Civil War soldier’s letters LETTRES DE SOLDATS DE LA GUERRE CIVILE AMÉRICAINE.LETTRES DE SOLDAT DE LA GUERRE CIVILE AMÉRICAINE.
Très intéressante réunion de 5 lettres d’un soldat de la guerre civile américaine. 1862-1863. Lettres avec en-têtes patriotiques ou ayant transité dans des enveloppes patriotiques illustrées. Ce sont les lettres du soldat Jason Carroll Harris, compagnie A du 81e régiment d’infanterie de l’Illinois, adressées à sa femme, Valery Harris. 4 enveloppes illustrées à sujet patriotique et 3 lettres avec des motifs imprimés de la guerre civile.— Camp at Amia, Illinois, Aug 18 1862. « I find myself in good health and spirits [...] but [...] much rather be at home. If the condition of our “Glorious County” did not call in thunder tones for me to stand up in its defenses. I hope, however, that it will not be long’ere we shall have peace again [...] & we all can return home [...]. The health of the Regiment is pretty good, but there are about six or seven in the hospital from the Cairo company. One of them died this morning & is to be buried this evening. I think by care we can preserve our health, almost as well as if we were at home [...]. We have elected the most of our officers. Capt. Dollins was elected Colonel [...] Campbell of Duquoin was Lieut. Colonel, Rodgers of Carbondale Major, L. H. Root of Jamaroa, Quarter Master & post of Duquion Chaplain. The boys are all in good spirits, for they feel that they are doing their duty to their God, their Country and to themselves, and that they are out in defense of the institutions our forefathers taught us so hard and helped so much to establish. We do not know yet for certain where we will go to from here. It is said by some that we go to Bird’s Point, others say we will go to Springfield & others to Tennessee in a few days. The officers & privates of our company are in favor of going to Duquion or some other suitable place to drill. This evening they are talking of getting up a petition to go to Duquoin, for we have no good place to drill here and it is thought approaching unaminity in favor of it [...] J. Caroll Harris. »— Direct to Camp Anna Ill 81st Reg, Care of Capt Cowens. [21 septembre 1862 ; lettre partielle.] « I am now at the headquarters of the officers of the day. Have just relieved the guard & will try to write a few more lines [...]. I think often amid the clamor of my soldier’s life of the soft & tender care of a kind & indulgent Mother. I get along very well here now. Have got used to laying down on a board bed and do just as well now as if I slept on a “flower bed of ease”. We hear good news from Maryland, but bad news from Kentucky, and that Louisville is threatened by the secessionists. I think the Union forces are getting about ready to strike a heavy blow to the rebels, such a blow as will send a terror to the heart of our enemies. Our captain told me a while ago that we would start for Jackson next Tues morning at 7 o’clock. I am ready to obey any orders [...]. The 108th Regiment [...] is to come here today or tomorrow. I saw one of their officers a little while ago [...]. We will go to Columbus on the river, from thence by railway. There is a man here just from Corinth, who says they are expecting a battle there continually [...] Carroll.» —Cachet de la poste : 4 novembre 1862, lettre non datée. « I am enjoying myself very well [...]. This may be attributed to my good health and that of my company [...]. This is the Sabbath day & I fear I won’t hear any preaching, for I have heard but little since in a camp life [...]. But rhetorical flourishes, high sounding phrases and formal ceremonies I don’t fancy in sermons. I am determined, whether I am permitted to hear the word of God proclaimed in its purity, or not to live in the service of my Lord & to die in his army. I hope to get to see you all some day in this world, but if I don’t meet you on Canaan’s bright & happy shore. I have got all my clothes and blankets yet, and if I keep stout & hearty, like I feel now, I will keep them all the time, for I like I could carry more than a dead mule. Any how, you may be surprised to hear that I am a hundred & sixty four pounds [...]. Well, I just have been to [...] preaching that did no soul good. The Chaplain of the 20th Regt. preached. Some said he was a Missionary Baptist & you know they are the kind I think can preach. His text was, ’I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ [...] Carroll. »—Near Memphis, Tennessee, 28 janvier 1863. « This is a nice morning, and we are all well and enjoying ourselves finely. We sleep as well here as we could at home now. I was on duty a few nights ago & stationed a guard over some hay, instructing him not to let anyone take any away, and almost at the same time pulled a large fleck out of a bale & took it to our tent, so we’ve had a good bed. Also the next guard I did the same way & got some of it for Wm. Carner & Gaines. We have plenty of provisions now. I had a good supper & breakfast of pancakes, fried bread, peach pie, honey, molasses, sassafras tea &c., though this is better than usual. » Il écrit longuement sur sa fille, Clara. « Although the prospects of an early peace are small & many waters, miles & hills intervene between us, that the time is not very far distant when we will have the pleasure of seeing each other […]. I have seen some very good and some very bad times since I saw you last. I have so many good & cheerful boys present with me, who were always my associates […] but one day I took the measles & to the hospital was I forced to go. A measles & smallpox hospital […] where the begging, hard-breathing & groanings of the dying disturbed the solemn stillness of the candlelight, [and] I could see the ghostly visage of the dying & the dead. Passed my Christmas in such a place […]. This was the bad part J. C. Harris. »— Near Lake Providence, Louisiana, 6 avril 1863. Il s’excuse de ne pas lui avoir écrit car « I am not very well, but I suppose you want to know […] if I am sick. I took cold night before last & felt so bad yesterday was the reason I did not write. I feel some better this evening […]. I know it is hard for us to have happiness under the present disastrous state of affairs in our beloved country […] but we should not give over to depondency […] have that joyous hope that although our loved ones may be snatched away by the ruthless had of death, thus preventing the pleasure of their society […]here […] we’ll enjoy their society eternally. I don’t like our present camping ground very well, because it is so low & surrounded with so much water. But the health of our Regt. is still good […]. It is rumored in camp that Vicksburg is evacuated & that we are only waiting for transportaiton to go to Memphis. But we are not disposed to believe it. Caroll Harris ». Jordan C. Harris a été enrôlé le 7 août 1862 comme caporal et fut incorporé au 81e régiment d’infanterie de l’Illinois le 26 août 1862. Il devint par la suite sergent. Il en sortit le 17 juin 1865. Durant son service le 81e régiment combattit au Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Champion’s Hill, Big Black River, fit le siège de Vicksburg, de Fort DeRussy, de Pleasant Hill, Mansura, Yellow Bayou et de Brice’s Creek. Nous joignons un dossier de recherche sur le régiment. Les lettres sont généralement en bon état et les enveloppes avec des défauts inhérents à la période et au temps.
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