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1st New York Infantry - Twice Wounded and a Libby POW

Item LTR-7469
April 15, 1863 John Frederick Pierson
Price: $200.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 5 pages, written in period ink.
Wounded at Glendale
Wounded at Chancellorsville
POW at Bristoe Station

1st Regiment New York Volunteer Infantry

April 15, 1863

My Dear Father,

I sent to your firm for certification my account yesterday, seven hundred and sixty dollars per Adams Express Company. I now enclose seventy dollars received from Peter Thorp for his family. Isaac has arrived here, but not in time to be paid. And he says he had to leave William in a hospital at Alexandria sick. I will try to get their pay some future time. I enclose a receipt for the $760.

Has Major Yeaman’s pay come in for me $120. I have nothing new to write about but feel somewhat blue and despondent over the late news. The attack of Charleston a failure, Foster surrendered, the great rain of all day yesterday and the night before, impeding our movement. The evident fear to enforce the conscription act, the humbug and waste and expenditure of munitions, etc., at Vicksburg and Port Hudson, the news from England; all seem to me unfavorable.

I am getting afraid too of the apparent timidity and policy of Seward. I don’t like him as well as I did and like him still less every week. I anticipate much trouble with my “Pets” before long.

They say their contract with Uncle Sam expires in a few days and that they have no interest or obligation to remain or fight longer. I can get no decisive answer as to what will be done when our term is out from or by the authorities. We have now on hand and given out thirteen days rations. And the men say they do not want the six days rations over their time. For that they won’t need it. It is wrong, impolite and disgraceful to retain them beyond their muster. And when right is so entirely with the, how can I meet the issue? You will say “a good Colonel ought to have sufficient influence to convert them to his own way of thinking”, etc. But you are mistaken. A good Colonel should never ask his men to do what under similar circumstances with them, and one of them, he would not do himself. If the government breaks its faith, shall the party injured keep it? What is patriotism, glory country, credit, etc. to them in such an issue? A poor devil is shot, burned and thrown in a ditch and finis’, and his family destitute.

I have I honestly believe more influence than any other commandant of regiment over his own men. But I would dislike to meet this question? We shall see if I shall have to do it. I am expecting a letter from you today.

Give my love to all at home and believe me,

As ever your affectionate son,