Raynors HCA 2017-06
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 6/1/2017

Buena Vista, Mexico. Nov. 13, 1847. [4]pp. Quarto, on a folded folio sheet. Old folds, very minor soiling, else quite fine. In a clear and legible hand. E.T. Blamire of Virginia writes to a friend with political connections concerning pay given to volunteers who enlisted for the Mexican-American War (namely, that they have been promised pay that has not been forthcoming). The letter lacks an address, leaving no indication of the identity of the recipient; however, Blamire does mention a recent political campaign and his friend's influence on the state legislature. He begins his letter with a lament about the dismal weather in Mexico: "I suppose you are now making preparations for a winter campaign in Richmond and as I expect you will establish your head quarters there by the first Monday in December, I shall direct this accordingly. I hope you will find it more agreeable than a spring, summer, & fall campaign in Mexico, with the prospect of a winter one with the addition of suffering the extremes of heat and cold every twenty-four hours. The heat here in the middle of the day is as great as it is with you in August, and the nights are as cold and as uncomfortable as they are in December. On the 18th and 19th of the present month we had ice in the streams around our camp 3/4 of [an] inch thick and at noon day it was hot enough to go bathing. But in spite of climate, food &c &c I am still in the enjoyment of excellent health & spirits and I am only anxious for the war to be brought to a close that I may once more have the pleasure of meeting you all in Portsmouth and giving you a true and faithful account of my adventures in Mexico. We are still in quiet possession of all this part of the country and see nothing to remind us that we [are] in an enemies country. How much longer we are to remain here is uncertain. If we are to have no fighting I don't care how soon they order us home.... "As you are now one of our legislators I will say something in regard to our volunteers. When we first commenced raising our company in Portsmouth we were informed by the Adjutant General in his letter to Capt. Young that they (the men) would be entitled to pay from the time they enrolled their names. Twenty two names were enrolled on the 28th day of November and the balance of the men were obtained between that time and the 1st of January, on which day our company was organized by the election of its officers and we left Portsmouth for the rendezvous in Richmond on the 6th of January and were mustered into the service of the U. States on the 27th of January. The men of course expected to be paid from the time of their enrollment as we had assured them they would be, but they have only been paid from the 28th of January, the day they were mustered into service. Many of them at the time of their enrollment were employed in the Navy Yard and were getting from 1 to 1.25 a day and relinquished their employment and remained in barracks drilling and qualifying themselves for soldiers. This you know yourself and it is certainly nothing more than right that they should receive pay for the time they were so employed. There seems to me to have been some mismanagement on expending the 10,000 appropriated by the Legislature for the Volunteers; some of the companies in our regiment received pay (both officers and men) from the time they enrolled their names, others again from the time they were organized by the election of their officers, but our company only from the time they were mustered into service. You will probably recollect that the Adjutant General decided that a man who signed the enrollment was from that time as much bound as a regular enlisted soldier, and that those who refused after signing the enrollment could be compelled by force to be mustered. If he was correct in his opinions they ought as a matter of right be entitled to the pay....You may probably be able to bring the matter before the Governor or the Legislature and have justice done them....It has just occurred to me that the Legislature might have no conscientious scruples about appropriating a part of the state's portion of the proceeds of the sales of public lands which had been laying idle in the Treasury for several years to the benefit of the Volunteers. What think you of it?" An interesting letter from the front concerning local politics and their effect on soldiers' pay.
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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $700.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $0.00
Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Auction closed on Thursday, June 1, 2017.

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