Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sergt Robt D Sanborn (June 14th 1865)

It's always hard to going through someone's things after they leave. And since my grandma was a professional genealogist, she had a LOT of things to go through. Amidst all her piles of work and records, we did however, find some buried treasures. Not the least of which was a letter from one of my great-uncles to his sister (my great-grandma) while he was serving in the Civil War. My mom was the one who found it, and immediately called for me. Nobody in my family could read it, but as a trained indexer ;) I was able to read it aloud to the family. And here is the text of said letter as far as I could read it:

Camp rear Bailey crossroads
Virginia June 14th 1865


Dear Sister Mary,


I yesterday received a letter from you and will write you now as I have an opportunity. We are once more in the vicinity of Washington after a hard march from Richmond of one hundred and sixty miles - we rode on the cars from Danville to Richmond, and encamped at Manchester just across the River from there three days. I had a pass to look the place over, and was in the city nearly all one day. I saw the capitol - Jeffs mansion Libby prision - and all the places made notorious by this war, the city has been -before the war- a beautiful place but you know when their army was forced to leave they burned nearly one half of the most business part. We came past some of our old Batllefields on the way here we encamped one night on the Heights of Fredericksburg - and as it so happened, our Regt emcamped right on the same crest of the hill that we first gained when we made our charge at the time of the Chanserville Battle. I could but think and wonder that I was permited to be again there after being in so much danger and you can't tell how very happy I and all the old Vets -who are spared to see it are that the victory at least is soon.


There are many of our boys being in their last sleep at Fredericksburg. O how I wish I could see them here to day. I suppose Veterans are to be kept for a while yet - and perhaps our time out you ask if I am satisfied to stay-I will tell you what I do not like in the Govt last winter before the campaign commenced we got a great many recruits enlisted by large bounties and fear of the draft for one year. These men they are to be first discharged while (I speak not of myself, but my old comrads) old soldiers who enlisted because they were bound to see this Rebellion crushed must stay here. I for one am gld I came not going home with the soft-bread bummers. If you could have seen us the 2nd of Apr when we charged the works- then you would have an Idear how much these bounty men have been worth. I noticed they had a wonderful faculty of finding the rear- probably oweing to the thought of the snug little sum of money they left at home, and thinking , wisely that was the safest place for them. I have yet to see a dead one year man - and I further more advise you to look out now they are coming home for they do love money and may go through you. Make ready and stand with drawn. Cornstalk it is all you will need I guess.


Our Review at Washington was a splendid affair but it was dreadfull hot and some of the tender ones were sun struck. Pennsylvania Av from the capitol to the White House was a perfect jam of people and they filled the road with flowers they are particularly fond of the 6th Corps as you know we arrived there just in time to save them last fall.

I got a letter from Caroline and Bessie L - the other day they were all well at home. I suppose they will have big times when the 11th NH gets home. O what will a poor boy do who has no (shakesphore) Lassie to greet him home.

I would like to see you and look over your new House - shall try for a furlough if I think I will not even be discharged. I want to get out of it and never have been so lonesome since I have been and Uncle Sams service - the work is done and I have had enough soldering.

Tell Nell I will write her soon give her my love also Brad and Jerome remember me to New Ga's folks write of him and (something) this with much love from your brother

Sergt Robt D Sanborn
Co K 6th V Regt - Washington DC

Much love.

1 comment:

  1. Anie,

    Your Sgt. Sanborn intrigues me. I have a copy of the transcribed personal diary of Civil War Pvt. Josiah Fisher Wilson Sanborn, Co. A, 31st Iowa Vol. Infantry from 1862-1865. He had a daughter, Jesse Mae (Coffey), and granddaughter Mary Coffey (Wagner).

    Might he be a relation? I'll be happy to scan it and send it to you.

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