Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Frank A. Dawson [KIA Cedar Creek]: Archive and Document Case. Archive of seventy-five letters written by Frank A. Dawson primarily to his wife Ettie. Dawson (1841-1864) was a cordwainer from Haverill, Massachusetts. He enlisted at the very beginning of the war, April 16, 1861 and served in Co. D Massachusetts 5th Infantry, Co. H. Massachusetts 22nd Infantry and Co. I United States 1st Cavalry. He was wounded at the Battle of Cedar Creek, Virginia on October 19, 1864 and died from his wounds on November 9, 1864 in Winchester, Virginia. The letters are written primarily to his wife and are dated November 6, 1862 to June 23, 1863. The locales are almost exclusively New Bern, North Carolina (the battle occurred on March 14, 1862). The archive includes two sheets with pencil & ink sketches showing the Union & rebel positions in Kinston and New Bern. There is a brief, undated note from Cedar Creek, written by Dawson to his wife indicating he is alright ("We are all right and their demonstration does not amount to anything.") while another note from J. T. Goddard to Mrs. Dawson reports "They had a skirmish yesterday in which our regt. lost 2 killed and four wounded. Lt. was well and with the Col. They will probably not go further as the rebels have some force there." We count seventy-three complete letters from Dawson to his wife or mother, two letters from Goddard to Mrs. Dawson and two incomplete letters. Many of the letters are quite long. They are written on 7 3/4" x 9 3/4" bifolium stationery and are generally in excellent condition. We include Dawson's metal, wood and leather covered trunk (18" x 11" x 8", lacking handle, wear to edges, stenciled initials "F.A.D." on front). Some brief excerpts, offered as representative of the collection: "... We all expect New Berne will be threatened if not attacked in force, but our defenses natural and artificial are such that we should not fear 3 or 4 times our own number... I found a gain of 12 pounds in three weeks making my present weight... 200 lbs to a dot... I am positively ashamed to look Nat in the face much less to put such weight upon his back.... I send Edward one or two little relics. a piece of the Rebel Gun Carriage which burst and a piece of a 'Sabot' or shoe which is attached to a shot and is between it and the powder. these I picked up across the river the other day. I also send a little gourd I found near Whitehall on our Goldsboro Expedition... Anything for Contrabands will be needed here as much as any where else and may be sent to me if desired or direct to Rev. James Means, New Berne Spt. of Contrabands... speaking of Bank's Expedition, we do not believe it is going to Texas, but as transports are now fitting up in our harbor, think we may form part of it & hope so & expect Charleston or some nearer place to be its destination." Letters generally have routine content, but are well-written and highly legible and provide an accurate portrayal of the life of a Union soldier stationed at New Bern who, unfortunately, did not live to go home to his wife and children.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2015
    12th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 599

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 33 days left to consign to the 2021 February 27 - 28 Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    The department director has the heart of a true and highly knowledgeable collector with the business acumen of someone who has been not only successful but has decades of an impeccable track record
    David Greenburg,
    Chicago, IL
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search