Quantity Available: None
Item Code: L12198
Letter group consists of a 36 page daily diary covering three weeks from 11/15/1862 through 12/7/1862 (no entry for Nov. 30). Diary is written in pencil on lined paper measuring 9.75 x 7.75". Also an eight and a half letter dated "Newbern [NC] Dec. 24th 1862", written in ink on lined paper 9.75 x7.75"; and a two and a half page letter in pencil dated "Camp Massachusetts/ April 5th, 1863". CDV features a full length studio portrait of Stephen Lincoln in double breasted civilian frock. Backmark: "G.W. Venner/ Artist/ 1741/2 Main Street/ Charlestown." Green 2-cent playing stamp card above backmark; penciled "Co. "A"/ 45th Mass. Inf./ Stephan Lincoln" above and below.
Though some diary pages are faded, all remain legible. The two separate letters are clear, though w/light yellowing. Both diary and letters accompanied by transcript. CDV image remains relatively crisp, as does its backmark. Overall condition of both letters & cdv, VG.
Lincoln's diary and letters provide a wealth of impressions of North Carolina life in and around New Berne, near which the 45th Mass. spent much of its nine month tour of duty. Their author is quick to note the different greetings received from Carolina blacks and whites. The latter "did not return our salutations," he writes, but the " negroes on the contrary waved their hats and kerchiefs and grinned from ear to ear….the negroes of the south all know about the Presidents proclamation and all think they will be free the first of January…" Lincoln notices and reports all manner of occurrences, to wit, a scene of vandalism: "Went and saw the tomb of an Ex-Governor of the state…the tomb has been greatly mutilated by the 5th Connecticut Reg. It was broken into the coffin smashed and the skelaton exposed to view. But the Mass. 43rd Reg with in a day sent a squad over and repared it as well they could….So you see a day scarsely passes without some incident…." Great camp detail colorfully rendered.
Stephen Lincoln was a resident of Cohasset, MA, and an 18 year old student at the outbreak of war. He enlisted as a private and on 9/15/1862 was mustered into Co. "A", 45th Infantry. He died of disease on 6/30/2007 at Cohasset, MA, only a week before his unit was mustered out in Boston 7/8/1862. The 45tt Mass. was a nine month unit mustered in September 1862 that served its entire service in the Department of Carolina. During service it lost 19 men killed and mortally wounded and 32 by disease for a total of 51.
A highly attractive letter grouping, froma gallant young private of the 45th Mass tragically felled by disease. Documentation provided. Invites further research.