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    Union Soldier's Letters by Francis W. Sabine, 11th Maine Volunteer Infantry. Ten war-dated letters from Sabine to his sister Mary L. Sabine of Bangor, Maine. The collection also includes four letters from and to Mary L. Sabine relating to the death of her brother. A letter of condolence to his father, Colonel Francis M. Sabine, on Adjutant General's Office letterhead is also included.

    Francis Sabine's letters to his sister primarily discuss family matters and Maine news conveyed by his sister and other family members. Two of Sabine's letters, written from Deep Bottom, Virginia, where his regiment was participating in the Union siege of Petersburg, mention his contentment with the quiet routine of camp life, despite the threat from Confederate troops in the vicinity. In seven-page letter written on July 1, 1864, Sabine writes to Mary: "Our quiet is uninterrupted, notwithstanding the correspondents say our situation is 'perilous.' The rebels dropped a few loose shells about our gunboats the other day, and the gunboats returned the fire, but this amounts to little....There's no luckier brigade than ours in the army of Virginia. We have plenty of fatigue and picket duty to do, but there's little danger from shot & shell-no charging upon breastworks and forts."

    In an August 1 letter, approximately two weeks before the commencement of the Second Battle of Deep Bottom, he claimed, "All is quiet on our lines. I am on Court Martials [duty] and well contented with my lot." Ironically, Sabine would be fatally wounded at that very battle.

    Shot in the head during the battle, Sabine was transferred to the Chesapeake Military Hospital in Fort Monroe, where he wrote his last letter to Mary on August 28. "I have been quite weak & sick for a few days. I can just say I am beginning to get better, my wound improving." He died on September 17, 1864.

    Francis W. Sabine was a graduate of Bowdoin College and was studying law when the war began. In November 1861, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant into Co. E. 11th Maine Volunteer Infantry. At the Second Battle of Deep Bottom, part of the siege of Petersburg, Virginia, fought on August 14-20, 1864, Sabine was severely wounded and died within a month.

    The 11th Maine Volunteer Infantry was organized in Augusta, Maine, September and October, 1861 and mustered in the following November before leaving for Washington, D.C. to participate in the defense of the nation's capital. The regiment was involved in the siege of Yorktown and the battles of Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Malvern Hill, Drury's Bluff, Deep Bottom, Fair Oaks, and was present at Appomattox when General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia. The regiment mustered out in City Point, Virginia, in February 1866.

    Condition: The letters have the usual folds. One letter split in two at bottom horizontal fold. Toning throughout, with some foxing. Otherwise all other letters are in good condition.


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    18th Wednesday
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