Civil War Letter ~ Officer's Opinions About 18th Corps Generals Paine, Hincks, +
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Civil War Letter ~ Officer's Opinions About 18th Corps Generals Paine, Hincks, +:
Offered here is a very interesting Civil War soldier's letter written and signed by Captain Solon A. Carter to friend "Gardiner." Carter had entered the war as aCaptain in the 14th New Hampshire Infantry, but at the time of writing the letter was serving as an adjutant general on staff of the 3rd Division, XVIII Army Corps, composed of United States Colored Troops. In the letter, Cartercomforted Gardiner over the loss of their family member, Colonel Alexander Gardiner of the 14th New Hampshire, who was mortally wounded at the Third Battle of Winchester. Carter also had several interesting things to say about other officers of the 3rd Division:
Gen. [Charles J.] Paine has returned and assumed command of the Division. Fortunately for us all he is very much improved in health, spirits and is altogether a different man from the Gen’l Paine that left us. I don’t love him yet and never will get over the feeling that he is one of the most selfish of men, and in some respects almost a brute: vida his treatment of your application to visit poor Alex at Winchester. I never will forgive him for that if he should let me go to Gen. [Edward W.] Hincks tomorrow. I had hoped that circumstances would have allowed me the privilege of expressing to your and your afflicted family at your home my sympathy in your bereavement. My acquaintance with Alex was comparatively brief, but short as it was, I had learned to love him as a brother and shall always cherish his memory, feeling that in in him I have lost one of the noblest and truest of friends.
I was sorry to hear that your health was so poor on your arrival in New York for I felt that you had need of a goodly degree of physical strength to enable you to bear what was in store for you. I mentioned your condition to Col. [John W.] Ames and he said that he suffered from the effects of the malaria in his system for a considerable length of time after his return from the West, but overcame it by the use of arsenic. He desired me to mention it to you for it might put you on the right track. Since you left we have had a chequered experience. Cols [John H.] Holman and [Joseph B.] Kiddoo, both wounded and sent to the rear; the brave (?) and indomitable (!) Alonzo G. [Draper] breveted (and for what ?) Col. [Samuel A.] Duncan (Now Bvt Brig Genl) God bless him is at home on leave of absence. I have had one letter from him and rec’d one yesterday from Kiddoo. I hope this letter will find you in better health and that you will soon enjoy perfect health. Remember that I shall always be glad to hear from you and will endeavor to maintain a humble part in correspondence.
The letter is in excellent condition andwas written upon all four pages of a 7 3/4" x 9 3/4" bifolium stationery sheet. There are creases at the locations of theoriginal folds.The paper is in excellent sturdy condition, not stiff, and not delicate. Little wear to edges and corners. Carter wrote the letter very clearly in dark ink. Even novices at reading Civil War letters will have an easy time deciphering this one.
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