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    [Civil War]. Knapp/Mix Family Archive of war dated letters comprising forty-one letters in all spanning the years 1861 through 1865.

    Nineteen of the letters are written from the home front and contain family news as well as news from friends and family serving in the Federal Army. Many of the letters express despair over the war and the loss of loved ones, yet they retain a sense of hopefulness that their deaths were not in vain. One such letter to Rosintha Knapp, dated August 10, 1864, from her sister regarding the death of her nephew, Lt. Henry Mix: "...I returned from Rochester, and learned, what I did not know before, the soul trying news that Henry Mix, who is to you, almost like a son, has been call'd to lay down his precious young life, upon the blood stain'd altar of our suffering country." The family is mistaken in that Mix, a member of the 2nd New Hampshire, was not killed, but wounded and survived the war. In 1864 he was promoted to lieutenant in the 19th U. S. Colored Troops. Another dated August 14, 1864: "Many weep for loved ones, fathers, brothers, sons, who have died in the noble cause of rescuing our dear land from traitorous hands." September 6, 1864: "...another of our family is sacrificed for his country another household in mourning Oh when will this war and bloodshed come to a termination and peace prevail..." November 27: "Yesterday we buried a brother, my sister's husband...He was wounded at the [First] battle of Hatchers Run Va. Oct 27th and died at City Point, Va. the 29th. He had been but three weeks returned to duty having been severely wounded at the battle of the Wilderness in May last."

    The remaining twenty-two letters are from soldiers to their families back home. The letters contain information on the latest engagements, troop movements, and general camp life. In a letter from William Henry Mix, July 8, 1862, he describes the wounding of his brother, Wesley: "Wesley was wounded by a ball entering the side of the cheek grazing his jaw bone, made a hole through the side of his neck near the jugular vein causing it to bleed ferociously..only a flesh wound...Wesley was wounded in the great fight of Friday at Gaines Hill..." In a letter dated May 12, 1863, Laurence Mix writes to his cousin, Eva Knapp, about recent fighting: "Our Division commenced the fight...the division lost between 150 and 200 men, there was some very hard fighting..." A third dated May 2, 1864, Laurence again writes to Eva about his own wounds and the engagements in which he has been involved: "I was wounded at the Battle of Gains Mill or Gains Hill...it was the 2nd day of the Seven Days Battle...the next battle I was in was at Fredericksburg, the next was Chancellorsville, and the last was Gettysburg..."

    This is a fine collection of letters that give a personal look at the lives and perils of soldiers on the frontlines as well as the worry felt for them by their loved ones at home.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2012
    4th-5th Thursday-Friday
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