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    Post-War Journal of Transcribed Letters of Union Soldier. 6 3/4" x 8 1/4" composition book with marbled books, titled on the fly leaf: "Extracts From letters written while in active service in the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the Gulf, during 'Our Civil War.' by David F. Hicks". There are 121 pages of entries that include extracts of documents as well as assorted anecdotes and reminiscences. It appears these were mostly transcribed by Hicks' wife, but it seems to have been a collaborative effort with at least three different hands evident. The summary by Mrs. Hicks which appears on pages 68 & 69 give a fine overview of Hicks' career. The soldier in question was Sgt. David F. Hicks who served in Company B, 13th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers. He enlisted at the start of the war in April 1861 and was mustered out in July 1864 as a lieutenant, after much illness and being wounded in battle multiple times. He went on disability in 1866 and died shortly thereafter. The entries go from January 30, 1862 to December 8, 1863. One common theme that runs throughout the journal is Hicks' admiration for General McClellan. "[Camp near Fredericksburg, May 24, 1862] Old Abe was here yesterday with Sec. Stanton. He reviewed the whole corps. He looks like his pictures only thinner... [Sharpsburg/Battle of Antietam September 18, 1862] We had a very severe battle yesterday... Our brigade commenced the attack and stood nobly. They suffered terribly... I had one ball through the waist of my coat, two through my dipper and a spent ball hit me on the head and I had my gun shot away in my hand. I fired all my ammunition and borrowed all I could... [Camp near Falmouth/ Battle of Fredericksburg, December 17, 1862] We fought another great battle and I have escaped unhurt... our whole army retreated across to this side of the Rappahannock. The result of this battle is the loss of 15,000 men killed and wounded and the knowledge that the enemy have quite as large an army as our own, in front of us, and that they are posted in an almost impregnable position... [Port Hudson, July 24, 1863] In order to get a negro to do anything small or great, you have to lecture him half an hour in order to give him a new set of brains, and then use force to make him do it. They will make valuable auxiliaries to help garrison a fort and work on fortifications and in a siege, but for an active army in the field... they are not worth shucks... leave them to themselves, they would loll around till they actually saw the danger, then they would run and leave all they possessed." Towards the end of his service, Hicks was with the 7th Infantry Corps d'Afrique Ullman's Brigade which was subsequently consolidated as the 79th Regiment Colored Infantry. The journal does not cover all aspects of his army life, such as the battles of South Mountain and Chantilly, nor does it include letters from 1861. Battles described include Acquia Creek, 2nd Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg and the Siege of Port Hudson. There are references to Warrenton, Winchester and Harper's Ferry. Hicks apparently liked Generals Banks, Hooker and Burnside, in addition to his idol McClellan, but spoke ill of Pope and Porter. Before being discharged, he spent some time in New Orleans (avoiding Confederate guerillas) and Texas where he engaged in recruiting. Mrs. Hicks spends five pages towards the end of the journal summarizing her husband's last few months in the army, speaking in the third person. Apparently, the time spent in the Army of the Gulf was fatal to him, as the effects of malaria, fever and ague resulted in his death from complications of heart disease after his discharge. This journal was assembled as a memorial to him and a tribute to his service in a noble cause.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2015
    12th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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