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    Aaron B. Tompkins: Union Soldier Letter Archive. Group of thirty-seven [37] letters written by Aaron B. Tompkins to family members from 1862 to 1865. Tompkins served in the 1st N.J. Cavalry, Company G. The letters have all been transcribed. The vast majority are written on plain writing paper. There are eight letters written to his mother in 1862 from Culpeper, Alexandria, Bayleys Cross Roads, Centerville, Balls Cross Roads, Warrington and Fredericksburg. There are some references to the Battles of Bull Run, Middleburg and Fredericksburg. "We have got the best of them so far there has been a grate meny Jersey trupes in the fite. the left wing was verey nere all Jersey boys... the citey of Fredericksburg is completey blone to pieces with cheles... we hade our grenal of our bregade wounded and I believe that he will hafto have his leg takeing off." There are nine letters from Tompkins to his mother dated 1863 and three letters sent to his sister. These are datelined Camp Bayard, Harper's Ferry, Warrington, Bristow Station and Sulpher Springs. He talks about the capture of a Rebel lieutenant, conducting horse races, hard fighting at Harper's Ferry, picketing along the Hazel River and conversing with Rebel soldiers, many of whom want to desert. [at Sulphur Springs] "We have had a pretty hard fite we fought every day while the armey was falling back... nites when we did stop we had to lay down in front of our horses and holde them by the briddle rain... I was there all the time untill the fite at Bristow Station. there I had my horse shot in two places. one of the balls went through his head and one went threw his boddy... wen the ball came out of the horse it hit me on the calfe of the leg it stung like the very duce... the balles flew like hale stones but I am shure that they can not kill me fore I have been in a grate meny fites but our redgment gave them a righte good whipping with the help of som infantry... we have know reporter he was taken prisoner at the Brandy Station fite." There are six letters from Tompkins to his mother dated 1864, four to his sister and one to "Friend Fannie". These are datelined Petersburg, Malvern Hill, near the Weldon Railroad and City Point. He talks about Grant "tearing the ground up under the Rebels" at Malvern Hill, the preferences of the soldiers in the 1864 presidential election, finding two men (one a Negro) with their heads cut off, a "friendly fire" incident at camp where one man was killed and Tompkins' horse shot through the thigh, his coming under fire from "ten rebs comeing down the road as fast as there horses could run" (his saddle girth broke, the saddle fell off and he escaped riding bare back), "they destroyed the rail road all the way had a big fite [Rheam Station] lost hevy but they made the rebbles pay fore it", describes the arrival in camp of Negro troops who who are in "there glory they role around in the sand frome morning till nite but when they fite they fite to kill. some of our boys ask them how meny prisoners they tuck they say that they donte take eny." There are three letters to Tompkins'' mother dated 1865 and an equal number to his sister. These are written from Camp Gregg, Burkeville, Virginia and the Naval School Hospital at Annapolis. He talks about an incident where a sleeping sentry was startled by the man who came to relieve him and mistakenly shot him dead, thinking he was a Reb. A soldier who went home on furlough was poisoned to death by his wife. Horses are dying in droves due to an outbreak of glanders. He was wounded on both sides of his face at Burkesville, taken prisoner and robbed of all his possessions by the rebels, but managed to escape. He vows vengeance on the man who robbed him, if he ever finds him. News of Lee's surrender and Lincoln's assassination. A fine archive of good content, highly legible letters written by a poorly-educated, but patriotic soldier.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2015
    12th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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