2023-08 Raynors HCA Live
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/26/2023
Cal's Comments: Over 30 years ago, we attended an auction in Maine where the letters of Clark Edwards were being sold. While there were many "camp letters", well written and informative, we were of course most interested in his highly descriptive battle letters. To this date, we have not found any other Colonel's letters that come close. Since that auction, we have sold off the lesser letters and are now offering the ones kept in my personal collection. The next ten lots are the last and the best of Clark Edwards Letters.This Union Officer's letter was written by Clark Swett Edwards who enlisted on 6/24/1861 as a Captain and was commissioned into "I" Co. ME 5th Infantry. Clark S. Edwards was 37 years old when the news of the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter reached the small town of Bethel, Maine. He was high on a ladder shingling his roof and he immediately climbed down, obtained permission from the appropriate authorities to form a company of volunteers, and set out to gather recruits from Bethel and the surrounding towns. This group of men became Company I, 5th Maine Volunteer Infantry, with Edwards commissioned as their captain on June 24, 1861. He rose through the ranks and was appointed colonel of the regiment, on January 8, 1863, commanding the 5th Maine Infantry from that date forward. He was promoted to brevet brigadier general, on March 13, 1865, for his gallant and meritorious Civil War service record. The twelve page letter describes BATTLE OF WEST POINT, Virginia and is datelined Brick Mill Pt., Va. May 8th, 1862, to his wife. In part, "I WROTE YOU THAT WE LOST ABOUT ONE HUNDRED IN KILLED AND WOUNDED, BUT I HAVE SINCE LEARNED THAT OUR LOSS WAS MUCH GREATER. ... I think it will reach in hundred & fifty and perhaps two hundred. ... I will give you a little account of an occurrence that happened under my own observation. As we were advancing on the Enemy alongside of a road, I noticed two officers peep on to the enemy line from our Battery. I thought at the time they were running into danger. I should judge they went some ten or fifteen rods once they got a fire from the Rebels. In a minute after one come back past where I stood, Horse at a double quick, and the rider bareheaded, they past like lightening. A minute or so the other horse come without its rider. I told my men he was shot or taken. ... But about two minute I judge from the time the last horse past. I saw the rider a running another way. In a few moments more he joined his Genl. and I heard a shout of joy from them. He was one of Genl. Newton staff. His name was Montgomery. HE RUN INTO THEIR SNARE, AND THEY FIRED AND HIS HORSE MADE A PLUNGE AND THREW ITS RIDER WHICH INJURED HIM SOME. THEY TOOK HIM FROM UNDER HIS HORSE AND SUPPOSED HE WAS DEAD AS HE PLAYED IT. ... FRIDAY MORNING I HAVE JUST BEEN OUT TO WHERE THEY ARE BURYING THE DEAD. OF THE DIFFERENT REGT. I SAW A PIT DUG OUT I SHOULD JUDGE ABOUT SEVEN FEET BY TWELVE FEET AND ABOUT THREE FEET DEEP. IT WAS TO PUT IN THE DEAD OF THE THIRTY-FIRST N. YORK REGT. THEY ARE LAID OUT IN THEIR OWN CLOTHES OR THE ONE THEY DIED IN AND THEIR BLANKET ARE USED FOR WINDING SHEET. THEY ARE THEN CARRIED TO THEIR LAST RESTING PLACE ON A STRETCHER SO CALLED AND DEPOSITED IN THE PLACE I HAVE DESCRIBED. I saw poor Morse [Alpheus Morse, Company G] let down into his last resting place and heard our old Chaplain make a prayer, but I was the only officer present at the time. There was but part of his company at the grave at the time. ... LITTLE MAC AS THE BOYS CALL HIM HAS JUST PASSED THROUGH OUR CAMPS. THOUSANDS OF VOICES ARE RINGING OR SHOUTING. THE AIR IS FULL OF HATS. SHOUT AFTER SHOUT GO UP.HE JUST ANNOUNCED THAT NORFOLK WAS TAKEN AND THE MERRIMAC WAS BLOWN UP. IT IS NOW ALL EXCITEMENT IN CAMP. THE BOYS ARE SHOUTING AS I NEVER HEARD THEM BEFORE. THEY ACT LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE, but enough of the war. ... THE REBELS' LOSS WAS MORE THAN OURS WITH ALL THE ADVANTAGE OF THE BATTLE IN THEIR FAVOR. This letter you see is enclosed in a secesh envelope (not enclosed). It is one I found in a house when the Rebels had left. ..."
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The Following TEN Lots Are All Iimportant Letters  Written by Col. Clark Edwards of the 5th Maine Infantry

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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,600.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $0.00
Estimate: $2,400 - $3,600
Auction closed on Sunday, August 27, 2023.
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