Letter written by a Vermont soldier during the Civil War

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Letter from an unknown Vermont soldier to a friend during the Civil War.

This is a scanned version of the original image in Special Collections and Archives at Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vt.



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[Printed stationary with color drawing of sailor in front of American flag and an eagle]

Washington D.C. Camp Advance Saturday Oct.. 5th.. 1861

My Dear Friend, it is with plesure that I write this letter to you. I received your letters one Aug 28th & one Oct 2d, glad to hear from you but you must excuse me for not writeing before for when I have had time I hant had postage till the other day we was paid off Sept. 27th.. I got $27.30 was paid of from the 20th of June up to the 1st of Sept got $15.00 in U.S.Bills or Treasurer Noats & $11.00 in gold & the rest in Silver.

Last edit 12 months ago by Jannyp
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I shall send it most all home. I got a letter from Charles Oct 2d.. the same day that I got yours we left Camp Lyon Sept 3d.. Crost the river in to Virgina where we now remain. we built a Fort & it is named Fort Masey they built another one on the hill South of us it is Fort Ethan Allen it is a big one. We marched up to Lewins Vill Sept 11th with 2 or 3 other Regts. & Some Cavelery with 5 or 6 pieces of Artilery in order to survey the grounds. after this we got our Forces to gether & just started as the rebels at the right with 3 Guns threw shells in ahead in order to cut of our march So to Charge on us in the rear

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but we marched on tord Camp there Shells having but little efect as they went over one strke in Co. O. killing 2 mens or 6 men slightly wounded but our batteries come to bair on them one piece was a 32 pounder Brass piece that done the buisness it threw one Shell on Ball that dismounted one of the rebels guns & silenced there battery I gess for they spicked there guns and left and throwing 2 or 3 shells in to the approaching Cavelery and the remanders of them left then we kept on to Camp meating renforcements. you have seen an acount of this in the papers I supose. our forces loss wass small while that of the

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rebbels was quite a nomber we have to work pretty hard we have to go on picket gard most every day some of us the day that we was paid of we had to go on picket next day we come of we had to march up to Langly on the road to Lewinsvill before suppoer went of in to the field staid there a bout half an hour dont know what for unless it was to prot ect the surveyers if they was surveying any whe re then we come back to Camp got our super and about 1 O clock in the night marched up toward Falls -- Church we had got near there when a shower of Bullets come thicker & faster but fell short of us our Caverly take them to be rebbels & fired in to them first continued next sheet

[left margin] I pocketed that 3ct.. piece I have got postage on hand

[upside down top of page] cant buy any thing as double what it is worth

Last edit 12 months ago by Jannyp
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JOHN WAITE RARE BOOKS

FINE BOOKS MANUSCRIPTS, AND EPHEMERA BOUGHT, SOLD, AND APPRAISED

Soldier narrative of the "Lewinsville skirmish" in which the 2nd & 3rd Vermont Regiments first taste combat

(CIVIL WAR - LETTER) Four page holograph letter, not signed, to "My Dear Friend" from Camp Advance near Washington D. C. dated October 5, 1861.

Single cream sheet with pictorial figure; folded once vertically to make four pages; written in ink recto and verso; small hole at upper left with loss of one word; else near fine.

An unknown Vermont soldier writes to a friend about early action in the war: "You must excuse me for not writing before for when I had have time & hant had postage till the other day. We was paid off Sept. 27th. I got $27.30 was paid up from the 20th of June up to the 1st of Sept. Got $15.00 in U. S. Bills or Treasurer's Noats [sic] & $10.00 in gold & the rest in Silver. I shall send it most all home. I got a letter from Charles Oct. 2nd. The same day that I got yours we left Camp Lyon Sept. 3rd crost [sic[ the river in to Virginia where we now remain. We built a Fort & it is name Fort Masey. They built another one on the hill south of us it is Fort Ethan Allen. It is a big one. We marched up to Lewinsville Sept. 11th with 2 or 3 other Regts. & some cavalry with 5 or 6 pieces of Artillery in order to survey the grounds. After this we got our Forces together & just started as the rebels at the right with 3 guns threw shells in ahead in order to cut off our march so to charge on us in the rear but we marched on to Camp there [sic] shells having but little efect [sic] as they went over. One [struck] in Co. O [?] killing 2 men and 6 men slightly wounded but our batteries come... on them. One piece was a 32 pounder brass piece. That done the business. It threw one shell or Ball that dismounted one of the rebels guns & silenced there [sic] battery I gess [sic] for they picked there [sic] guns & left and throwing 2 or 3 shells into the approaching Cavalry and the commander of them left. Then we kept on to Camp meeting reinforcements. You have seen an account of this in the papers & suppose our forces loss was small while that of the rebels was quite a number." The continues with the beginning of an account of another engagement, but the second sheet is lost. The 2nd & 3rd Vermont Regiments moved from Camp Lyon

to Camp Advance on the date supplied in the narrative above. The Lewsville skirmish (as it became known) represented the first "baptism by fire" for both Vermont regiments - - one of which, presumably, the unknown writer must have belonged. $200.00

MEMBER ABAA

P. O. BOX 6, ROUTE 5, ASCUTNEY, VT 05030 PHONE & FAX (802) 674-2665 . E-MAIL: jwrb@comcastinet

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