No Reserve -1863 Civil War Letter, Amand Bowman, Great Content + Tintype Photo
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No Reserve -1863 Civil War Letter, Amand Bowman, Great Content + Tintype Photo:
! -1863 CIVIL WAR LETTER, Amand Bowman, GREAT CONTENT! + tintype photo
This an original 4-page letter from Union Army soldier Amand Bowman to his wife, sent from "Camp near Vicksburg", dated February 9th, 1863, near the start of the Vicksburg Campaign.
This letter is packed with incredible content depicting the low quality of camp life during the Civil War. Bowman is in poor health, as are many of the other men, and the Commanders do not treat them well. He cannot believe the heartlessness of man, and the entire situation is utterly terrible.
He says that the Commanders profess to being "antislavery", but are treating blacks poorly. He writes: "...the darky got sick then turned them off to shift for them self without pay...one old darky is crawling round here on his hands and nees begging his living..."
The full letter reads below, many misspellings included:
"Dear wife I again seat myself to rite you another letter. I have taken cold and coughd considerable last night. I feel very feble this morning, yet I eat a hearty brecfast and think I shall feel better in a few hours. I have not been right well for three or four weaks. This climate don't agree with me. I think I will get a chance to go up the river soon and get a discharge from the cirvise. Men of my age are more likely to get a discharge then young men according to the army regelations they can't hold me if I was at St. Luis. I think I could get of and come home. Franklin wants me to get a discharge and go home and take care of you and the children and our things. He says he can take care of himself. He is still tuf and hardy so is William now but I hate to leave them. The soldiers get hard usage away down here if they get sick there is little care taken of them. The old rigments are well and heart but new rigments just went into cirvise last fall are very sickly. There are more than one half of our rigment on the sick list, the worst of them are so as to be about and do their own cooking. Some are down sick, the dire is the prevailing decease in the army. We are expecting to make an attack on Vixburgh every day. We won't no it till we here the cannon roaring. It is a horred thing for men to cut one another to peaces with shell and cannon and all the implyments of death we have in the army. We have canon that will thro balls and shell as large as a half bushel and thro them three or four mile. It is a wonder to me how so many escape without being hurt. Tell me, Winchbough he was a wise man for staying at home on his farm. Tell him I am coming home as soon as I can get of in an honerable way. The leading generals seem to care that little about life and health of the soldiers. They are generaly a hard hearted drunken ruf set of men. If the soldiers where far enough north so they could get away to their homes I believe more than one half of them whould desert but here if they leave they will fall into the hands of the rebels. I never heard of such a miserable, disatisfaction among an army. They are down shifted and discouraged. They have lost confidence in their Commanders on account of the usage they get from them. I know offercers in our rigment who profest to be strong antislavary men. As soon as they could get a black man to cast for them they told them if they whould go with them they whoulda pay them but as soon as the darky got sick they turned them off to shift for themself with out any pay. One old darky is cralling round here on his hands and nees beging his living. Shurely the heart of man is decetfull above all things and desperately wicked. I am afraid the north is allmost as wicked as the south, god only knows what our nation will suffer yet for the wickedness that seems to abound. You said in your letter you rote the first of January that Christena said Franklin was religious. Well I think he is more so than he was when at home. He has talkd quite serious to me when I have talkd to him on the subject. He don't curse and sware like the most of boys. He was ........ like the other boys, but I think he pray and asks gods protection and mercy. He is well liked by his offercers and comrads. I think he is the most moral boy in the company. Pray for him that god may protect him from all harm so that when he has don his duty as a soldier he may return home in health and ..... from the coruptions of camp life. I rote you a letter about a weak ago and said when we where. I am still with the ..... helping to feed the more sick, wait on them. I have not much to do. I can do but little the way my health is at present. We have about one thousand troops here. A great number of them are not able for duty. We think our gun boats can shell the rebels out of Vixburgh but our troops will have to cross the river to get at them. How we will succeed time will reveal, what a pity that so many lives should be sacrafised by desease and on the battle field to settle the dificulty in our nation. It only proves the depravaty of the human heart. There is but little chance of doing any good here in the army, only to a few, but thank god there are a few that are trying to live like Christians with whom I have had sweet councel on the subject of riligion. I enjoy my mind better then I did at first. I rejoice that the lord ......and his ears are open to others prayers. We mush endure hardness as good soldiers of the Christian cause. Soon this toilsom strife will be over and all the true and faithfull will rest forever from their cares toils in the paridise of god. Rite me a letter about once a weak. I am anxious how you are geting along. I know you have a hard time. If I whoulda have had any idea that I whoulda not have got my money to sent home I whoulda stayed at home and never left my family in such a destitute condition. It greives me whenever I think how you have to chop wood and expose yourself but you must forgive me. I hope the lord has forgiven me for leaving my family in such a condition. I suposed I whould get money right away and make you comfortable so you chould get the house fixed. The government has faild in all its promises to me. I hope there is a brighter day dawning for us. Don't forget to rite very frequently. I got them postage stamps if you can send me some more."
Also included is tintype photo of a family during the same time period.
Approximate Dimensions: Letter is 8" x 12-5/8", Photo/Matting is 2-1/2" x 4"
Condition: There are creases where the letter was folded, and many of these creases and edges have been repaired with tape. Please see the photos for additional details and the most accurate description of its condition.
The Vicksburg Campaign was a series of maneuvers and battles in the Western Theater of the American Civil War directed against Vicksburg, Mississippi, a fortress city that dominated the last Confederate-controlled section of the Mississippi River. The Union Army of the Tennessee under Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant gained control of the river by capturing this stronghold and defeating Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton's forces stationed there.
The campaign consisted of many important naval operations, troop maneuvers, failed initiatives, and eleven distinct battles from December 26, 1862, to July 4, 1863. Military historians divide the campaign into two formal phases: Operations Against Vicksburg (December 1862 – January 1863) and Grant's Operations Against Vicksburg (March–July 1863).
Grant initially planned a two-pronged approach in which half of his army, under Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, would advance to the Yazoo River and attempt to reach Vicksburg from the northeast, while Grant took the remainder of the army down the Mississippi Central Railroad. Both of these initiatives failed. Grant conducted a number of "experiments" or expeditions—Grant's Bayou Operations—that attempted to enable waterborne access to the Mississippi south of Vicksburg's artillery batteries. All five of these initiatives failed as well. Finally, Union gunboats and troop transport boats ran the batteries at Vicksburg and met up with Grant's men who had marched overland in Louisiana. On April 29 and April 30, 1863, Grant's army crossed the Mississippi and landed at Bruinsburg, Mississippi. An elaborate series of demonstrations and diversions fooled the Confederates and the landings occurred without opposition. Over the next 17 days, Grant maneuvered his army inland and won five battles, captured the state capital of Jackson, Mississippi, and assaulted and laid siege to Vicksburg.
After Pemberton's army surrendered on July 4 (one day after the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg), and when Port Hudson surrendered to Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks on July 9, the entire Mississippi River belonged to the Union. These events are widely considered the turning point of the war. Grant's Vicksburg Campaign is considered one of the masterpieces of American military history.
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