Raynors HCA 2017-06
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A good war-date Union soldier's letter, 7pp. 4to., written by Pvt. Charles W. Manning, Co. B, 13th Mass. Vols., Hancock, M. d., Dec. 5 & 7, 1861, in part: "…our Co…were put into a stable where there was plenty of hay to lay in and after 11 miles march with a 30 pound knapsack on our backs…we was ready top lay down in a stable or most any other place…next morning…all those that could not get accommodated at the hotels got a breakfast at private houses…I went with 6 others to a house & got a splendid breakfast & they would not take a cent…we found ourselves in Hancock…our Co. is quartered in a new wooden building in a large hall…the reason they put us up here was because there is 10 or 12 hundred of Rebels right over the river in Bath about 6 miles from here…they have been trying to scare the folks here in town & threatening to shell the town but they have been pretty still since we came here altho they fired across the Potomac at our pickets…yesterday…20 of our Co. & 30 of H [was] detailed to go across the river…& do a little scouting. We went over in…the flats boats…as soon as we were over started off double quick towards some houses…as soon as we got to them we deployed as skirmishers while a portion of us searched the houses & barns getting a lot of turkeys & chickens. While we were at this work one of our corporals…saw a carriage coming & thought he would stand still & let it come up to him but the man saw him…& turned his horse round & started as fast as his horse would carry him…the corporal called out…stop or he would fire…the old cuss looked over…he thought it about time to stop. His name is Swan & is a secesh of the deepest dye. He left his house which is right across the river from here some 6 weeks ago & has been living in Bath…ever since doing all he could to help…Secession…a company that was here before we…went over to his house several times to get him but never made out…I am sure that you are tied up enough when Mr. Whiton is able to be in the store…[Dec. 7]…when we went to bed last night we were told to place our guns & equipments beside us for we might be called up during the night. About 3 o'clock we were routed & with a part of Co. A went down to the river…in a few minutes were across…started off on the road towards Bath supposing that it was filled up with Rebels…by day light we were in the little town where everything was as still as thou nobody lived there. We got in front of a large dwelling house & halted…they had left the day before…they were all pressed into the service & none of them had a uniform on…I with about a dozen others started up the street in search of some breakfast…on our way we crossed some geese…we…surrounded the lot & when they broke ranks we broke their heads. Just as we shouldered them & started off there was an old woman…began blazing away at us for killing her geese but we just told her to cork up & started on. We got a nice breakfast at a Secesh House where the men had all left with the troops…there was nobody there but the women folks. The town…looked as thou it was deserted…it was as near deserted as…there was only 17 men in town…Charles W. Manning…". The original transmittal cover is included. Minor toning, else VG
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Union Forces Raid Towards Bath, Virginia To Dislodge Secesh Troops While A Rebel Sympathizer & Southern Geese Are Taken In.

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