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    The Battle of Appomattox Court House - The Surrender of Lee & the Assassination of President Lincoln: Written by Surgeon Albert Vanderveer, 66th New York Infantry. "Never shall I forget my feelings on that important occasion."
    An 8 page letter headed "1st Division Hospital 2nd A. C. Burkesville, Va., April 16, 1865". Albert Vanderveer enlisted in January 1863 as Assistant Surgeon and was promoted Surgeon on June 29th, 1864. Since that time the 66th New York had gone through the siege of Petersburg. The regiment is now west of Richmond and the end is near....reads in part:

    "We broke up our old camp at Patrick's Station Wednesday, March 29 and after, severe fighting succeeded in breaking the Rebel lines. The following Sabbath morning then began a rapid march after the retreating enemy. Never before have we been called upon to do so much marching and hard work accompanied with so little rest."

    "During the day we would care for our wounded, dressing their injuries, operations, and when done, hurry to catch up with our division (Gent. Miles). My Regiment, though composed of but few noble veterans, were the first to plant their colors on the Southside R. R."

    "Our loss in wounded was severe, though strange to relate, none killed instantly. The second day before the surrender, our Division marched sixteen miles, fighting over every foot of the ground. They compelled the enemy to destroy a large number of cannon, wagons, etc., and toward evening captured a large train loaded with supplies and officers' baggage."

    "I never witnessed so complete a route and never before has there been so successful and victorious a campaign. On the morning of the surrender, we were making for the front, trying to bring up with the Division. Sheridan with his Cavalry and 24th Corps had the night before made a long march and succeeded in getting in the rear of Lee and his Army."

    "We could hear his Artillery very distinct when of a sudden all became as a quiet church-going morning. Rumor said Lee had sent in a flag of truce and was willing to surrender. But we deemed the news too good to be true. I pushed on for the front as fast as possible and arrived just in time to see a portion of the preliminaries."

    "Never shall I forget my feelings on that important occasion, and when it became known that General Lee and the great Army of Northern Virginia had laid down their arms, our brave fellows seemed wild with delight, as well they might."

    "We felt a good deal disappointed at first when all became known that we were not to see the Rebel Army, but a sober second thought has convinced us that to our erring brothers we ought ever be willing to extend the olive branch of reconciliation, and that Genl. Grant has done everything for the best."

    "And now in the midst of our rejoicing comes the sad news that our noble President has been assassinated."

    "Truly the hand of God is upon us. As a nation we are reeling to and fro. We need our greatest statesman to rescue us from this last fearful calamity."

    "How unfortunate that we have such a man as Johnson for Vice President. He has already disgraced us before the world. And now to become our Chief is terrible and humiliating to think about."

    "If all is proven that any of the leading men of the South were engaged in the plot to kill the President, Sec. Seward and Son, I tremble for the people of the South. This Army will show them little mercy. I cannot understand why any such plot should be executed at this late day. There is certainly no hope for the Confederacy, and Mr. Lincoln was very kind toward the people in rebellion."

    "Let us humble ourselves in sackcloth and ashes before God, for with Him alone is that peace the world cannot give. I pray that a just God will deliver us from these troublous times and that peace and happiness may once more reign supreme."

    "I hope we shall soon hear favorably from Genl. Sherman and that our fighting is over. The people here seem willing to return to the Union. But what will become of the poor Negro?"

    "I hope to hear from you soon. Remember me to all my friends and with a friend's love, believe me. Sincerely yours, A. VanDerveer"

    In fine condition. A remarkable Surgeon's letter. From the Calvin Packard Civil War Battlefield Letter Collection.


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    6th Sunday
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