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Letter Written by a Soldier in the 32nd Ohio Infantry

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Letter Written by a Soldier in the 32nd Ohio Infantry (Image1)
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Your Price: $ 125.00
Item Number: UL2025
 

 



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On a very rare patriotic letter sheet with Union gunboats and a quote from the Rebel newspaper, The Richmond Dispatch

2 pages, 4 3/4 x 7 1/2, in ink, and signed with regimental identification.

There is a battle scene at the top of the letter sheet with Union ironclad gunboats bombarding a Confederate fort. Includes the following imprint: "There is no disaster of the present war which it is so difficult to bear with any degree of patience or philosophy, as the almost uniform success of the enemy's gunboats on our land batteries. It is a thing absolutely unprecedented in the history of warfare! Richmond Dispatch, Feb. 21, 1862."

Franklin, Pendleton Co., Va.
May the 24th A.D., 1862


Dear Sister,

I am well at present hoping these few words will find you enjoying the same blessing. I received a letter from mother the other day and I was very glad to hear from home once more. I wrote a letter to William yesterday tho[ugh] I thought I would write another today. I get very lonesome without doing something. We had a fight on the 8 day of May [1] and we are exempt 30 days from duty and we have nothing to do for 30 days. It is very warm weather here now. I have wrote several letters since we came here to Franklin. It is the county seat of Pendleton County. It is a nice little place. I will send Emma a nice present, a little breast pin, and Sis and Dennis a few cents to buy candy for themselves. I believe I must come to a close. I have nothing more to write at this time so write soon. Good to all; mother, sisters and brothers. When you write to me Direct your letters to Franklin, Pendleton County, Virginia, 32 Regiment. Company F, in care Captain Potts, [2] O.[hio] V.[olunteers], U.S.A.

The letter is signed with a single initial. I believe it is either an "L" or an "S." [3]

I have to send the letters without paying postage on them. There is no post stamps to get here.

Very neatly written letter by a soldier of Company F, 32nd Ohio Infantry, on a very rare illustrated gunboat patriotic letter sheet with quote from the Richmond Dispatch.

[1] On May 8, 1862, the date referred to in this letter, the 32nd Ohio Infantry participated in the battle of McDowell, Virginia, part of the celebrated 1862 Shenandoah Valley campaign. In the regiment's history compiled in "The Union Army, Vol. 2," it states that "at the battle of McDowell the 32nd [Ohio] lost 6 killed and 53 wounded, some mortally, being the last regiment to leave the field."

[2] Benjamin Franklin Potts, was a 32 year old lawyer when he enlisted on September 4, 1861, as a captain, and was commissioned into Company F, 32nd Ohio Infantry. He was captured on September 15, 1862, at Harper's Ferry, during the Antietam campaign. Promoted to lieutenant colonel, November 21, 1862; colonel, December 25, 1862; brigadier general, January 16, 1865; and brevet major general, March 13, 1865. He was mustered out of the service on January 16, 1866. He served as the Governor of Montana, 1870-82. He died on June 17, 1887 in Helena, Montana.

[3] It was not uncommon for Civil War soldiers to sign a letter written home to a family member with initials or their first name only, or even their family title or possibly a nickname since the recipients knew who the author of the letter was. If the original envelope had come with this letter that would have given us another way to fully identify him, but unfortunately the letter did not come with an envelope. What we do know for certain is that the letter writer served in Co. F, 32nd Ohio Infantry, but his name is lost to history. In my opinion the very rare patriotic gunboat letter sheet more than make up for that fact. Maybe someone else out there has other letters written by this same soldier and can shed some light as to his identification.



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