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Sale 38 Lot 296

ASSAULTING MARYE'S HEIGHTS AT FREDERICKSBURG Superb content soldier's letter, 4pp. 8vo., "Camp in the field", May 7, 1863 in which Union soldier "Amos" writes his wife describing the assault on Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg in their effort to drive Early's entrenched forces from their positions. He writes, in part: "...On the night of the 2nd, Brooks Division made and advance and the rest of the corps immediately crossed and took a position in front where we remained during the night...before light we moved to the right...when we made an attack on the heights and carried them...These heights that cost us so many lives last fall in the attempt to take were carried by the Vt. Brigade. We immediately started for the right to form a junction with Hooker, but soon met the forces of Longstreet's reinforcements - 50,000 strong - and had a terrible engagement with them, driving them some distance. If we had another corps besides ours, we could have prevented them from taking the Heights back the morning we found the rebels had outflanked us on the left and had retaken part of the heights....retreated...The rebels were in plain sight, presenting an unbroken front of not less than 60,000 men in 5 lines of battle, while our line numbered not more than 20,000...our batteries took their position and we coolly awaited the attack. About 4 p.m. they commenced shelling us, and their lines advanced...we were obliged to fall back before such terrible odds and here the Vt. Brigade won the distinction of our corps...while the other troops broke and ran for their lives, we fell back in good order, contesting every inch...holding the enemy and covering the retreat...Generals Sedgwick and Howe said the Vt. Brigade saved the whole Sixth Corps. We held there until after dark and then retreated a short distance and deployed skirmishers...narrowly escaping capture several times...finally crossed the river about 4 o'clock Tuesday morning. We were the last to cross, the rebels shelling us as we crossed...almost continuous action of 3 days with scarcely any sleep...we doubtless crippled the enemy they were incapable of pursuit...". Moderately foxed in places yet remaining entirely legible. On May 1, Robert E. Lee left Jubal A. Early's division to hold Fredericksburg, while marching with the rest of the army to meet Hooker's main offensive thrust at Chancellorsville. On May 3, the Union VI Corps under Sedgwick, reinforced by John Gibbon's II Corps division, having crossed the Rappahannock River, assaulted and carried the Confederate entrenchments on Marye's Heights. The outnumbered Confederates withdrew and regrouped west and southeast of town.
Estimate $ 500-700

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