2016
    5th Tuesday
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