Raynors HCA 2017-02
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/23/2017
A good early war-date Union minuteman's letter, 4pp. folio, written by Sergeant James A. Bailey, Co. E, 5th Mass. (3 Months) Vols., Alexandria, [Va.], June 17, , to his family, in part: "…we arrest a few every day & take them down to the Marshal House where they are locked up…examined & delt with according to law. There is a grocery store just opposite…where we loaf a great deal…I weigh 135 in uniform & my gun, knapsack, haversack, canteen…I have got a guitar. It was given to one of our boys by a young Lady of Washington…just opposite is a family of about a dozen girls all strong Secessionists. Their father & brothers are officers in the rebel army & we have great arguments with them but you might as well talk to the moon…there are a great many in this town who would take our heads if they dared…but we go about armed & they know it wouldn't be pretty to meddle with us. There are also some friends who are glad we are here & hope we will stay. They say that when ever we go they must go too or lose their property & perhaps their heads. But we are not going Old Jeff isn't big enough to drive us…our secession ladies opposite…say we'll run the first time we see him. Down at Manassas Junction…they have to go 5 miles for water. Every man is put on an allowance. They have no provisions hardly…we've starved them out of Harpers Ferry & we'll do the same here. Our brigade made a fine parade the day before…first came the 5th Massachusetts then the N. Y. Zouaves, the Michigan Regt., the 1st U. S. Artillery & last the 2nd Cavalry. It was a fine sight…it made these secessionist eyes stick out. They had no idea there was so many troops so close to their city. I happened to look up at the windows of our lady Secessionists & I saw them shedding tears …they thought we were going to Manassas Junction. We have got the Rail Road in running order 12 miles out with 5 engines & lots of cars. Last night 2 rebels shot at a train & hit a man. He was an engineer or conductor…he died today. The 2 rebels were taken & are now down at the Marshal House…we are not under Gen. Butler & I'm glad of it. He would rush his men anywhere to gain him a few laurels. There are 45,000 men this side of the river so we can give the rebels all they want..put a gold dollar in the next letter…money is pretty scarce in this country. They have got so poor that they issue notes of 25 cts & 50 cents. There are a great many people here suffering for want of something to eat…if it was not for the soldiers there would be no money at all in the country…[June 18] Good morning. We had a lively time…last night. A train of cars was fired on about 16 mies from here [near Vienna. Va.]. It had the 2nd Ohio Regt [actually four companies of the 1st Ohio] on board. A cannon shot struck the engine & smashed one of the cylinders & that one cylinder…was not strong enough to draw the train so the engineer cut loose & brought back but one car…leaving 400 men to fight the enemy. [They fled through the woods to escape capture.] He came to our quarters & told us the whole regt was killed or taken prisoners & that 9 men were shot off the tender…the news made the people here rather saucy & we had orders to send all citizens into their houses & put out their lights by 9 o'clock. After that the streets were swept by 2 Cos. of Pennsylvanians & 1 of U. S. Cavalry. Our corporal & 6 men were taken to guard the depot & engine [much detail about approaching and passing a check point]…I have just been down to look at the engine. The story was greatly exaggerated. There was 2 cannon shot & 1 musket ball struck it…7 men killed & 5 wounded…your Son & Brother, Jim." Minor toning, and fold splits, else VG
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