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    Civil War Archive of Marcus Walker, 141st New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment. An extensive archive of 45 letters, including 40 letters from Walker, virtually all to his parents, dating from September 17, 1862 to May 23, 1865. Also included are 5 letters to Walker, dating from after the Civil War. The archive contains 39 cancelled postal covers, most with stamps.

    Walker's letters consist of news of his health, family news, activities in camp, war news, and details of encounters with Confederate forces. In his first letter home since leaving Elmira, New York, Walker wrote on September 17, 1862 from Laurel, Maryland, that he was "alive and in the land of the rebels." Over the next few months, Walker suffered various illnesses, including fever and ague. Walker's regiment was mustered in under the command of Colonel Samuel G. Hathaway, Jr. Hathaway resigned on February 11, 1863 after being ordered to appear before a Board of Examination for neglecting regiment drills and company inspections. In a February 22 letter to his parents, Walker wrote that "Our Col. Has resigned. He had to though or get expelled. It was done by the means of Lieut. Col. Beecher and he has been courtmartialed [sic] and will not have command of the regiment again. Our Col. Was ordered to appear before an examining board (he made a short speech to the men in dress parade one night). He [said?] that it meant for him to get out. They have got up papers and the whole regiment has signed them to send to the Gen. to get him back."

    In a July 4, 1863 letter from White House Landing, Virginia, Walker shared with his father some of his thoughts on the war. "In the first place," he asserted, "I think there is too many officers who is a making more for money than anything els [sic] and another thing they put on to [sic] much style but I think they have got the rebs in a perty [sic] good position if they keep them so." On July 17, 1863, Walker wrote his father that his regiment was in Maryland in pursuit of General Lee's Confederate army in the weeks after Gettysburg. "Since I last wrote you," he stated, "we have been constantly on the march...to go and reinforce Meade and marched to Yorktown in 48 hrs. a distance of about 60 miles. We took transports there and came to Washington then took the cars to Frederick City M.D. and have been a marching every day since."

    In late September-early October 1863, Walker's regiment moved from Virginia to the Army of the Cumberland in Alabama and subsequently moved into Tennessee. In April of 1864, the 141st New York Volunteer Infantry was assigned to the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 20th Army Corps of the Army of the Cumberland. From May to September 8 the regiment participated in the Atlanta Campaign. On June 24, near Marietta, Georgia, Walker wrote to his parents that "We are still a working at the rebs slowly gaining on them a little every day. We have got around them...we hold the main road from Marietta to Atlanta. Day before yesterday they made a charge on our lines here with 7 lines of Battle. They came out in front of our breast works and Batteries but did not stay long. They went back minus a good many men that they started with...the loss on our side was small. Our Regt. had one killed and two wounded." Later in the letter, Walker discussed the upcoming presidential election and his support for President Lincoln, telling his father that "I must say that I don't agree with you in Politics. Old Abe is my man and I am going to vote for him.... The only [hopes?] the rebs have is in the election of a new President one who will give them all they ask. I don't feel so myself. I want to see an unconditional surrender." He also had harsh words for Copperheads. "I wish they would draft every Copperhead in the North. I would like to see them down here. You may think that I am foolish got talking as I do, but if you had been in the army as long as I have you would not."

    Atlanta was captured by the Union forces of General William T. Sherman on September 2, 1864. In a September 18 letter to his parents, Walker informs them that he was detailed to the camp ambulance corps, which is made up "from all the Regiments.... Every Div. has its Amb. Corps Comd. by a First Lieutenant...to take the wounded off the field to hospital." Walker, now part of the Ambulance Corps, traveled with Sherman's forces during the March to the Sea and the Campaign of the Carolinas. Walker's last letter before he was mustered out was dated May 25, 1865 and written outside of Alexandria, Virginia. He discussed his impending discharge from the army and the Grand Review in Washington. "You wished to know how soon I thought would be home. I do not think it will be a great while as the [18]62 men are going home first.... The Army of the Potomac is reviewed today at Washington and Sherman's Army will be tomorrow and reports say that they will commence sending troops to their states as soon as the review is over."

    Marcus Walker joined Company E, 141st New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment as a private on September 19, 1862. During the Atlanta Campaign, Walker was detailed to the ambulance corps, where he remained for the rest of the war. He mustered out of service as a private on June 8, 1865.

    The 141st New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment was organized at Elmira, New York, beginning on August 14, 1862 and mustered in for three years-service on September 11, 1862. The regiment participated in several important operations, including the Atlanta Campaign and all its major engagements, and General William T. Sherman's March to the Sea and the Carolinas Campaign. The 141st New York Infantry Regiment mustered out June 8, 1865. Recruits and veterans were transferred to the 60th New York Infantry.

    Condition: Letters have the usual folds; otherwise good. Some of the letters written in pencil have faded and are almost illegible. Postal covers are fair to good.


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    May, 2021
    19th Wednesday
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