April 1863 Letter by Corporal Thomas W. Gardner, 14th Connecticut - "God will eventually bless us by success to our armies"

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April 1863 Letter by Corporal Thomas W. Gardner, 14th Connecticut - "God will eventually bless us by success to our armies"

150.00

Item No. 4342900

A nice April 1863 letter written by Corporal Thomas W. Gardner of the 14th Connecticut Volunteers. Writing from the winter encampment at Falmouth, Virginia, Gardner wrote to his sister about his belief in the justness of the Union cause. As March turned to April, the army was preparing for the coming campaign. Gardner wrote that:

We were called out under arms on the 1st very early in the morning expecting an attack, but they did not come. So they April fooled us nicely. Very happily fooled for the most of us. If they ever do attack us here I have no doubt they will get whipped. I have no doubt of the final success of our arms. I believe our course is just and when this political intrigue is done away with our generals and party spirit subsides when the north is united. Then I believe the rebellion will be put down.

Gardner mentions two officers by name. Captain Samuel H. Davis had “gone home.” Davis is listed as having been dishonorably discharged in September 1863. Colonel Dwight Morris “has acted Brigadier Gen. ever since the Battle of Antietam,” Gardner wrote. Morris would be discharged for disability in August 1863. Gardner mentions favoring the regiment’s lieutenant colonel over Colonel Morris. That officer would be Lieutenant Colonel Sanford H. Perkins, who would be discharged only weeks later for a wound he received at Fredericksburg. Gardner himself would be wounded four months later (to the day) at the Battle of Gettysburg. He was shot at the Bliss Farm while engaged with snipers just before Pickett’s Charge.

The letter was written in pencil on four pages of a blue stationery sheet measuring about 5” x 8”. It is in very good condition with light foxing and toning. It is somewhat delicate at a couple of the creases, where the letter had originally been folded.

The full transcript reads:

Camp Near Falmouth Va April 3rd 18[6]3

Dear Sister
Your kind letter of the 29th was received today and was read with the greatest of pleasure. I thank you for writing me such a long letter. Your letters are always good and I know they do me good.

I hope your kind and good advice will profit me and do me good and I hope I shall always remember your kindness to me in writing me so often. I take pleasure in writing you as well as receiving your letters. We are all well and enjoy ourselves very well. I sent you my picture on the 25th. I hope you will get it before you get this letter. It was not a very good one but the best I could get so you must now find faith. I should have had more taken but I could not afford it. I hope none will find fault with me. You must send me $2.00 for I had to borrow the money. You must send it whether you receive the picture or not. If you have not got [it] you can get it of Pa. News is very scarce. The army remains the same and furloughs are still granted. Capt. [Samuel H.] Davis has gone home. He went on the 1st. Perhaps you may see him if you go to N[ew] London. We are building up our camp anew and it looks as if we were to stay here some time to come, but I cannot tell. We may move in a few days or we may be attacked by the enemy and driven off. We were called out under arms on the 1st very early in the morning expecting an attack, but they did not come. So they April fooled us nicely. Very happily fooled for the most of us. If they ever do attack us here I have no doubt they will get whipped. I have no doubt of the final success of our arms. I believe our course is just and when this political intrigue is done away with our generals and party spirit subsides when the north is united. Then I believe the rebellion will be put down. How I long for peace and on honorable peace a united country. How happy I should be. I dread battles, but if they must continue and I am to be engaged in them I desire that I may have strength and courage to do my duty to my country and to my God. I have many things to tempt me and much to perplex me, but I hope I may have grace to overcome all the sins which I have to encounter to the glory of God and for the good of my own should. I dare not doubt but what I am engaged in a good cause. Sometimes when I have been low spirited I may have written home discouraging letters. But I believe we are engaged in a good cause, in the cause of God. And I believe God will eventually bless us by success to our armies. I may not live to see the end, but you may. But I hope to meet you all on earth and see our country under the rule of peace and prosperity. How happier that will be. I want to see you all very much and enjoy the society of friends. I am very sorry to hear of the sickness of Mr. Josiah, but if he is to leave this sinful world he will be better off. Give him my love. I would like to see him but I cannot. Col. [Dwight] Morris is our Col. but has acted Brigadier Gen. ever since the Battle of Antietam. But he has been sick a great deal and in fact he never has been much benefit to the regiment. He is now sick and I hear he resigned. I hope he has for our Lieutenant Col. [Sanford H. Perkins] is a good military man that looks out for his men. I like him very much. From Thomas

The next shall be longer.

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