JUNE 1863 UNION SOLDIER LETTER—BREVET BRIGADIER GENERAL ISAAC DYER, 15TH MAINE INFANTRY

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The letter below is one of a series of 27 letters written by Colonel Dyer to his wife Lydia between August 31, 1862 and August 11, 1865.

A resident of Skowegan, ME, 42 year-old Captain Isaac Dyer was placed in command of the 15th Maine in August 1862 and received his appointment to replace Colonel Worder in September--his appointment to Lt. Colonel (and eventually Colonel) being made official, Dec. 12, 1862. He then commanded the unit through the remainder of the war, and received a Brigadier’s Brevet for meritorious service, March 13, 1865. Resigning from service, Sept. 13, 1865, he returned to Skowegan, lived to age 92, and was buried there in 1913. and was buried there in 1913. His 15th Maine served in Louisiana & Florida, participating in the Red River Campaign, and later in Virginia and was present at Bermuda Hundred. During service it lost 5 killed and mortally wounded and and 343 by disease for a total of 348.

Isaac Dyer was a well-educated, highly articulate correspondent and a shrewd judge of men and events. In this letter—[Dated “Barrancas June 13th / 63”—3 pp. in ink on lined paper—exhibiting fold-marks and two small center fold-line tears, else VG, 9.75 x 7.75]—writes of an impending visit of an officer and wife of his command to his wife Lydia, along with news of a dog he is sending for his son Albert. Also to cheer his wife, who, reading between the lines, seems prone to depression due to his absence. Excerpts as follow:

“I embrace the latest moment to write you a few lines. Captain Brown and wife are going on the steamer that this letter will and they will stop a few days in Boston and will call on you if you are a Bro. Quincey’s.

I shall send Albert a little dog by Mrs. Brown. He was born in march at the Chase House in Pensacola and can boast of very good parentage. When he is grown he will probably be about as large as that brindle dog that Mr. S.W. Turner used to have. I have not named him but think Victor would be a good one, but if you or Albert prefer any other name please to suit yourselves about it.

I send the key to the collar on him in this letter. I thought Albert might like the puppy because I sent him but if you don’t want him or he don’t bother with him…

I have been to Fort Pickens and Fort McRae with Chaplain Brown & Lady.

Be of good courage hope on hope ever.

I send a uniform by Lieut. Prescott and four grape shot taken from Fort McCrae. Chas. Can show them at the fair this fall.

Courage, courage Lydia. Kiss the boy. Love to you, In haste / Isaac

Excellent collectible. Solid letter from the admirable colonel of the 15th Maine Infantry. In protective sleeve.  [JP] [ph:L]

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