Lot 456: Two letters from Union soldiers: one war-dated ALS signed "Joseph," four pages on two adjoining sheets, June 7, 1864, describing his impressions of Norfolk, Virginia, in part: "I was surprised when I came in sight of Norfolk, for judging from his reputation I expected to see something grand. Instead of that I never saw as mean a place before…the same air of desolation is found here that is common everywhere where slavery has ever existed. You see nothing in any city south of Pennsylvania that can be called beautiful…We were in Portsmouth and visited the Gosport Navy Yard…Before the rebs left they tried to blow this dock to pieces by putting powder in the walls but fortunately it had only blown out…The vessel that the rebels used under the name of 'Marrimac' was scuttled & sunk by Lt. Jones USA before he evacuated the place but was afterwards raised & iron plated…I will enclose a leaf as a memento from Fort Monroe. It is magnolia grandiflora. I got it in Norfolk yesterday." Includes two leaves and several dried flower buds that were enclosed.The second ALS is signed "Oliver Edwards," five pages, July 21, 1891, offering some recollections from the war. In part: "Richmond…May 18…The most prolonged and desperate fighting that I ever witnessed was at this point: until 4 PM the attacks were so constant that I could not relieve my front line consisting of my own 4th Brigade…and many guns burst and were disabled. I asked a New York Regt to exchange guns by passing their clean loaded guns to the front line and receive the overheated guns from there which they promptly did and when darkness shut in upon us and ammunition for several hours was only to be had from the belts of wounded and dead, I had to put regiments in the front line with only three or four rounds of cartridges." Toning, a few tears, and mounting remnants to the last page of the war-dated letter, otherwise fine condition.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 462
Wednesday, 14th October 2015
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