1862 Soldier Letter - 14th New York Corporal Describes Regiment's Movements - Peninsula Campaign

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1862 Soldier Letter - 14th New York Corporal Describes Regiment's Movements - Peninsula Campaign

229.99

Item #SQ9370859

Offered here is a fascinating Civil War soldier letter written by Corporal Robert H. Hubbel of Company K, 14th New York Volunteers. The letter recounts the movements of the 14th New York, which was part of Griffin's Brigade of Porter's 5th Army Corps, from Harrison's Landing near the conclusion of the Peninsula campaign, through Yorktown and Fortress Monroe, and through their transport by river to the Fredericksburg vicinity, where Hubbel wondered about news of General Pope's army, just two days ahead of the Second Battle of Manassas / Bull Run. The letter reads:

Camp near Falmouth Station near Fredericksburg
on the Rappahannock River Aug 21st 1862

Dear Parents,

We left Harrisons Landing last Thursday night about 12 o'clock and marched about 3 miles and halted laid on our arms until just daylight Friday morning when we commenced our march for Yorktown. The 1st day we got across the Chickahominy being, by the way we came about 28 miles arriving there about 12 o'clock midnight started before daylight saturday morning, marched about 14 to 17 miles passing through Williamsburg and going 2 miles beyond to where the old fortifications are that were used by the Rebels in their retreat from Yorktown last spring, halted for the night or what was left of it as we did not arrive there until about 11 o'clock, being again called up just at daylight the Sunday morning and off for Yorktown which they said was only 12 miles but I have a night to guess so I guess it was 16 or 17. York State miles (as Virginia miles are considerable longer than York State) however at last about 6 o'clock P.M. we were camped for the night about a 2 miles beyond the fort at Yorktown, rested or rather hung up until 5 1/2 o'clock Monday and started for Fortress Monroe 24 miles distant arriving at the Fortress, or about 2 miles from there about 8 o'clock P.M. when we thought our journey must surely be ended. but a soldier is a regular know nothing and the same old Bugle sound that had often received only but the most endearing and pleasing language the same old General could be seen and heard with the words, often before spoken, "Fall in 14th," issuing form his mouth, to the great annoyance of those sleeping too soundly to hear the Bugle. and again we fell in, stumbled in, or got in, and again we received "forward, file right, march" and as the signal proved we were led to Newport News from where we were shipped on board the Steamer "John Warner" and sleeping aboard that night arrived at Aquia Creek where we were crowded aboard the cars coming 12 miles to Falmouth Station night (or just before night) before last where we are camped, but for how long a time is more than I can tell. Burnside's forces are here have been here 5 or 6 days. Pope is some where around here but can not tell where. I or any but those in hight authority know what is up, certain it is however that action is at hand, and in my opinion we lack something, let that something be troops or Generals. Yet with the aid of reinforcements I think if they arrive soon we can again get the upper hand of the Rebellion. our troops are a worn out lot of troops you may guess after such fatiguing marches through the hot sun and burning sands of this land all the men are crippled with sore feet and swollen limbs. I with my feet as you know I always had corns on the bottoms almost killed me from the first days march but I stuck to it and now I am glad I did as many that could not keep up will have a hard time of it, as they will have to walk from the landing up here which will be 15 to 17 miles farther than we. they (the stragglers) are continually coming in almost gone in. several are back from our company but will be picked up by the rear guard and shoved forward. My health is good but just at present I am sick in the legs and gut but a few days will bring everything all right again and then I am for any thing. We got lots of Peaches and other fruits on the march green corn etc. I think a man under heavy duty can eat any and every thing I am called as Corporal of the guard and will close.

Aug 26th
Ellis Ford Rappahannock River

We left ere I came off guard and did not have time to finish. we marched that night and arrived here in the morning about 20 miles from Fredericksburg and are guarding this ford but have not put up tents. but lay ready to move either forward or back at a montes notice. I hear that Pope has been driven back. if so I think we will have to retire ere long. Expecting call, so I close with love to all.

From Your Affectionate Son

R.A. Hubbel

The letter is written on three pages of 7 3/4" x 10" bifolium stationery sheet. The paper is in excellent, sturdy condition, not stiff, and not particularly delicate. There are several creases at the locations of original folds. Very little wear to edges and corners. There is a 2 1/2" smooth tear, as if made by a sharp knife, right in the middle of page 3, but when the letter is laid flat it appears like nothing more than an errant pen stroke. Legible handwriting throughout.

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