2022-07 Raynors HCA Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/15/2022
Each of the 25 letters is written by James Cornell Biddle, to his future wife Gertrude, September 25th thru October 28th, 1862. All but one are datelined from Sharpsburg. Biddle enlisted on 4/25/1861 at Philadelphia, PA as a Private into "A" Co. PA 17th Infantry, promoted 1st Lieut 11/1/1861, Capt 11/1/1862, Major 11/5/1863 (Transfer to staff Gen Meade), Lt Colonel 8/1/1864, Colonel 4/9/1865. Biddle is on his assignment toGen. Rickett’s staff. The Biddle family of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is an Old Philadelphian family descended from English immigrants William Biddle (1630–1712) and Sarah Kempe (1634–1709), who arrived in the Province of New Jersey in 1681. Quakers, they had emigrated from England in part to escape religious persecution. The letters translated, cleanly written and usually four pages. Here are a few excerps, Sept. 24th, “We ahve our forces scattered from Harpers f Ferry to Willimsport guarding the river ... Gen. Meade is now incommand of theis Corps. ... Sept 27th, “Col. Starke was the one so kind to me ... Dr. Rimanben told me of Col. Starke’s promotion and death ... Sept 29th, “This morning Gen. Ricketts and myself started to hunt up a new camp ... we moved this afternoon to this place on the bank of the Potomac ...” Oct. 1st, “There has been heavy firing on the other side of the river ... I have nor heard of any resignationas as a result of the President’s Procalmation ..I do not think it will do any harm .. You know I have always objested to it on the grounds of it being impracticable ..” Oct 3rd, “The General and myself were riding going with his division reviewing the ground ... We were waiting the ground for the President till dark ...” Oct 3rd (2nd letter), “We were drawn up in line from 12 o’clock yesterday until dark waiting for the President but he did not arrive.” ... Oct 5th, “I would like to know what has become of my servant. It worries me very much to think of hisposition. I see the Rebel Congress commences to quail under the President’s Proclamationm ... Gen’ Ricketts has heard nothing from Genl McClellan ... I think the General had been treated very badly...” Oct 6th, “I have not felt anything likeIntermittent Col. Wainwright says. ... The rains would soon make Virginia roads impassable. ... It is reported the Rebels ahve two guns placed on the river commanding Parker’s batteries ...”. Oct 78th, “The troops are entirely destitute of overcoats & blankets, and they think it will be very hard for them ... I must confess the idea of going into winter quarters ..then commencing in the spring and having a repetition of the campaign of last year, resulting in terrible loss of life, without accomplishing any result. ...The General has said nothing with regards to his troubles ... We heard certain parties were trying to have him made a Major General ...” Oct 8th, “Gen. McClellan has moved his Head Quarters to Sandy Hook ... I just hired a servant. He seems to be a respectable boy. McClellan has issued an order in reference to officer’s expressing opinions with regard to the President’s Emanciaption Proclamation. ...” ... Oct 9, “I was told Sigel had a force of 50,000 men independent of Heintzleman’s command. It’s reported the Rebels are leaving Winchester. .. I wish we could wipe out the rebellion before Christmas....” ... Oct 10th, We received Caddy’s barrel of ale yesterday but there is no whiskey. ...” Oct 10 (2nd), “Gen. Wadsworth is running for governor of New York. ... We havesent today to Hagerstown for whiskey. ... It was so dark I could not see to find my way home. I gave the horse the rein. He brought me home safely. ... I don’t thinkany of our prisoners took the parole not to serve again ....” .. Oct 11th, “The General tells me the Rebels made a raid into Maryland above here at Williamsport yesterday. He was informed by a Captain who just came from Hagerstown and represents the people as being very much alarmed. ..It certainly will not do for us to leave Maryland unprotected. ... I have not met an officer who has not got the greatest faith in McClellan ... Gen Smith told me of ‘Bragg’s Fine Army’ and how much they expected of it ... so far they have failed in their intentions. ...” ... Oct 12th, “We heard firing this morning. One of our officers .. thought there was a fight going on at Leesburg. ... Rebels left there taking the Gettysburg Pike. It will be too provoking if we do not capture them. ... Stewart probably made that raid to draw our forces up the river, they intending to make an attrack upon Washington ...”” ... Oct 12 (2nd), “We received orders from McClellan to be on the alert to prevent the rebels from crossing again ... to send a force to guard the roads in our rear ... I hope we may have them ...” ... Oct 14th, “I do not intend to say anything of Stewart’s raid. It has completely disgusted me. I think .. they will attack us instead of our attacking them. We have certain men giving us information of the rebels leaving Winchester for Richmond. I have no doubt they ere spies. ...” ... Oct 15th, “The General is talking about the mail arrangements and remarks he is disgusted with the arrangements. ...” .. Oct 18th, “I understand .. the enemy are in force at Winchester. ... I wish they would catch VanDorn and keep him as a hostage for the return of my servant. ...” ... Oct 19th, “The General anf myself went to Mercersville and came home by wayn of Sharpsburg Pike going over a portion of the battlefield. .. it was reported the Rebels had crossed about Willimsport. ... The troops are arriveing very fast at Harpers Ferry. ... As the enemy have determined to stand at Winchester, I think it will be the most severe battle of the war. ...” ... Oct 20th, “General Doubleday’s division went up this morning towards Williamsport. I believe for the purpose of preventing any more Rebel raids into Pennsylvania. ... I do not beleive there will be any more fighting this winter, as I do see how we are to get at them. ...” .... Oct 23rd, “From a contraband who crossed the river this morning, we are informed Jackson is in command of a very large force stretching beyond Martinsburg & yesterday itwas reported he was within two miles of the river. ... If the Rebels make a stand at Winchester, there is no doubt but that will be one of the hardest fought battles of the war. ...” ... Oct 24th, “Although it is the prevailing opinion an advance is to made. All of our Generals that I have heard express their opinion think it is unwise. ... He heard in Washington, Genl R was to be relieved & ordered to North Carolina. I asked the Genl how he would like it, and he asked me ‘Do you believe it is so?’ insinuating that he did not. ....” ... Oct 25th, “He says we had a great deal better give up if we are going to conduct the war without everyoneentering into it with earnestness, thatn the only way to be successful is to have what we have the means of having certainty in all our campaigns. We have the numbers & and ought to take advantage of it. He has great faith in McClellan and thinks the battle of Bull Run was a most miserable mismanagement, whereas the Battle of Antietam was perfect in all arrangements. ...” ...Oct 28th, “I am scratching a line in Genl Reynolds Headquarters. I have but a minute. Genl. Burnside has crossed and we cross today. ....”
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An Archivbe of 25 War-Dated Letters

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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $3,125.00
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
Auction closed on Saturday, July 16, 2022.
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