LETTER TO CHARLES E. DEARING 16th MAINE WHILE A PRISONER OF WAR AFTER GETTYSBURG FROM HIS BROTHER ALBERT LINCOLN DEARING 5th MAINE, WIA

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Item Code: 766-1081

A rather jocular letter written to Charles E. Dearing while a prisoner of war by his brother, Capt. Albert Lincoln Dearing 5th Maine, dated September 8, 1863, written while recovering from a wound received at (Second) Fredericksburg in May 1863.

Signed with his middle name, “Lincoln,” as was customary among family, Albert Dearing writes from the Seminary Hospital in Georgetown were he has returned after a sixty-day Leave of Absence at home: “I shall mostly, if not entirely, recover the use of my wounded limb. The wound has not healed yet. Several pieces of cloth have come from the wound. the last one came out the first day of this month.” The 5th Maine was in the 6th Corps and took part in Sedgwick’s assault on Fredericksburg during the Chancellorsville Campaign. Albert Dearing was listed as “severely wounded.” He lets Charles know that “the folks are well,” and that “Joseph and George” have been drafted but won’t be going to war, and that he himself has gotten married.

He also informs Charles that the last the family heard from him was a letter of July 2 (1863.) Charles had been captured at Gettysburg on July 1, and apparently managed to get a letter out indicating that. In any case, Albert had found out by this time he was a POW and where he was, and can’t resist teasing him a bit, “You must be having a nice time down there with nothing to do and enough to eat and drink,“ though also recommending that he put his faith in God. The letter is addressed to Charles as “Orderly Sergeant, Co. B 16th Maine Vols. A prisoner of war at Belle Island, Richmond Va. / via Ft. Monroe.”

Charles Dearing was released in late September and returned to the 16th Maine after being exchanged in late May 1864. Albert Dearing was discharged from the 5th Maine to date September 8, 1863, the same day he wrote this letter to his brother.

This is from a large grouping we recently acquired coming from Charles Dearing. It is a nice letter between two brothers who served in very active regiments and conveys some real attachment.  [sr]

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