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1864 Georgetown Md & Dc Union Civil War Soldier Letter 9th Ny Heavy Artillery For Sale
1864 GEORGETOWN MD & DC UNION CIVIL WAR SOLDIER LETTER 9TH NY ARTILLERY
An excellent 4-page Union Civil War letter (4 ¾ x 8), written in ink on unlined off-white paper. The letter is written by William L. Blaisdell (1846-1941) serving in Company G, of the Ninth New York Heavy Artillery (Seward’s Regiment) stationed in Washington, DC. William wrote this letter to “Ella” (1848-1908) who became his wife after the war. They were both from the Auburn, NY area and are buried in the Martville Cemetery in Cayuga County, NY.
The content of the letter is good with Blaisdell describing marching hungry & tired through the streets of Georgetown, Maryland amidst extreme dirt and dust. He describes girls and young men from a nice house who carried NICE COOL WATER and FILLED UP THE CANTEENS OF OVER 200 SOLDIERS of the Ninth NY Heavy Artillery marching past.
In his letter to Ella [Patchen], Blaisdell mentions another soldier in Company A [David Easton] and he mentions Major Snyder [James W. Snyder who was later promoted to Colonel and commanded the Regiment]. He writes of eating CHERRIES obtained at the “SOLDIER’S REST” in Washington, DC. He mentions Guard Duty & more.
From about 1862-1864 the 9th NY Heavy Artillery served as part of the Defense of Washington D.C. Later in the war, the unit saw action in the Shenandoah Valley fighting against the forces of Confederate General Jubal Early. Blaisdell himself witnessed the arrival of Union General Philip H. Sheridan on the battlefield of Cedar Creek after his famous ride from Winchester. Sheridan rallied the retreating Union army and snatched victory from seeming defeat. Earlier in the war Blaisdell remembered that he once met and shook hands with Abraham Lincoln.
William L. Blaisdell became quite famous locally for living to be Cayuga County’s last surviving veteran of the Civil War at 94 years. There are several news articles concerning this achievement on the Internet. For more than 40 years after the war, Blaisdell was engaged largely in the business of MAKING CHILDREN’S TOYS, and he was known locally as “THE SANTA CLAUS OF MARTVILLE.”
Condition of letter is good with some staining & noticeable creases to the paper (see scan).
The letter has NO COVER / ENVELOPE. The letter bears the boldly printed letterhead for:
U.S. Christian Commission.
Central Office, 11 Bank st., Phila.
Branch Offices, 77 West Baltimore st., Baltimore, Md.
“ “ 500 H st., cor. 8th, Washington, D.C.
A full transcription of the letter follows:
“Fort Reno Md.
Tuesday, July 26/64
I recd your kind and welcome letter last night and was very glad to hear from but sorry to hear that you was sick. I am well and I hope when this reaches you that it will find you enjoying better health. I am glad to hear that your (that) mother is well and would like to hear from her from her (very soon) very much. I AM BACK TO WASHINGTON ONCE MORE and I see that you have found it out but you said you would laugh at me if I were there for coming back to Washington. ILL BET YOU WOULD HAVE LAUGHED IF YOU HAD SEEN US COME BACK RAGGED AND
DIRTY AND HUNGRY, DIRT ½ INCH THICK ON OUR FACES AND MARCHING IN A THICK CLOUD OF DUST SO THICK WE SCARCELY BREATHE AS SEE THE MAN AHEAD OF YOU. That is all I dislike about soldiering but it is over now for a while. (but never) All but that I like first rate as far as work is concerned.
They keep us busy enough on guard every other day and when off guard (if) we have to cut bushes but we get the same as $1.25 a day rain or shine whether we work as lay still. I would [like] to be home for a few day but farther than that I had as leave be here as there.
I suppose you and Miss Bogart and Marie(?) Brown has great times if I was there.
I would stop such work. I would tell them that that was for Will(?) to say which was the best looking. Tell Marie(?) she best not make any fuss. You say you want I should write whether you answer or not but you don’t think that I want to hear from you to. I want you to write as long letters as you can and you had better write with pen and ink as the lead pencil marks blots and rubs out so that I can hardly tell what some of it is. THERE IS SOME THING ABOUT WHEN I GET SHOT TO HOLLER AND YOU WOULD COME AND BOX MY EARS. Now if you don’t do as you agree you will catch it when I get back. Well what will I write? I spose I shall have to fill up these sheets as get
a right smart licking. I reckon I like to forgot to thank you for those envelops that you sent as they came in handy enough. You can’t guess how glad I was when I got back to Washington to see the ladies walking the streets for I had hardly seen one since I went from here before. Nothing looks better to me when we got in to the city.
I went into the soldiers rest and got cherries(?). We marched about 2 mile right through the streets and WHEN WE GOT INTO GEORGETOWN THE MAJOR (SNYDER) MARCHED US RIGHT ALONG SIDE OF THE FENCE UNDER SHADE TREES AND LET US REST AND THERE WAS ONE FAMILY THAT LIVES THERE THAT LIVED IN A NICE HOUSE AND 3 OR 4 NICE GIRLS AND 2 YOUNG MEN, AND THE MEN WOULD CARRY NICE COOL WATER AND THE GIRLS WOULD FILL OUR CANTEENS FOR US AND THEM FELLOWS WORKED AND CARRIED WATER FOR 200 MEN OR MORE. Now if that were not clever I don’t know what is. I see David Easton the other day. He is in Co. A now. He has been in the hospital ever since I left Auburn. Well my sheet is full almost and I will have to close by telling you that I have had bad luck and lost that cap(?) I would not have lost it for nothing.
Give my love to all and keep a good share for yourself. Remember your dearest friend
Tell your mother to write in the next if not more than 2 words. I am going to write a letter to Hiram and you make him answer or I fix him when I get home. Write where Mary (?) is and what she is about. TELL HIRAM I HEARD THAT HE HAD GOT A PLOWING MACHINE BUT I THINK HE NEEDS A WOMAN MORE. Don’t you think so? WLB”
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1864 Georgetown Md & Dc Union Civil War Soldier Letter 9th Ny Heavy Artillery: $185