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11th Independent Battery & 44th New York Infantry - Wounded Twice & Captured

Item LTR-9184
January 14, 1863 Anthony G. Graves
Price: $245.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 6 pages, written in period ink.

11th Independent Battery NY
In Fort Welch, VA
January 14, 1863

My Dear Friend Jack,

Your letter dated the 10th inst. From “George’s Shop” was received by me this evening and as usual I was pleased to hear from you. I answered your letter of the 28th December, a few days ago. You have probably received it ere this. I wrote you a good long letter giving you full information of my affairs in the battery. I am much obliged to you for your advice in regards to communicating with headquarters. I done better than that, as I went to see General Humphrey in person and stated my case. He informed me that there was no reason why I should not muster if there were a vacancy in the battery. He ordered his adjutant general to inform the mustering officer to muster me immediately; that it was his duty to do so; that he was placed there for the purpose of mustering, not to refuse. The next day I went to the mustering officer and he did not hesitate a moment in mustering me.

I see by your letters that you have not received my letter yet informing you of my mustering as 2nd lieutenant in the 11th Battery. Yes, I was sworn in on Friday the 6th inst. At 1 o’clock P. M. I had a hard fight, Jack, but I out generated them in the long run. At one time I thought it was all up with me, but my working diligently I succeeded in coming off victorious. In a previous letter I gave you full particulars so it is not necessary for me to repeat it in this letter. I also wrote you a note a few days ago, requesting you to do me kindness of sending me by mail a pair of nice 2nd lieutenant (artillery) shoulder straps. I asked some other small favors from you. I hope you have attended to it. Inform me in your next whether you have forwarded my jacket. I wrote to father a day or two ago telling him to send me my valise and also mail me some money.

I have not been assigned to duty yet, although I reported four or five days ago. I am not doing anything consequently I am having very easy times. It makes but little difference to me whether I am assigned to duty very soon or not. I am drawing pay as an officer and am living on the government. I think they are trying to effect something with the War Department; but for my part I don’t see what they can do. I am mustered as an officer in the United States since and they are obliged to accept me as such or give me my discharge and let me go home. I will no doubt have a hard road to travel in the battery. Still, I think in a short time they will come around all right. The excitement among the men is fast dying out and I am gaining friends among the old men every day . I hear they are getting up a present in the shape of a pair of martingales, bridle and saddle. The new man intent to make me a present of a horse after pay day.

Jack, I have got a few friends left in the battery if there was such a row kicked up in the first place. Wyatt the dead beat is still with the battery a playing off sick for the purpose of getting a sick leave of absence so that he could go home and beat the government. I believed he has failed in his endeavor and whether he will remain with the battery I am unable to state. There is not a man in the battery that likes him. I never saw an officer that is so much disliked as he is.

I will close this letter as there is nothing more to write about. Hurry up those shoulder straps and send me an Evening Journal Almanac of 65. I have been waiting patiently for a letter from “Pip” in answer to one I wrote him two or three weeks ago. Jack, I wish you would send me by mail a “Cap.” There. Is a new style out, the shape of it is something like this [sketch]. Latham will know. It is the latest style of military cap and is nearly straight on the front and back with a drop down peak. For what money you want, draw on mother-my banker. Tell father to hurry up that money.

Jack allow me to congratulate your good fortune in getting transferred to the Albany Hospital. Take my advice and remain until your time is out. All the boys send their love to you. Hoping to hear from you soon and that you will attend to that business of mine soon as possible. I will bid you goodbye for the present and wish you a Happy New Year.

I am yours truly,

Lieutenant A. G. Graves, Jr.
11th Independent Battery NY