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    Civil War Archive of Rufus P. Staniels, New Hampshire 13th Infantry. An archive of seven letters Staniels wrote to Selina Aiken Cook (1839-1915) of Portland, Maine, whom he would later marry in November 1865. Each letter is accompanied by a canceled postal cover, and ranging in date from May 4 to October 10, 1864. 1) Letter signed "R.P.S." Five pages, 5" x 8", Camp near Yorktown, Virginia; May 4, 1864. In this letter, Staniels writes that "we have struck & turned in all of our 'Wall' & 'A' tents this morning & hereafter shall have our little shelters to get under. There is a movement of troops hereabout as you will probably learn in good time. Our courage & spirits are good & all are disposed to make the best of whatever we may have to meet & to do their best in their several lines of duty." 2) Letter signed "Rufus." One page, 5" x 8", Avenue House, Washington, DC; June 9, 1864. Writing several days after he was wounded at the Battle of Cold Harbor, Staniels informs Selina Cook that he "arrived here last night in good condition. My wound is pretty painful but I think is doing well....I shall try to start for home in a day or two." 3) Letter signed "R. P. Staniels." Three pages of a bifolium, 5" x 8", Chesapeake U. S. General Hospital, Hampton, Virginia; August 17, 1864. In this letter, Staniels tries to assure Selina Cook that all is well despite his return to a hospital. "I think I told you that is case I did get along very well I thought it likely that I should go to the Hospital for a short time." Although he was feeling weak, he felt "considerably better than I did yesterday & think with good care I shall soon get better." 4) Letter signed "R.P.S." Four page bifolium, 5" x 8", Chesapeake General Hospital, [Hampton, Virginia]; August 28, 1864. Still confined to the hospital, Staniels writes that he is pleased with the accommodations and care in the hospital, but wishes he were home. While still weak, he is feeling a little better. "My wound does not trouble me but a very little, as they put on something when I first came in which has hardened the wound over & I can use my arm most as well as ever." 5) Letter signed "R.P.S." Four page bifolium, 5" x 8", Chesapeake General Hospital, Hampton, Virginia; September 3, 1864. Staniels writes of the monotony and boredom of hospital life, that he is slowly improving, and his appetite is getting better. 6) Letter signed "R.P.S." Four page bifolium, U. S. General Hospital, Hampton, Virginia; September 9, 1864. Still in the Chesapeake Hospital, Staniels writes that he is "improving daily, although slowly in health." 7) Letter signed "R.P. Staniels." Ten pages, 5" x 8", U.S. General Hospital, Fort Monroe, Virginia; October 10, [1864]. Although still in the hospital, Staniels writes that he has been out riding and visiting. He also conveys news of "the recent action" concerning the Union assault on Fort Harrison on September 29, in which "our Regt. lost pretty heavy. Capt. [Gustavus A.] Forbush & Lt. R. R. Thompson (formerly of Co. H) were killed. Thirteen enlisted men were killed and fifty-seven wounded. Seven officers were also wounded."

    Rufus Putnam Staniels (1833-1890) was born Chichester, New Hampshire, the son of Charles Herbert Staniels (1810-1879) and Elizabeth N. Johnson (1810-1834). Before he joined the 13th New Hampshire Infantry, Staniels worked as a sewing machine agent for Williams & Orvis's Family Sewing Machine in Concord, New Hampshire. Staniels enlisted on August 29, 1862 in Concord, and was mustered into the 13th New Hampshire Infantry and was promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1863. He was severely wounded on June 1, 1864 at the Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia, but resumed his service and was promoted to the rank of captain on July 15, 1864. Staniels later became assistant adjutant-general on General Edward Hastings Ripley's staff, whose troops were among the first to enter Richmond after the evacuation. He was mustered out on June 21, 1865 at Richmond, Virginia, and returned to Concord and began a mercantile career. He wrote the letters to Selina Aiken Cook (1839-1915) of Portland, Cumberland County, Maine, whom he would later marry in November 1865.

    The 13th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. The unit was organized in Concord, New Hampshire, and mustered in for a three-year enlistment on September 20, 1862. The regiment was participated in a number of engagements, including the Battle of Fredericksburg, the Battle of Cold Harbor, the Siege of Petersburg, the Battle of Chaffin's Farm, and the Battle of Fair Oaks. The regiment is reputed to have the distinction of having the first U.S. flags in the city of Richmond, Virginia, on April 3, 1865. The 13th New Hampshire Infantry mustered out of service June 22, 1865.

    The letters are accompanied by typed transcriptions.

    Letter s have the usual folds; otherwise good.

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