1862 Letter - 11th Massachusetts Private Elisha Porter on McClellan's Departure - "I Hope You Will Fight as Hard Under Burnside as You Have Fought for Me"

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1862 Letter - 11th Massachusetts Private Elisha Porter on McClellan's Departure - "I Hope You Will Fight as Hard Under Burnside as You Have Fought for Me"

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Item No. 8759637

An interesting November 1862 letter written by Private Elisha Porter of the 11th Massachusetts Infantry. Porter, a Boston stone worker, speculated about winter quarters and described General George B. McClellan’s departure after being replaced as commander of the Army of the Potomac by General Ambrose E. Burnside. Porter quoted McClellan as saying, “… I hope you will fight under [General Burnside] as hard as you have fought for me.” Porter was wounded earlier that year at Fair Oaks. At Chancellorsville the following Spring, Porter was missing and presumed killed. His spelling has been corrected below for clarity. The letter reads:

Warrenton Junction Va Nov the 12th

Pliny, I have neglected writing too long, I know, but we have been moving around so much lately that I have had no time to write to you. So please excuse me for long delays and short letters. I would now say that I am well and often think of you and the rest of my relations and hope I may see you all alive and well once more and when you write home again please send my regards to them all and tell them that I am well, fat, and saucy. For me I should think, Pliny, that Eliza would be rather uneasy and Frame to the same. Will you tell me, Pliny, in your next letter if Jillett is Spaehur yet from, I mean, for I remember you writing to me last winter about the 2 sticking there head together. You need not be afraid to tell the whole particulars as to that affair, for it won’t make me feel very bad, and now you have told me Norman’s girl’s name. Please tell me yours. As for winter quarters for me this winter, I don’t see it to be so yet. We are guarding the railroads now out about 41 miles from [Alexandria] an Pliny if you don’t hear from me often don’t think that I have been killed, for I don’t know what kind of work we shall have now, seeing McC[lellan] is superseded. He passed by here yesterday and as we heard him he came forward upon the steps of the rear car and said, "boys as I have been superseded by G. Burnside, I must bid you goodbye, perhaps for the last time and I hope you will fight under G. B. as hard as you have fought for me.” Then he spoke to the officers and soon the train moved off. I though I could see in his looks that he thought he had been misused, and I think he has reason to think so. He is as fine appearing a man as you very often see, but looks if careworn out and poorer than when on the Peninsula. His removal creates great excitement in the army, especially in the Army of the Potomac. It is now late, Pliny, and I must bid you goodbye again.

Elisha Porter

Pliny I wished we would have a chance to see Chase, a friendly kind man or his wife.

The four-page letter was written on a stationery sheet measuring 4 3/4” x 7 3/4”. It is in good condition with some foxing and minor toning. Creased where originally folded.

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