OCTOBER 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. His 15th Maine served in Louisiana & Florida, participating in the Red River Campaign, and later in Virginia and was present at the Bermuda Hundred. During service it lost 5 men killed and 343 by disease for a total of 348.

Isaac Dyer was a well-educated, highly articulate correspondent and a shrewd observer of men and events. In this letter—[dated “New Orleans Oct. 1 1863”—3 pp. in k on line paper 9.75 x 7.75”—exhibiting fold-marks, else VG]—Dyer writes of his desire to see his son Albert and addresses the subject of his wife coming to stay with him while the his regiment is in New Orleans. Excerpts as follow:

“The longer I am away the more I think of loved ones at home, that darling boy how I long to see him and have a good time with him. I think I should make a very good play fellow for him. I suppose that Albert would think that I am rather a large playfellow but I think I should enjoy it very much. I suppose he has good time with his dog which I hop is doing well. If he don’t do well don’t keep him or bother with him at all…

I hope that I many be allowed to have a short furlough if it is not more than 30 days. That will give 10 days to go, 10 days at home, and 10 days to return. If I could have a week at home I might look at you all once, perhaps which would be better than nothing…

I don’t know hat to say about your coming down here. I should like have you come first rate if I knew we should not be ordered away. If you think you would not be unwilling to start for home alone, in the event of any emergency I don’t know but I should advise you to come…

I cannot tell what I can do until Col. Murray gets back. Perhaps I may get a furlough although I have but little hope for it. If you don’t come here I should like to have spend the winter in Boston if you desire it, or at some place where you can enjoy yourself first rate…

I hope you will be blest with a large stock of courage and a contented mind. The time seems long to look ahead but it will soon pass way…”

Solid collectible. Fine letter home from the admirable Colonel of the 15th Maine.  In protective sleeve.   [JP] [ph:L]

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