1863 Letter - General Nathaniel J. Jackson Re: 84th New York Deserters at Rikers Island

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1863 Letter - General Nathaniel J. Jackson Re: 84th New York Deserters at Rikers Island


Item No. 1882594

Offered here is an interesting letter from the Civil War. It was written and signed by Brigadier General Nathaniel J. Jackson, commanding the draft camp at Rikers Island, New York, to the Adjutant General of the Army of the Potomac's First Army Corps. The letter concerns two deserters from the 84th New York Volunteers (14th Brooklyn).  It reads:

Head Quarters Draft Rondezvous
Rikers Island
Sept 14th 1863

Asst Adjt General
1st Army Corps

I have the honor to enclose a copy of the charges against

Sidney H. Burr Private 84th Regt N.Y.V. (14th N.Y.S.M.)
William T. Evers    "      84th    "        "         "           "

These men have this day been sent to the Commanding Officer of Fort Columbus N.Y. Harbor to be forwarded to the regiments in which they last served.

I am sir
Very Respectfully

Your obd't serv't
N J Jackson
Brig Genl. Vols.

Assistant Adjutant General
First Army Corps

Records show Sidney Burr was captured at First Bull Run and imprisoned at Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Presumably, he was exchanged and later deserted the regiment. William T. Evers is listed as having been dishonorably discharged on May 25, 1864.

The letter was written upon the front page of a standard four-page bifolium measuring 7 3/4" x 9 3/4". It bears a strong Jackson signature in ink and is docketed on the reverse as it went down the chain of command from an unidentified lieutenant colonel on General John Newton's First Corps staff, to Lieutenant Robert Monteith on General James C. Rice's 2nd Division staff, down to Captain J. A. Kellogg on the staff the 2nd Brigade, then commanded by Colonel George H. Biddle.

The paper is in good sturdy condition, not stiff, and not particularly delicate. Creased at the locations of original folds. Very little wear to edges and corners.

Biography: Jackson, Nathaniel J., Brigadier General, was born in Newburyport, Mass., July 28, 1818. He became a machinist and at the outbreak of the Civil war was superintendent of the Hill mills at Lewiston, Me. He became colonel of the 1st Maine regiment, May 3, 1861, and on Sept. 3, following, colonel of the 5th Maine infantry. He was wounded at the battle of Gaines' Mill, June 27, 1862, was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers, Sept. 24, and served as  commander of the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 12th Army Corps. He was again wounded at Chancellorsville, and when able to leave the hospital was given command of Rikers Island and later of Hart Island, New York Harbor. When able to bear arms he was assigned to command the 1st Division, 20th Army Corps, and took part in Sherman's march to the sea and the invasion of the Carolinas, his last engagement being at Averasboro, N.C. March 16, 1865. He was brevetted major-general of volunteers, March 13, 1865, and was mustered out of the service Aug. 24, of that year. After the war he became interested in coal mining. He died in Jamestown, N. Y., April 21, 1892.
Source: The Union Army, vol. 8

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