C.D.S., New Orleans, La., Feb. 21, 1863. The large black stamped "3" at the center indicates that 3 cents postage was due on the mailing of this envelope. Docketed at left edge, "Soldier's Letter, A.J. Willets, Surgeon, 176th Regt. N.Y. Vol." Addressed to, "George Leacole, care of Thaddeus Davids & Co., 127 William St., New York." Edge wear. Fine war date cover sent by a New York surgeon from New Orleans, Louisiana.
WBTS Trivia: The 176th New York Infantry Volunteers were known as the "Ironsides" regiment.
The regiment left the state under command of Colonel Charles C. Nott on Jan. 11, 1863, and embarked on transports for New Orleans, La. On its arrival it was stationed in the defenses of New Orleans for several weeks and was attached to General Christopher C. Augur's division of the 19th corps, when that corps was organized.
It formed part of the garrison of New Orleans during the siege of Port Hudson, La., and took an active part in repelling the advance of the enemy under General Richard Taylor. During June, 1863, detachments of the regiment participated in the skirmishes at Pattersonville, La., Fourche Crossing, Thibodeaux, Fort Buchanan, Bayou Boeuff and Brashier City, La.
In the action at La Fourche Crossing, the regiment was commanded by Major Morgan and behaved most gallantly, in the actions at Fort Buchanan, on the Atchafalaya, and at Brashear City, the regiment met with serious disaster, over 400 men being captured. This
disaster was not due to lack of bravery on the part of the men.
There was no one in command, but the men fought with all the bravery that could be expected. The loss of the regiment in the above actions amounted to 464 killed, wounded and captured or missing. In the spring of 1864, they were attached to the 3rd brigade, General Cuvier Grover's division, 19th army corps, it took part in General N.P. Banks Red River campaign, being engaged at Mansura and Simsport.
In July it returned to Virginia with the first two divisions of the 19th corps and took an active part in General Philip H. Sheridan's brilliant campaign in the Shenandoah Valley against General Jubal A. Early, including the battles of Berryville, the Opequan, Fisher's Hill, and Cedar
Its loss at the Opequan was 47 killed, wounded and missing, and at Cedar Creek, 53. In the assault on Fisher's Hill it captured 4 guns from the enemy. It remained in the valley until January, 1865, when it was ordered to Savannah, Ga., with General Grover's
In March it was ordered with the division, now commanded by General Henry W. Birge, to North Carolina, where it was temporarily attached to the 10th corps and took part in the final campaign of the Carolinas, ending with the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston at Bennett's House, N.C.
Soon after this it returned to Georgia and was finally mustered out of the U.S. service at Savannah, Ga., on April 27, 1866. The regiment lost during service 2 officers and 31 men killed and mortally wounded; 4 officers and 177 men died of wounds and other causes of whom 1 officer and 17 men died in the hands of the enemy.
Source: The Union Army, Vol. 2