Raynors HCA 2018-06
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Two Union soldier's war-date letters, totaling 8pp. 8vo., both written on patriotic stationery by Pvt. William W. Smith, Co. H, 8th Illinois Vols., [KIA Shiloh 4/6/62 as a member of the 32nd Illinois Vols. Buried Shiloh National Cemetery Grave No. 1550], Camp Defiance, Cairo, Ill., May 14, 1861, in part: "…they do not allow any boat to pass without landing and unloading it if it has anything aboard of any consequence. I was on guard last night and we fired on one about daylight this morning and we made her walk up to the landing but she did not have anything a board but coal and iron oar…they blowed the end off of and old flat boat yesterday and they soon made it call to shore…it was loaded down with the nicest kind of lumber and about five minutes ago they called a large steamer in. They give her two signals and she had to crawl to shore but I have not heard what was on it. There is no boat allowed to pass without calling and seeing us…we have captured some four or five spies from the South and have got them under guard at this time…we will keep them safe a while…if they would take them out and place them…about 50 yards and let me try my old musket on them In would be satisfied…they look worst than if they had stolen a sheep come back home…I volunteered for to a soldier and to be in readiness to fite for our glorious Union and to stand up for the stars and stripes…[May 30, 1861]…Mr. A. E. H. Surber is here at this…time & is aging to start home tomorrow…I have [had] a good joke on Andy [Mr. Surber]. Him & me went down…to see the cannons…he had his head down alooking in one & as good luck would have it there was a boat coming down the river when another cannon was fired rite close to him…you ought to a seem him jumped…he jumped about two feet high…we devel him good about it. He is pretty devel but he had no business of commencing on us soldiers…William W. Smith…". Minor stains, else VG (2 letters)
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Passing Ships Are Fired Upon; Spies Are Thrown Into The Guard House At Camp Defiance; This Shiloh KIA Would Like To Shot those Spies; A Civilian Visitor Gets The Scar of His Life!

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