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    Description

    Union Soldier's Letter Written in the Style of a Diary Covering Grant's Advance in June 1864. 27 pages, the first four pages are written on a bifolium measuring 5" x 9.75", the remaining pages measure 5" x 8"; "Headquarters 2nd Corps Near Cold Harbor, Va."; June 7-28, 1864. A long letter by Private George S. Youngs [POW Harper's Ferry, Virginia, September 15, 1862], Co. G, 126th New York Volunteers. Youngs writes daily, providing a detailed filled account of the action, naming soldiers wounded and killed in action, as well as a description of the living condition of the black population. In small part: "We were roused at daybreak this morning by the Rebel artillery who began the day's work by throwing shell...over our line of battle...about ten we got orders to pack up. Headquarters were taken down and we fell in and followed the wagons...we have been laying...on the right of our Corps and the left of the sixth...Rebs and Yanks have flags of truce raised on their works and are engaged in burying the dead and removing the wounded...Ithiel was killed on Friday...of his company he was the first to fall...[Wednesday June 8]...very quiet till two o'clock P. M. when the artillery opened again...from that time till after dark the cannonade was quite brisk...while on post...two bands honored Gen. H[ancock] and myself with a serenade...after they left the Gen. rode over to army headquarters...[June 9]...there was considerable skirmishing this morning...the troops are engaged day and night...in fortifying their position, sapping, mining etc. It is reported that our forces had run a sap directly underneath a Rebel battery and were preparing to give it a lift when they...became aware of it and removed it...[June 10]...some artillery firing and sharpshooting is all that interrupts the quiet...the sharpshooters...occasionally succeed in picking off some poor fellow...Orin Bates and myself sent to Birney's Hd Qrs. with nine stragglers. Took the wrong road and traveled five miles to get there...[June 11]...the boys are all well but dislike the Army of the Potomac...a new line of earthworks issuing thrown up in the rear of all those previously built...whacky rations issued this evening and some of the boys are very talkative and noisy...[June 12]...an interchange of shots takes place only at long intervals. There are some indications of a move...the cassions of the artillery are going backs that when the infantry moves it may be done quickly and quietly...[June 13]...at dawn three or four horses broke loose...and came tearing through the woods creating almost a stampede...the guard was ordered to load at will...crossed the railroad at Dispatch Station...passed a house...where there were three of the best looking women I have seen in Virginia...[June 14]...we are laying in a...well shaded door yard. The owner name I have not taken the trouble to learn. The mansion is a very fine one but is now deserted...there is no one left here but a few unbleached Americans of African decent...all of the female persuasion...the [James] River...is full of steamers engaged in transporting the troops to the opposite side...here [it] is a little over a mile wide and too deep for pontoons...[June 15]...got aboard the Dictator...we loaded her so heavy that she could not get off and were obliged to call on a steam tug for assistance...marched up to a mansion...belongs to Mrs. Wilcox who has two sons in the Rebel army...the white people have all left and gone to Petersburg, twelve miles from here. There is no one here but an old negro, his wife and a small boy. There is some very heavy cannonading in advance in the direction of Petersburg [Battle of Petersburg]...the house in which the darkies live is a miserable building and the inside is worse than the outside. There is a couple of chairs and as many stools, an old bed with dirty ragged coverings. The floor is covered with dirt and altogether presents a very repulsive aspect...[June 18]...The works here are the most formidable I have yet seen, there is a complete chain of forts for miles along here. if the Rebels had had anything like an adequate force here it would have been impossible to have taken them there. The moat in front of there is fully twelve feet wide and ten feet deep... During the afternoon a very heavy cannonade took place but there was very little response form the Rebels... General Birney is in command of the Corps. General Hancock being temporarily disable by his old wound...your affectionate Brother George S. Youngs. June 28th 1864..." Much more excellent content. The original stamped transmittal cover with dual three-cent postage stamps is present.

    Condition: First bifolium has a bit of paper loss along integral fold not affecting any text. Toning throughout. With bits of paper loss at a few corners not affecting any text. Light wear along folds.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2017
    19th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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