Dudley C. Mumford, of the Famous 19th Mass. Infantry, writes of Battle Action near Yorktown, Va. April 22nd, 1862
This 2-page letter written in nice dark ink comes with its original envelope. When Dudley enlisted on August 22nd, 1861, he was a 19-year-old student. As he writes this letter he is a 2nd Lieutenant, he would be promoted to 1st Lieutenant in September of 1862 and to Captain in July of 1863. He was killed on May 31st, 1864 near Totopotomoy Creek, Va. Here is the content:
- Camp Near Yorktown, Va. April 22nd/62. Dear Aunt Sarah, I have now what I have not had since we left camp near Muddy Branch, a chance to write a letter without neglecting my other duties which are by no means small.
- Yesterday our Brigade was out as a support to our batteries which are erected in front of a line of Rebel fortifications, running directly across our path on the road to Yorktown.
- I was detailed with another Lieut. & 25 men to make a road through the woods 1/4 of a mile long so a battery of artillery could pass. It was no small job for the woods were thick & any amount of old trees which had fallen & new ones had sprung up in their places, so there was a great deal of clearing up independent of chopping & shaping & filling up ditches & making bridges, but with a little perseverance I managed to make it for you know when I get started, I work as hard as any one can.
- I received a letter from you night before last & I can assure you anything from home puts new spirits in me for two or three days. Nothing is going on here except preparation for the attack of Yorktown, which place is said to be stronger than Sebastapol once was.
- YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT FORTIFICATIONS THEY HAVE THROWN UP, BUT MCCLELLAN SAYS THAT HE WILL EITHER TAKE IT OR “MAKE THE HEAVENS ROAR WITH ARTILLERY” & JUDGING FROM THE AMOUNT HE HAD WITH HIM, HE WILL MAKE SOMETHING ROAR ANYWAY.
- As you have probably heard, I HAVE BEEN UNDER FIRE. THERE IS NOTHING SO BAD ABOUT HAVING SHELLS BURSTING AROUND YOU, IF ONE UNFORTUNATE ONE DOES NOT HAPPEN TO HIT A PERSON, THEY SOUND SHARP ENOUGH & IF ANYTHING HAPPENS TO BE IN THEIR WAY, IT HAS TO GIVE WAY.
- I must close as I did not have much sleep & am cold & rather damp as I was out all night & it rained hard all night. Love to all. Your Affectionate Nephew, Dud.
Included with the letters us a copy of Mumford’s death notice that was published in the Lowell, Mass. Newspaper. Take time to read this thrilling letter.
#L4-22-62 MA – Price $495