Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

Lot 1028

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Incredible and mortifying Union soldier's letter, 4pp. 8vo., 'Camp Hooker Lower Potomac', Feb. 24, 1862. Pvt. Edwin Y. Brown, Co. B, 1st Mass. Infantry, writes his young brother in clear, very legible pencil. In part: '…I think the secesh have seen their best days…I shall be able to tell some pretty big stories…though I can tell some pretty hard facts. I will tell you one now so you will know some of the sights of war…At Bull Run on the memorable Thursday the N.Y 12th regiment run and left us, one of them having got as he thought a safe distance down with his back to a tree, and commenced to eat when a big cannon ball came and took his head (from his mouth up) off, and left him with a piece of bread in one hand and a bologna sausage in the other, sitting in the same position, still alive and his tongue wagging. Oh, it was an awful sight…How should you like to be a soldier? But it is nothing after you get used to it…' Fine condition, with transcript. The New Yorkers did indeed retreat through the lines of the 1st Mass., which regiment was the last to leave the field of battle. Brown enlisted on May 23, 1861, and he would serve the duration of the war, resigning a 2nd Lieutenant, 82nd U.S. Colored Infantry on June 16, 1865. He was wounded twice, at Williamsburg and 2nd Bull Run.

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October 29, 2020 10:00 AM EDT

Chesapeake City, MD, US

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