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    WILLIAM W. AVERELL: AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED. Three pages, Quarto, dated October 31, 1887 from Bath, Steuben County, New York. Written to Daniel S. Farrington of Wrentham, Massachusetts. Averell pens (in full): "My dear young friend: Yr. favor of 24th inst asking me how I felt in the first battle is recd. It would require a long letter to make a full answer to your question but it may be summarized: viz. Leaving out of Consideration some twenty odd Indian fights in which I was engaged before the war and in one of which I was wounded so as to be obliged to walk on crutches for nearly two years, I will state that my first battle was Bull Run in 1861. My feeling on entering the battle was, as I saw the enemy hastening to their positions, that there was a great and useless Crime about to be Committed; - the second as I can remember the whizzing and hurtling of the first solid shot from the enemy through the trees and tearing along the ground was of the fierce and terrible force of a cannon ball; - next I was startled, amused and horrified to see a man who had been hit on the head by a fragment of shell springing about and amounting to a kind of delirium of some of our Chief Commanders who galloped about yelling to any one who would keep still enough to listen, about what the enemy were doing and generally calling for reinforcements like frightened idiots; then the woeful lack of a capable Commander of all our forces with a headquarters was felt; and to skip to the last uncontrollable indignation and mortification at the failure of our army to win the battle as with the rear we withdrew from the field.

    The only Consolation to be found was to know that the enemy was not much if any better off than ourselves in efficient handling. I trust you will never be called upon to undergo such trying Sensations."
    Signed: "Wm. W. Averell Bvt Maj. Genl USA Late Brig Genl U.S.V."

    A fantastic letter in which Averell vividly remembers the first land battle of the Civil War.

    Condition: Fine.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2007
    1st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 680

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