Raynors HCA 2018-06
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A good early war-date Union volunteer's letter, 3 1/3pp. 4to., written by Pvt. Ira F. Gensel, Co. I, 25th Penn. Vols., [2nd Lt. 4th United States Regular Infantry, MWIA Fredericksburg, Va., 12/13/62 died 12/28/62], "Bivouac opposite Williamsport, Virginia, July 7, 1861", in part: "…at seven o'clock we resumed our march…we passed through beautiful country…the people were glad to see us and treated us with the greatest kindness…we arrived at Williamsport, a village containing about 1500 inhabitants. This is another Union town and contains more negroes than any town I have been in…marched to the river which we had to ford…the large body of troops [that] were to join commenced arriving. It was the grandest sight I ever witnessed. I sat for three hours on the hillside watching the different regiments crossing…first comes two Massachusetts Regts, next…the New Hampshire 1st, the Connecticut 4th while on the shore waiting is the New York 9th…one of Col. Stone's aides has just told me that there was three more near…7,000 thousand men have concentrated here and are all encamped within a mile of each otter. It is without parallel in…history…an officer has just been around notifying the cooks to be up at 3 so we can march at daylight…there is much excitement…we are now in the old Dominion and have the enemy on all sides. Before two days we will be in a battle or the Rebels will be compelled to retreat…some of us will fall. I may be the first. I shall however know that we are…true friends…Ira F. Gensel." The original free franked congressman's transmittal cover is included. Plus, a newspaper clipping announcing that a young lady wrote to them seeking help in finding a suitable man to marry. Minor spotting, else VG.
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A Grand Spectacle-Seven Thousand of Patterson's Men Cross The Potomac Into Virginia On Their Way To Winchester.

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