AUG. 1861 UNION SOLDIER LETTER—PRIVATE HENRY L. COOLEY, CO. “C”, 2ND VERMONT INFANTRY [GETTYSBURG REGIMENT]

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Item Code: 2021-89

Dated “Near Bucktown Maryland / Aug. 20, 1861.”10 Addressed to “Dear Father & Mother.” 3 pp. in ink on lined paper w/red patriotic vignette in upper left corner. Exhibits fold-marks else VG.

Henry Cooley was a resident of Brattleboro, Vermont, mustered as a private into Co. “C”, 2nd Vermont Infantry, 6/21/1861, who died of disease, 1/11/ 1863. His 2nd Vermont was mustered in Burlington in June 1861, and, following the first Battle of Bull Run fought in nearly all major battles of the Army of the Potomac [including Gettysburg, where it was engaged in repelling Picket’s Charge]. Mustered out July 15, 1865, the 2nd VT lost during service 224 men killed or mortally wounded and 175 by disease for a total of 399.

In this letter Private Cooley relates his regimental marching progress through Maryland, while commenting on the countryside. As follows:

The orders came last Friday night for us to strike tents and be ready to move by 12 o’clock that night, but where we were going to I didn’t know nor any of us except the head officers…we marched 12 miles…and stoped at a place called Jefferson and lay out in the rain that night and and started the next morning about 9 o’clock. We marched that day through the mud & rain and encamped about two miles below Point of Rocks near the railroad…we had to march farther than the other Regts. On account of our guarding the Baggage Wagons. We had to go where they did . We guarded all of the baggage to the whole Brigade…

The boys don’t know anything what is going on half as much as you do. We pull up stakes and move when we have orders and stop when we have orders, we don’t know where we’re going…but we are probably moving toward Washington…I am well as usual and stand it first-rate. Tobe & Ike are well and stand it good…The majority of the people about here are secessionists. There is three or four fields of corn around here…but I notice the corn has disappeared rather sudden. Watermelons are plenty and are brought into camp by pedlers…”

Solid 2nd Vermont letter written while marching through 1861 Maryland. In protective sleeve. [JP] [ph:L]

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