Great 1861 Civil War Soldier Letter Harpers Ferry Va 12th Mass Infantry Regt
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Great 1861 Civil War Soldier Letter Harpers Ferry Va 12th Mass Infantry Regt :
GREAT JULY 1861 SOLDIER'S LETTER FROM HARPERS FERRY, VA., FROM C.G. TINKHAM, SGT. OF CO. A, 12TH REGIMENT MASSACHUSETTS INFANTRY - LATER MORTALLY WOUNDED AT THE BATTLE OF ANTIETAM. INCLUDES THE ORIGINAL ENVELOPE, WITH SCARCE HARPERS FERRY VA MANUSCRIPT POSTMARK.
2-1/2 pg letter, approx. 5" x 8", datelined "In Camp near Harpers Ferry, July 29th, 1861", from C.G. Tinkham, to his sister, Miss H.P. Tinkham, at Manhattanville, N.Y.
Includes the original envelope, a stampless cover, with "Harpers Ferry Va." manuscript postmark, and manuscript "Paid". A very scarce postmark, used about a month after the Unionarmyre-occupied Harper Ferry. The Confederate post office there had fled with the Confederate Army, and there were nohandstamp postmarking devices available during the Union occupation, and thus the manuscript postmark.
The writer of this letter, C.G. Tinkham, was First Sgt. of Company "A", in the 12th Regiment Massachusetts Infantry, and died on Oct. 1, 1862, of wounds received at the Battle of Antietam. He is writing to his sister, Harriet P. Tinkham, who at that time was a teacher at the Leake and Watts Orphan House and School, in Manhattanville, N.Y.
The 12th Mass. Regt.was also knownas the "Webster Regiment", in honor of their first Colonel, Fletcher Webster, the son of Daniel Webster. Col. Webster was killed at the Battle of Second BullRun. The Regiment was raised in Middleboro, Mass., and mustered in in June, 1861. It left Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, on July 23, 1861, and was attached to Abercrombie's Brigade, under General Banks; then became part of General Pope's Army of Virginia, and was later under McClellan & Hooker.The 12th Mass. was a true fighting regiment, seeingsevere combat at the Battles of 2nd Bull Run,Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, theWilderness, Cold Harbor, etc.
The letter has great content,in which Tinkham describes the Regiment'smovements from Fort Warren to Virginia, by railroad, steamboat, etc.. He writes of a great turnout to see them off from Ft. Warren, and all along the railroad to Fall River, with fireworks, bonfires, etc.. Hewrites ofhaving his photograph taken at a daguerreotype saloon on Chatham Square in NYC, and writes that the "have been expecting an attack ever since" they arrived at Harpers Ferry.
Of special interest is his writing that while in Baltimore, although "kindly received", the men were "prepared to return their compliments if necessary with ten thousand rounds of ball cartridges, 1000 of which we had in our Rifles" - a reference to the mob attack on a previous Massachusetts regiment that had passed through Baltimore.
"Dear Sister Harriet, I have a few moments to spare and will write a short letter to you. We left Ft. Warren last Tuesday P.M., so late that we had no time to stop in Boston. But there was a great turnout there, and all along the R. Road to Fall River, with fireworks of all kinds, Bonfires, &c. We arrived in N.York for Steamer Bay State about two o'clock next day. Left N.York about 7 o'clock sunday. I had no time to call and see you, as we expected to stop only two hours. I called into a daguerran saloon on Chatham Square and had my photograph taken, but he could not finish it until the next day, so I paid for two and told him to send them to Miss H.P. Tinkham at Manhattanville, so that you could send to Middleboro, and I suppose that he has done it. But I did not see it, & do not know anything about how it looks.
We left N.Y. for Baltimore via Elizabeth Town.Was well and kindly received there. Stayed from 2 o'clock until 11P.M. Was prepared to return their compliments if necessary, with ten thousand rounds of ball cartridges, 1000 of which we had in our rifles.
We arrived here yesterday, Saturday, about 10 A.M. Have been expecting an attack ever since, but have not seen any of the enemy yet. All are well and in good spirits..."
Below the conclusionof the letter, his sisterwrote some notes concerning when her brother reached Harper's Ferry, and when she received this letter.
The letter is Very Fine. The cover has a small edge tear at left, and is Fine-Very Fine.