1863 Letter - 77th New York in Pursuit of Lee's Army After Gettysburg - Private Altus H. Jewel

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sold out

1863 Letter - 77th New York in Pursuit of Lee's Army After Gettysburg - Private Altus H. Jewel

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Item No. SQ5485745

Offered here is an interesting July 8, 1863 Civil War soldier letter written by Private Altus H. Jewel of the 77th New York Volunteers. The 77th was part of the Army of the Potomac's 6th Corps, which wasn't heavily engaged at Gettysburg and so became the primary unit in pursuit of the rebel army as Lee withdrew toward Virginia. Writing to his brother, Jewel described how the battle had been a "hard one and of a heavy loss to the rebels," and how his regiment was picking up rebel stragglers in great numbers. Jewel also lamented the accidental loss of his wallet ant all his money. The letter reads, in full:

Pennsylvania
July the 8 / 63

Dear Brother
I now take this opportunity to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well. We are now in Pennsylvania near th line between Pennsylvania and Maryland on the turnpike from Gettysburg to Hagerstown and eight miles from Hagerstown. We are now on the Antietam Creek on picket. It is raining hard but our Company is on the reserve and we are in a barn under cover. The fight at Gettysburg was a hard one and a heavy loss to rebels. Our regiment did not get into it enough to lose any. Our Brigade have followed the rebels right up. We have taken a good many stragglers from their army. We have been within two or three miles of the rebels rear guard all the way. I met with quite a heavy loss last night. I lost all the money I had about thirty dollars. I had it out of my pocket to get some change & in a short time I missed it but I could not find it. The want of the money is more than the value here. We went into the woods to stay over night and one of the boys was going out to get some bread & I gave him some change to get me some. We got orders to go out on picket & our Lieutenant gave me an order to go to the commissary to get sugar & then I missed the money. As luck would have it I had let some to some of the boys or I would [have] lost more. It seems bad but we have all got to have our ups and downs in this world I suppose. So I shan't borrow any trouble about it. It might better been money than my life as many a man did in the fight. I guess that I can get some to use until you can send me some. Send me some as soon as you can conveniently. I wished now that I had run the risk and sent some home. I am glad that I got it honestly & I lost it in the same way and not by gambling as a good any do in the Army. I lost my pocket book two or three times so I took it out of it and put it into the watch pocket in my pants so that I thought I could not lose it but I did. i will not put a pocket in my shirt. The rebels destroy everything they come to. They take all the horses and cattle &c. Well I will now close. Write soon.

I hat to have money sent to me when I get thirteen dollars a month but the loss of what I had makes quite a difference.

A. H. Jewel

We hain't had any mail in over a week. I hope that we may soon so that I can hear from you.

Altus Jewel had been wounded a month earlier at Second Fredericksburg, but returned to the 77th and was mustered out as a sergeant in 1865.

The letter is written on four pages of a 6 3/8" x 8" stationery sheet. The paper is in excellent, sturdy condition, not stiff, and not particularly delicate. It has several creases from the original folds. Little wear to edges and corners.

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