1862 Letter by Worker at Boston Firearms Factory - "I Could Make Guns Better Than Use Them"

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1862 Letter by Worker at Boston Firearms Factory - "I Could Make Guns Better Than Use Them"

179.99

Item No. 1536500

A very interesting two-page letter written by a worker in a Boston firearms factory to his friend in Connecticut. The author expresses his anguish over the state of the war, feeling some duty to pick up a musket and join the ranks. “I could make guns better than use them,” was his conclusion. He claims that the factory’s plan is to produce 1,000 weapons each week, and remarks that the quality of the guns had received much praise from military officers. The letter reads in full:

Boston Mass. Sept 10th 1862

Friend Palmer
Agreeable to my promise I now write again to inform you of my plans for the coming season. A few more days will bring us to the 1st of October when Jolly will ring the bell and Pres. Tapper will enter the chapel with his five dogs for the purpose of opening the yearly exercises. I have seen this done since, but probably shall not see it again. I feel it my duty at this time to do something to crush out this wicked rebellion. I intend to remain here the coming season and make guns Whilst Spencer and self were at home, I spoke to him about going to war. He said he couldn’t spare me, but thought I could make guns better than use them. As soon as the demand is filled I shall take a gun and march along. We are rushing business in the shop. We expect soon to run nights and Sundays included. We hope to be able to turn out 1000 guns per week, but I hardly think it can be done. My business is putting them together which is one of the best and most particular jobs in the shop. I tell you, Palmer, you will hear from these guns the same as you have heard from the marcher. All the distinguished officers both in the army and navy say they will be the best thing in small arms in the service. Well, Palmer, where are you and what are you doing? I have been wondering this for some time. You may be in the army, at home, I can’t say where. If you go back to Ann Arbor you may have all my cooking utensils and looms. Where is our friend Barbour? Do you know I have written him time and again, and sent but have received no tidings from him. If you know where hs is by all means tell me. I have looked over the lists of killed and wounded in his reg, but do not find his name. I suppose he is too busy to write. If you write him send my respects. I have not heard from Harris yet. I have felt almost disheartened and hopeless at our recent disasters. There is something wrong around here. We never shall succeed till the government adopts a policy giving to every person, irrespective of complexion, his liberty who is willing to fight under the old flag. You know I’m not much of a hand to believe in Divine interference in earthly affairs, but you will take note of this. We have not had a victory since the Pres. vetoed or modified Gen. Hunter’s proclamation. Treason lurks around the Capitol and I believe many traitorous hearts beat under Federal uniforms. The past few weeks have been blue ones to me. Some days I have been so much aghast that I could scarcely eat, work or sleep. We have received so many bad tidings that we have become used to them. The only things we want now are a good broad policy of freedom and a few honest, patriotic and able generals. We want generals that can make speeches to their soldiers the same as Napoleon and Caesar used to. I have no fault to find with Sigel, Banks, Butler, Hunter, Mitchel, Burnside, and a few others. It is getting late and I cannot write much more. Give my respects to all. Let me hear from you. Please remember the pleasant hours we have spent together and forget the faults of
Your friend and fellow student
C. H. Soarcis [?]

To Geo. C. Palmer
Staughton Conn

The letter was written on both sides of a long stationery sheet measuring about 7 3/4” x 12 1/2”. It is in excellent condition as shown with very minor toning and creases where it was originally folded.

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