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. 4to, written by Sergeant James A. Bailey, Co. E, 5th Mass. (3 Months) Vols., Washington, May 24, , to his family, in part: "…we have seen no fighting yet but last night there was some at Alexandria 8 miles from us. Colonel Ellsworth of the N. Y. zouaves was killed by a double barrel shot gun…the man that shot him didn't live a second. He was pierced by 5 balls & bayoneted…the men were going to quarter him but his wife begged so hard they did not. They are going to sack the place…we could see thousands of troops on the Virginia side marching down the river…4 regiments left the city in the night & have gone over the river…there will be some work pretty soon…we have about 84 men in our Co…we have very good quarters, a large long room light with gas & we sleep on our blankets spread o the floor…Uncle Sam finds us shirts, drawers & stocking…we do away with our old uniforms. We came out in fatigue caps, blue shirts & grey pants. It is a very comfortable one to drill in…we are all going to have covers to our caps made of cotton with a cape hanging down the neck like a sunbonnet. They are a great protection against the sun [Havelocks which soon became unpopular with the men]…we practice at target frequently & last time I shot within 2 ins of the centre…our Co. has made the best shots in the regt. We shot at 100 yds…we could hear the guns the night they took Alexandria & see the troops marching over the Long Bridge. We have a great many visitors yesterday. I saw 2 rifle men from the 2nd Connecticut Regt…there are 2 Co. of U. S. Cavalry in this building…altogether about 1000 men…we take our revolvers & have a few shots…yesterday half a dozen of our boys got in a boat & went to fooling & upset it. They were [a] sorry looking fellows marching home looking like drowned rats…the city is in mourning for Col. Ellsworth, bells tolling, flags at half mast etc. He is a great loss to the country…Jim." Minor toning, and fold splits, else VG
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