A very interesting group of five letters, four of which were written by Private Cyril Wheeler of the 2nd Vermont in the days and weeks following his wounding at the Battle of Fredericksburg. The first item is a fragment of a letter written on patriotic stationery featuring a mounted General Burnside. A date doesnt appear on the letter, but by the context it may have been written soon before Fredericksburg. In it, Wheeler and his comrades were expecting to move, having been issued cartridges and expecting to move at any time.
Where are the nine months boys? We have not seen them yet, referring to new volunteer regiments that had enlisted for nine months in the summer and fall of 1862. The second item is but a fragment, also lacking a date, but believed to be from the time immediately following the battle.
In it, Wheeler described how he and his regiment. Marched towards Fredericksburg and camped this side of the river. The next day we crossed and layed on the ground all day and night. The next day we sent into [the] fight and I was wounded in leg and eye. The third item is a January 14, 1863 letter by an unknown friend, which mentions Wheelers wound: Cyrus Wheelers oldest son, Cyril, was wounded at Fredericksburg.
A ball went in over his left eye and came out above his cheek bone. It was thought he must lose his eye.A PPP is referenced in this letter, which may refer to Perley Peabody Pitkin, a noted officer of the 2nd Vermont and the quartermasters department. The fourth item is a January 22 letter written by Wheeler shortly after his arrival at Brattleboro General Hospital in Vermont. He wrote about being moved from place to place, but at Brattleboro believed he would stay in one place for a bit. In the remainder of this letter, Wheeler instructs his brother George about how his pay can be drawn, George having been appointed power of attorney (the certificate appointing George is included).
The last letter in the group is dated February 19, 1863, still in Brattleboro. In this letter to his mother, Wheeler was definitely feeling glum. We are pretty well penned up here, he wrote, adding that they can do just as they are a mind to do with us.I do not know what they will do with us, yet they sent 43 to the south last week and had 70 come up from there. He further lamented a lost opportunity for a discharge, writing in closing that the hospital is a dread place I can tell you.
The letters vary in size, the small fragment being 5 x 3 1/2. The other three letters written by Wheeler measure about 5 x 8. The letter from an unknown author measures 7 3/4 x 8. The power of attorney certificate is 7 3/4 x 5. All are in good condition with light toning.
All have original mailing folds. 1 - Partial letter written by Wheelerthe first two pages are largely missing - Written on patriotic stationery featuring a mounted General Burnside - believed to be the earliest letter in the group.As for them shirts you said you were a going to send, I hope I shall get them and mittens too, but I do not know when we shall go down where the boys be, but we expect to move before long. But where we do not know.
We have not seen them yet. Where is Aunt Nabby now? Is she down there now and is she a going to stay there or not?Where is Byron Black and what is he up to? I do not have any chance hardly. I have been out to drill twice since I began.
It is about six oclock in the evening and we are in a tent. Three of us [to a] tent being 6 & 7 feet just [portion of paper missing] to turn around we did [portion of paper missing] our guns until Saturday [portion of paper missing] tonight we have orders to move tomorrow morning, so they gave us forty rounds of cartridges tonight to be ready to start, yet we may not go a great ways. Some say we shall go and some do not think we shall. Yet I think we shall move before long anyway, yet we dont [know] where.
The rheumatism plagues me some so I hope we shall not have to march a great ways [at] a time. He says he has heard from J. Hill and he is in the hospital yet he does not know how he does. I cannot think of anything more now. There [is] so much noise out doors that I cannot think of anything.
You would think they were all crazy by the noise, so goodbye and remember Company I, 2d Vt. 2 - Small letter fragment written by Wheeler. Signed the pay roll December the 10th, and the 11th marched towards Fredericksburg and camped this side of the river. Came to Washington the 18th Patent Office Hosp.
3 - By unknown author mentioning Wheelers wounding at Fredericksburg. East Montpelier Jan fourth 14, 63. I feel as though I must write you this evening whether I have anything interesting to write or not. We are in usual health. PPP was expected home yesterday, but did not come.
Daves son and two others who had been employed under P came. They said the army there had been ordered to move and P could not be spared then. I hope he will come soon. He was coming on a visit.
The office where he is employed is kept there. N had not seen him for five weeks. They were well at Mr. Nutts a few days since. Cyrus Wheelers oldest son, Cyril, was wounded at Fredericksburg.
How are you, B and S and all our friends. You wrote the names of two little granddaughters, what is the name of that little grandson of yours. If I ever knew I have forgotten. They are very strict here. I have lost [an] eye as I suppose you have heard before this.I had my leg hurt too, but that is [now] as well as the other. The rheumatism plagues them both all the time. Since I began to write I have been moved to another ward.
I have found one of my company in this place, the first one I have seen since I left the field, yet I have seen some that I was acquainted with before, so I have not been very homesick any of the time. I have kept waiting ever since I was hurt about writing because I could not tell one day where I should be the next, but I think we shall stay here some time.They do just as they are a mind too with us. Enclosed in tis letter you will find a paper giving you power of attorney to draw the 7 dollars state pay per month. You can draw 3 or 4 months pay now, and also 7 dollars a month o allotted pay, which I signed over at Burlington to you. I dont know but you have got that now as I understand they ought to send it to you without sending for it, but I do not know how it is. Anyway you can find out. I lost my knapsack at the Battle, so I lost all my things, overcoat and all.
I can not think of anything more now and they are awaiting for this to carry to the office. Marine Hospital, Brattleboro Vt, Feb 19th 1863.
[I] have not been ten rods from the Hospital since I came here. [I] do not go outdoors any more than I can help. We are pretty well penned up here.They can do just as they are a mind to do with us. He says he is a good deal better than he was, but is pretty bad of yet, as well as myself. The doctor asked me the other day if I wanted a discharge now or wait a spell. I told him I guessed Id wait a spell, but I do not know but I missed it because there is not much dependance put upon them. What are you doing up there? I have been looking for a letter or paper this ten days, but have seen noting. Tell George that I have not been to town yet, but I think I shall go tomorrow if I can get a pass.
It has rained all day. We have not more than four inches of snow here. I cannot think of anything more. The boys are full of the devil all the time.
Some biting ears, scratching, and some singing. It is a dread place I can tell you. Please see my other items for more interesting Civil War letters, documents, and images. The item "Group of Civil War Letters by 2nd VT Soldier Badly Wounded at Fredericksburg" is in sale since Saturday, November 30, 2019. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Militaria\Civil War (1861-65)\Original Period Items\Correspondence, Mail".The seller is "iron-horse-sales" and is located in Champaign, Illinois. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, China, Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, South africa, Thailand, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Bahamas, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, Norway, Saudi arabia, Ukraine, United arab emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Croatia, Malaysia, Chile, Colombia, Costa rica, Panama, Trinidad and tobago, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Bangladesh, Uruguay.