1862 Letter - 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Under Marching Orders - Washington Defenses

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1862 Letter - 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Under Marching Orders - Washington Defenses


Item No. 4462549

Offered here is an interesting 1862 Civil War letter written by Private Jerry F. Donovan of the 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery to his sister at home in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The 1st Massachusetts spent much of the war manning the defenses of Washington, but would later see much action in Grant's 1864 Overland Campaign. In this letter, Donovan writes about local men returned home, another local man belonging to the 33rd Massachusetts, and a group of new recruits from the Hopkinton area. The regiment was under marching orders, Donovan wrote, but it would spend another twenty-one months on the Potomac line. The letter reads in full:

Fort Scott Aug 21th 1862

Dear Sister

I received your kind and welcome letter wich gave me great pleasure to hear from you and all the old friends. I was glad to hear that John Quinn was safe and well. also that Joe Barrey has arrived safe at home and well. I was speaking to a member of Sullivan company. he had a bullet in his left arm. his name is Tom Donahue. He lived on Valley Street.

This place is beginning to have the appearance it had last fall. all the old company grounds are covered with tents. We called it the cotton cloth city last summer. I have seen some of the Lawson boys that come out here last week. tell Mrs Phinerall that I seen her son out here. he is in the 33rd Regt. She lives next house to Julia. I had a letter from Jerry Hart last week. he is well. they was marching on to join general Pope. the regiment is under general Burnsides. he wanted me to write to his mother but I have no time at preasent. tell her that he is well. giver her my best respects. We are under marching orders since last Sunday night. our recruits arrived here yesterday. they are a fine looking set of men. they came from Hopkinton Mass. It is hard for them for to have to go away to morrow. We have got orders to be ready to go away to morrow so is about time to go away from here after stoping here over 12 months. give my respects to aunt Ann and all the young ones. give my love to Eliza and Kat Crowley. also to Bridget Downing. give my respects to Mrs Torney and Daughters. I have no more to day at preasent but remain your affectionate Brother.

J. F. Donovan
Co. F 1st Regt Mass Heavy Artillery
Washington D.C.
Please Excuse bad writing

The letter was written upon three pages of a 4 1/2” x 7 1/2” stationery sheet. It is in excellent condition with very little wear to edges and corners. Little foxing and toning. Creased where originally folded.

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