7th Connecticut Soldier John Day Sends Home Souvenirs from Morris Island, S.C. & Describes the July 10th, 1863 Charge on Battery Wagner

This 2 ½ page letter in ink features two “souvenirs” on the bottom of the last page.  “Here is the shape of a Palmetto tree I will send you & some Secesh postage stamps”.  Glued on the paper is a 2 ¼ inch Palmetto insignia, probably the type worn on a hat, and 3 Jeff Davis postage stamps. 

Sgt. John Day was a resident of Hartford, Connecticut and served all 4 years in Company B of the 7th Connecticut Infantry.  While it through the battles on Morris Island, in 1864 he was captured at Drewry’s Bluff, Va.  We are not sure what prison he was sent to.  The letter has great content:

  • Morris Island, South Carolina, July 16th 1863.  Friend Perkins,  Having an opportunity to write a few lines, I will improve the time. 
  • Since I wrote you last, a Detachment of four Companies of the 7th Conn. Vols. have had a pretty sharp brush with the Greybacks on the morning of the 10th of July.
  • Our Detachment led the charge on Fort Wagner. We went in with a hundred & ninety men but got repulsed. 
  • We come out with eighty four men without a scratch.  We got damn well cut up.  We had the 9th Maine to support us. 
  • The damn fools came up within about 90 rods of the fort.  They poured a volley into us when we was on top of the Parapets. They turned and run like the devil then. That is what I call a damn poor support.
  • The order was given to retreat. We made as good time as we could and that wasn’t very fast for we was played out.
  • The Rebs cut us up bad coming off from the field. I made out to get off all right. Lucky for me.
  • We are building Batteries now to take Fort Wagner & Cummings Point. After we get them taken, Fort Sumter has got to fall.
  • We can see Fort Sumter very plain & Fort Moultrie. Our Ironclads are all in over Charleston bar, ready to work with us when we get ready & I think that will be in a few days. I long to see the time come.
  • There will be some fun I tell you, when we get ready to open on the devils. I don’t think of any more news to send you so I will close. My respects to all. Good by. Write soon.  From your friend, John Day. 
  • Here is the shape of a palmetto tree I will send you & some postage stamps & I got a gold watch & chain in the fight worth a hundred dollars. 

#L7-16-63CT – Price $1,295

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