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    Civil War: Small Archive of North Carolina Confederate Soldier's Letters and Associated Items. Collection of twelve [12] letters sent or received by J. J. Kistler, Company C, 55th Regiment North Carolina Infantry, Davis Brigade, Heath's Division. Joseph J. Kistler served as a private in the 55th. The unit fought at Gettysburg (31% casualty rate), The Wilderness (59% casualty rate), Cold Harbor, the trenches south of Petersburg and operations near Appomattox. Some of the letters are dated and others not. According to the consignor, the Kistler family were poultry farmers. Excerpts and summary of content: 1) November 13, 1861 letter to his cousin, writing while in the 34th N.C. Regiment, discussing camp life, paucity of furloughs and hearing local preachers. 2) October 6, 1862 letter to his parents from Petersburg, giving the regiment's location, getting paid $25 for two month's service, the price & quality and food ("if we have to fite here we will have brest works to fite in"). 3) December 3, 1862 letter written to his brother talking about all his colleagues who are sick and in the hospital, concluding "The war will not last always". 4) Undated letter & envelope to his brother & sister. Routine matters such as doing his own washing and cooking. 5) April 7, 1862 two-page poem written in an unknown hand, likely Kistler's sister. 6) Undated letter written to his parents from Formsville, Virginia. Recounting in detail the names of all his colleagues who were wounded or taken prisoner. 7) February 1, 1863 letter to his parents. Drawing supplies, including quilts and shoes (which are too small for him) which he will send home since they can't carry everything with them when they move out. "I see some yankees nerly every day they are prisners comes through here nerly every day they say there are a heep tired of the war then we are." 8) June 12, 1863 letter to his parents. Sick and confined to hospital. "... they are especting a big fite about Richmond they are troops goren on there every day." 9) July 14, 1863 to his parents, writing from the Petersburg hospital. Difficulty in sending and receiving mail. 10) September 12, 1862 letter to his brother & sister from Camp Cambell. "Brice Weaver got killed in the batel at Washington. it was the first batel that I ever was in but I diden fear it like I thought I would. we was ingaged in it too hours. the prisners we took is vary umbeling. they say that it is not our falt nor thers that we have to fite. they say it is the big mens falt and they wish they would get together and fite it out." Stains and soiling. 11) February 11, 1864 letter to his parents written from Raleigh. Assigned railroad guard duty to stop deserters from getting on outbound trains. 12) October 21, 1864 letter to his brother, written in pencil. Difficult to read, but predicting hard times at home and requesting they send him blanket and gloves. 13) November 14, 1864 letter written to Kistler from a mysterious girlfriend, Dincie Harman, with envelope. 14) May 1862 letter from Kistler's sister. Light ink, difficult to decipher. 15) October 14, 1864 letter to Kistler from a girlfriend. 16) July 27, 1863 letter written to his parents. "I have not herde from the regment in a good while they was in a big fite at Hegerstown in Pensilvaney and they were nerly all killed and taken prisner." He then details by name some of the casualties. 17) May 26, 1865 love letter from Peter White to Miss Mary Kistler.

    The archive also includes a 14" long piece of braided leather (with possible military application), a 5" x 4" piece of red cloth of unknown significance, a mounted photograph of a rural family & their homestead, a post-Civil War account or day book, two account books with entries dating from the 1830s and 1840s, and an assortment of letters & ephemera associated with family members. The letters and books show wear. All of these items were found together.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2020
    14th-15th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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