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1861 Civil War Archive Letters, Ma 5th, Washington, Alexandria For Sale
1861 Civil War Archive Letters, MA 5th, Washington, Alexandria
Fine lot of letterswithexciting content from the opening months of the Civil War. (15), April-July 1861.
Meets President Lincoln ~ Guarding Washington~Death of Col. Ellsworth ~ Patrol Police ~ Aftermath Bull Run ~ 40th NY Zoauves ~ Old Butler, Scott ~ Jefferson Davis
5th MA Regt: Handwritten letters homeof Sgt. James A. Bailey, Co "E", 5th Regiment Massachusetts Vols, "Minute Men",three month soldiers. On April 21, 1861 it left for Washington. It was headquartered in the Treasury building andremainedin Wash.4 weeks, prior to moving to a camp nearAlexandria. It then marched to Bull Run where it was one of three Massachusetts regiments engaged in the July 21, 1861 battle (9 killed, two wounded.)After a return to Washington it was sent back to Boston on July 31.Although there is no Bull Run battle letter, there is an interesting one a few days laterfrom thebattlefield site.
Includes: (15) letters; a few covers (stamps removed);Pass signed by Col. SC Lawrence; calling card signed by Alabama Confederate prisoner; Civil War Memories, 8pp typed CWreminiscences of Bailey as toldto daughter Esther Bailey. Appx 20 items total. Lettersmostly3-4pp ea.
April 28, two letters re meetingAbraham Lincoln - "Last night I and another had cheek enough to go to the White House & ask to shake hands with the President. We were shown up to his room and talked with him about 20 minutes. I was very much suprised to see such a fine man. He asked a great many questions about Massachusetts."; 2nd letter mentions the meeting, plus "I send you a flower from Old Abe's Hot House. It was plucked by his youngest son [Tad]. Note:Letter contains a small item, possibly vegetation, flower stem. See photo.
May 16 - On scarceletter sheet with engraved image of the White House, pub. by W. H. & O. H. Morrison. "Every Wednesday & Saturday afternoon there is a levee ball held in the President's Garden. A band from one of the regiments plays in front of the White House & all the fashionable Ladies & Gentlemen of the City turn out. The President appears on the balcony bows to his firends & listens to the music...My goodness don't they dress."; "Last Sunday morning I took a seat in the presidents garden & noticed among the flowers & noticed hundred of humming birds, more than I should see at home in a month."
May 24 - "Colonel Ellsworth of the N.Y. Zouaves was killed by a double barrelll shot gun but the man that shot him did not live a second. He was pierced by 5 balls & bayoneted & the men were going to quarter him but his wife begged so hard they did not. They are going to sack the place."
July 26 - [Aftermath Bull Run] - Lost haversack -before fight, ordered to throw itdown. Goes back to find, "That battle field was a hard looking sight. All kinds of weapons & ammunition. Waggons & provision & clothing & worse than all, men & horse lay scattered all around."; "In our Regt there are about 25 killed and missing & about the same number wounded."
Civil War Pass, May 16, 1861, HQ 5th Regt, Washington, signed Col. S[amuel]. C. Lawrence (later General) but unused.
Plus, much more:
"Gen Butler wants to have us go inthe 6 regt...but Old Scott wants to thave us stay where we are."; City under martial law; "There is an alarm of fire going in the street now...they say it it is a bridge across the Potomac river"; 4th July,Alexandria- A lot of Zouaves seized liquor "they backed a couple of wheelbarrows up to his door & took six kegs of lager beer.", burn house of secessionist."; "Old Jef. had been comming into this city every day, but he has not got in yet,,,the guns of the fort on the hill...would soon send things rattling about their heads & could burn the whole city in an hour."; pickets killed; "people poor as rats" trade with soldiers, pay with "shin plasters.";There are 45,000 men this side of river under Gen. McDowell; train fired upon, 2nd Ohio Regt on board, cannon shot struck the engine, cut loose one car leaving 400 men to fight the enemy...whole regt killed or taken prisoners; "The Zoaves brought in 4 prisoners, 3 of them are soldiers belonging to the Alabama Regiment...15 of them were out scouting." [includes handwritten calling card of one (see photo)]; "I had to take those 4 prisoners to Gen. McDowell at Arlington Heights.".
Condition: Some tears,general wear. Overall VG+
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1861 Civil War Archive Letters, Ma 5th, Washington, Alexandria: $1,689