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

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Item Code: 2021-92

Dated “Burlington / Camp Underwood [May 1861].” No addressee. 2 pp. in faded pencil on unlined paper w/ colored patriotic vignette in upper left corner. Exhibits fold-marks, and VG and legible.

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 unit 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 Pickett’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, the freshly recruited Private Cooley writes of his arrival at Burlington’s Camp Underwood to be sworn into service. As follows:

“I arrived here last night at half past 6. There was four other companys formed before we got up here. The rest came in here this morning. There are now 10 companys in camp. Our tents was all pitched 6 men in a tent. There is 180 tents in all. We expect to be mustered into United States service tomorrow.

There was one man killed yesterday when we was coming up. He belonged to the Bennington Company. He went on top of a car three minutes before we went under a bridge. They did not find him until we stopped when they saw blood dropping off the car. He was lying on the car and we had been several miles before he was missed. ..I am writing on a shingle in the shade of my tent. It is pretty warm today…Direct your care letters to Camp Underwood Burlington Company “C” in care of Captain Todd.”

Solid “First Day In Camp” letter from a freshly recruited Private of the 2nd Vermont Infantry. In protective sleeve. [JP] [ph:L]

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