2024-07 Raynors Historical Collectible Auctions
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/13/2024
A group of three letters from Fisher A. Cleaveland (1819-1899) of the 35th Massachusetts Infantry from July 1863 to January 1864. Cleaveland mustered into Company I of the 35th as a private on August 16, 1862 at the age of forty-three. He participated in a number of significant engagements throughout the war, such as South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and the sieges of Jackson, Knoxville, and Petersburg, among others. The letters were sent from Jackson, Mississippi, and Knoxville and Poor Valley, Tennessee. They discuss the Siege of Jackson, the hard marching around Caswell and Knoxville, picket duty, and rations, and include one personalized 35th Massachusetts transmittal envelope. [Punctuation has occasionally been altered in the description for clarity.]The first letter in the group was sent on July 18, 1863 to his daughter, Jennie, and contains a wonderfully vivid description of the Siege of Jackson in which Cleaveland was deployed to the front as a skirmisher and forced to lay on the ground for hours in order to avoid the near-constant enemy fire. "... the rebs saw us when we went in but we lay down and crawled along under the fallen trees and bushes about 50 yds to the edge of the hill, our orders were not to fire unless we saw a man near enough to be sure of him. We had not been there more than 1 hour before the battery opened upon us with shells and kept it up at intervals all the afternoon. It was fortunate for us that we made an advance as shell burst right over our heads but going with so much force that the pieces struck from 12 to 150 ft to our rear. We were so near that we could hear them give their orders and could see the smoke of their guns and then we laid low. If it was sent to our batteries a mile to our rear it would pass some 20 or 30 ft over our heads... the minnie balls would rather uncomfortably near as they would cut the twiggs [sic] over our head. We staid [sic] there until the next morning when we were relieved by the 7th RI...Our brigade were ordered to advance a little after sunrise, we went over the rebel entrenchment into Jackson. We arrived there 6 AM the rebs evacuated during the night, the Flag of the 35 was the first that waved on the Capital. The rebs took most of all their cannon. I saw one large gun as we went over the works. Our brigade took about 150 prisoners. Our Corps, some 7500 men, have lost from 100 to 150 men killed and wounded which is not very heavy considering we have been a fighting 7 days in a line 11 miles long. We should not have lost so many but one of our regt charged on a battery and took it but having no support had to fall back with the loss of ¼ of their men... they say Johnson has gone for a place 100 miles from here..."Cleaveland mustered out of service on June 9, 1865.
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Massachusetts Soldier Letter Group

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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $400.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $0.00
Estimate: $800 - $1,000
Auction closed on Sunday, July 14, 2024.
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