1862 Manuscript Civil War Soldier's Letter Illustrated Letter Sheet 5th Riv #1
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1862 Manuscript Civil War Soldier's Letter Illustrated Letter Sheet 5th Riv #1:
Rare and original, 1862, four page Color Illustrated Patriotic Letter Sheet containing a manuscript Civil War Soldier's Letter written on board the Transport Ship Kitty Simpson as it makes its' way from Annapolis through Chesapeake Bay to Hatteras Inlet. It was written by Private Benjamin F. Drown of Company C., 5th Regiment Rhode Island Infantry.
The 5th Rhode Island Infantry was organized at Providence, Rhode Island as a battalion of five companies and mustered in December 16, 1861. An additional five companies were raised afterward and mustered in December 27, 1862. After being mustered in on December 16, 1861, Benjamin F. Drown was aboard the large transport Kitty Simpson with his Regiment, the 5th Rhode Island Volunteers by the middle of January, 1862. The transport made its' way through Chesapeake Bay to Hatteras Inlet. The opening phase of what came to be called the Burnside Expedition, the Battle of Roanoke Island was an amphibious operation of the American Civil War, fought on February 7–8, 1862, in the North Carolina Sounds a short distance south of the Virginia border.
This Civil War Letter was written on board the Ship Kitty Simpson and is dated January 31st, 1862. It was written by Private Benjamin F. Drown of Company C., 5th Regiment Rhode Island Infantry to his Grandmother. It is written on a 4 page folded letter sheet and each page measures approx. 5" x 8"; the manuscript covers the entire surface of all four pages, with the exception of the first page, which carries a 4" x 5" Color Patriotic Illustration. The Illustration is red, white and blue in color and consists of a soldier standing with a rifle and bayonet. Behind him is a cannon, a tent with the American Flag, three crossed rifles with bayonets, and several smaller tents in the background. To the soldier's left is the date 1776 and to his right is the date 1862. Over the soldier's head there is text that reads: "Spirit Of Seventy-Six". Underneath these words Drown has written in manuscript: "Three Cheers For the Red White and Blue / Benjamin F. Drown".
Drown begins his letter by telling his Grandmother that he is "sailing very pleasantly over the beautiful Bay" but that yesterday they lay at anchor in the fog and it was "the lonesomest day since I left home". He says that "last night it cleared up and we started about 2 o'clock this morning and now we are under full sail with Steam tug by the side of the ship".
Drown continues by describing his diet of salt pork and hardbread, how he wishes he could be at home eating with his folks, and claims that he will need a set of new teeth when he gets home if he has to gnaw on hardbread much longer! He also tells his Grandmother about the day they left Annapolis. "I wish you could have seen us. It was a beautiful sight as the different Reg'ts. passed down by us the bands playing Dixie, some Hail Columbia, and some Yankee Doodle".
Drown then says: "We shall arrive at Fortress Monroe by night. I hope so at any rate for I get tired being on board for we are so crowded for room we have to sleep on the bare deck. We have no bunks and you would laugh to see us all piled in all shapes like so many pigs."
Drown concludes his letter by sending good wishes to various family members, and says: "I hope we shall have good luck and clear them out wherever we strike. Remember me in your Prayers and may God bless and direct me through this safely. Good By From Your Affectionate Grand Son Benjamin F. Drown".
This very rare, original Civil War Soldier's Letter is in very good to excellent condition. The sheets are clean and crisp and the handwriting is dark and bold - neat and legible.
A rare and fascinating, original, 1862 manuscript Civil War Soldier's letter and a fantastic addition to any collection!!!
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