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1864 Civil War Union Army Soldier Letter with Original Envelope

Lot Number 1927

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News from the trenches fills out this original Civil War correspondence. Three pages of extensive content detail the activities and state of mind of Union Army forces in the words of common foot soldier D.H. Randall. A member of the 21st Ohio Infantry, Randal recounts comings and goings during the 1864 Franklin-Nashville campaign, which took place in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia right after General William Tecumseh Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign. Randall starts his letter by tracing troop movements from Tennessee towards Alabama, then to Rome and Kingston in Georgia, with the speculation of heading back to Georgia, which would have put him and his fellows in line for Sherman’s “March to the Sea”.


Dated 11/4/64, this crisp single-folded sheet reports in excellent condition with clearly legible writing affected by some small, scatters stains mainly appearing on the one blank page at rear. Some of the more interesting statement excerpts are: “yours (recent letter) found me well and prospering and campaigning”; “We are now at Kingston 59 miles from Atlanta and I presume we will soon be on our way there”; and “we have passed through some very rich country and we made use of its proceeds”.


The letter goes on to discuss the 1864 presidential election with an interesting passage that reads “we held our Election but it was under great disadvantage as we were on the march but we did not let that cheat us out of our right of voting”; and then concluding with comments regarding the troops state of mind and enlistment status.


Also present are the original mailing envelope addressed to Mr. David Wright McComb of Hancock County, Ohio, affixed with an early USPS three-cent postage stamp featuring an image of George Washington; and a typed page with the entire contents of the letter including many passages which are underlined in red.

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