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Sale 38 Lot 281

CIVIL WAR LETTER GROUPING, 2ND R.I. VOLS.
A nice collection of 22 A.L.S. signed "Henry" with war-date content from Corporal Henry Blanchard of the 2nd Rhode Island Vols. to his family from various encampments, dated from August 6, [1861] through May 1, 1864, 8vo and 4to, 10 with original transmittal envelopes (stamps removed), and one A.L.S. by "John P. Shaw, Captain, Comd. Co. K, 2nd R.I. Vols" to Blanchard's father informing him of the death of his son Henry. "...He was shot through the back of the head in the engagement of the 6th in the Wilderness..." . Ironically the very day after writing this letter, on May 12th 1864, Captain John P. Shaw himself was killed in the bloody battle of Spotsylvania Court House. Blanchard's letters are an engaging narrative of bivouacs, picket duty, skirmishes, battles and the unexpected relaxation of playing baseball! In very small part: Camp Clark, Washington D.C. [8/6/1861]"...My company was on guard yesterday and I have just finished cleaning my musket...I received your letters and papers and was very glad to have a chance to see what big stories the first regiment tell about Bull Run from all accounts they must have killed some 10,000 or 12,000 of the Rebels themselves...The men in these pictures are a part of my Squad & part of Sergt. Lawton's who stands at the left of me..."; Camp Near Falmouth [1/17/1863] "...The [Providence Evening] telegram which you have read from day to day since the recrossing of the army over the Rappahannock (Alls Quiet Along the Rappahannock) will be changed into the details of a battle. The stillness which has reigned is to be broken by the thunder of artillery, the sharp rattle of small arms, and the groans of the poor dying and wounded soldier...The rebels are confident that they can hold the heights where they are posted against whatever force we may bring against them..."; [1/18] "...This fighting for Niggers is about played out. I came out here to serve my country not to serve or fight for a lot of un principled politicians..."; [1/28] "...We have had a new commander given us for the army, and I suppose that all the niggers and their friends are now highly delighted that they have got an abolition Gen. at the head of the army. Gen. Franklin & Sumner have both gone to Washington. Gen. Newton & Devens are under arrest for refusing to cross the Rappahannock...Just before we started from our camp here to go on the march we had an order from Gen. Burnside read to us saying that the auspicious moment had arrived for us to strike and give the death blow to rebellion...On Friday the day after we came back to camp the rebels had a big board stuck up on the river bank with these words on it 'Burnside Stuck in the Mud'...Hooker at the head of the army instead of making a bad matter better it makes it worse. No one believes he is competent to command a grand division, much worse an army..."; [2/12] "...If I could have seen the enthusiasm caused by Gen. McClennan's [McClellan] appearance on the battlefield on Malvern Hill when the shells and bullets were flying thick as hailstones...Let those who think him a traitor read the account of the Seven Days fighting before Richmond...If McClennan had had one division of fresh troops there that Richmond would have been taken..."; [2/4] "...About 2 foot of snow fell during the storm. The resent snow when it melts will make icy traveling, and I think that Gen. Hooker will have to wait awhile longer before he does much fighting..."; [2/25] "...I see by the papers that Uncle Sam is going to have some coloured children to help him fight his battles. I hope I shall have the pleasure of seeing some of them up to the front in some of the future battles. And I also hope the south will send their Niggers into the fight. It will be a good way of disposing of the brutes..."; [3/18] "...last night two rebel soldiers belonging to the 6th Louisiana Vols deserted and came across the rise, gave themselves up to Sgt Gifford who brought them into HD Quarters this morning...Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day...The 36th N.Y. is nearly all Irish and they had whiskey in abundance and in consequence a number of fights and disgraceful rows..."; [4/6] "...our corps (the 6th A.C.) was inspected by Gen. Hooker...How I wish that some of the men who belong to the adopted citizens party could be sent out here to fight this war. I consider some of them ten fold worse than Jeff Davis and his conspirators..."; [4/15] "...the regt. Had got marching orders...we take 8 days rations with us...60 rounds of cartridges...We shall probably start tomorrow sometime. Very strict orders have been issued relative to straggling. Any man who is caught straggling will be short and the officer of his company will be court martialed on the spot..."; Camp at Centerville, Va. [6/25/1863] "...We are now encamped at Centerville the same place where the reserves laid when we had the first Bull Run battle. I did no thing then that I should be here two years from then...Our Cavalry and the Rebel Cavalry have been skirmishing continually for a week or so. On the 22nd Gen Pleasanton drove Stuart and his force. Captured a number of prisoners, two pieces of Blakely Guns and a number of teams..."; [7/1] "...We left [Centerville] a week ago Sunday the 26th and marched to Dranesville from there to Poolesville...I was so tired that I dropped out of line and took my own time...reached the Regt. Last night about an hour after they had halted. The rebels are about a days march ahead of us and as we march on they fall back. Yesterday just before our advance entered Westminster[ Maryland became an important supply base for the Union Army during the Battle of Gettysburg] the rebels left and our cavalry pursued them and they had a small skirmish outside the town...the Rebels cleaned out one or two shoe and boot stores...there is a report that the rebels are bombarding Harrisburg...Gen. Reynolds who used to command the first Corp is now Commander of the army. Another report is that Little Mac has take command again...We are nearly to the Pennsylvania line...The next town we pass through is Manchester..."; Camp Near Warrenton, Va. [7/28] "...We're still camped near Warrenton and we are all improving our time in resting and in eating mutton...I wrote to you...and in the letter I stated that the Rebel Army was at Culpeper C.H....but since they say that it is impossible to tell where the main part of their army is now. It is reported that a body of Rebels are in Maryland again...I think that we shall find them here before long and then there will be a battle..."; [4/6/1864] "...the boys are talking of making another match for a foot race. There has been a horse race lately for $5.00 a side and tomorrow another goes off. I would like to know if that is what this army is here for, to race horses or to fight the phoneys and end the rebellion..."; Camp Sedgwick, Va. [4/12/1864] "...This morning we had a brigade review. We were received my Gen. Getty Gen. Commanding 2nd Div. 6th Corps...I wish you could witness one of our reviews. Today each man wore white gloves..."; [4/12] "...We are enjoying our share of April Showers...the soldiers prayer is that it may continue to rain until the 5th of June. When it is pleasant the boys are at their games of ball. Yesterday we had a game in our Regt. 9 innings a side. One side got 34 tallies the other 26. There was some fine playing..."; [4/15] "...Today was the day for the Sutlers to leave the army and they have been selling out at very low prices. Some of them had a large quantity of liquor on hand and sold it to anyone who wished to make a drunked of their selves...If Gen. Grant or Meade would issue an order prohibiting any liquors being brought in to the army and see that the order was rigidly enforced they would gain a greater victory...There is considerable talk about a general movement...I don't think we shall move before May and if [Robert E.] Lee stands there will undoubtedly be a hard battle..." [4/29] "...We have been expecting marching now for three or four days, and I think we shall certainly receive them next week if the weather continues good...I see by the papers that Little Mac was cheated out of the sword at the [Sanitary] Fair in N.Y. If there had been fair play he would have won it by a good majority...I for one do not care whether Gen. Grant of Little Mac have the sword but I should like to see fair play...". Condition varied, mostly very good to excellent. Mainly written in ink [four in pencil], some using fine tipped pen.
Estimate $ 3,000-4,000

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