Writing Home on Very Unusual Stationery… A Blank Confederate Stock Certificate: Chester Hotel & Mining Co. – Horace Sisson Co. K, 1st New York Mounted Rifles Writing from City Point, Virginia May 11th, 1864 – “NEVER SINCE I HAVE BEEN IN THE ARMY HAVE I HAD SHELLS BURST AND BULLETS BUZZ SO CLOSE TO ME”
If you like letters with “character” here is a gem… captured stationery from a “Hotel & Mining Co.”! Apparently, our writer Horace Sisson found this form when they captured and destroyed Chester Station, Va. He is writing home to a friend named Catherine. He writes on front and back of this 7 x 13-inch stock certificate. Using nice dark ink, it is very attractive. Here is the content:
- City Point, Va. May 11th/64. My dear Catherine, I have never yet had to write to you under such unfavorable circumstances, but it has been so long since I have written to you that I thought I must try and write you a few lines, though perhaps you will not be able to read them.
- This is the tenth day since we broke up camp at Williamsburg and since that time we have seen pretty hard times I assure you. My dear, I have a great deal to tell you this morning, but almost everything combines to prevent me, so if I should have to close before I write three more lines, you must not think strange.
- I am still enjoying good health and am still unhurt. I have found a great amount of comfort from reading a chapter each day with you. There is never a day passes but what we halt long enough for us to read a chapter, and I have found great pleasure in doing it.
- I hope you will pray for me, for I can never tell but what each hour will be my last. We went on board the Transports last Thursday noon and arrived at City Point on Friday noon, having a very pleasant ride too, but since then we have worked night and day almost.
- We came out here about six miles or midway between Petersburg & City Point where we are now strongly entrenched & fortified.
- LAST SATURDAY WE HAD A FIGHT AND DROVE THE ENEMY FOUR MILES, TEARING UP A PART OF THE RICHMOND & PETERSBURG R. ROAD AND CUTTING THE TELEGRAPH WIRE.
- On Sunday our troop was detailed as orderlies or dispatch carriers for Genl. Terry. OUR REGT. HAD THE ADVANCE ON SAT. AND RAN INTO AN AMBUSH OF TWO REGIMENTS OF REBEL INFANTRY, BUT LUCKILY FOR US, THEY FIRED TOO LOW AND ONLY WOUNDED A FEW MEN AND SHOT A FEW HORSES INCLUDING OUR COLONEL’S HORSE.
- ON MONDAY WE HAD ANOTHER BATTLE DOWN WITHIN A MILE AND A HALF OR TWO MILES OF PETERSBURG AND DROVE THEM. YESTERDAY THEY OPENED ON US ON THE EXTREME “RIGHT WING” AND A SEVERE FIGHT ENSUED, BUT IN FOUR HOURS, THEY BROKE AND RAN IN CONFUSION.
- NEVER SINCE I HAVE BEEN IN THE ARMY HAVE I HAD SHELLS BURST AND BULLETS BUZZ SO CLOSE TO ME, but our kind Heavenly Father has seen fit to spare me thus far, while so many hundreds have fallen, but if it is my turn next, I hope to meet you my dear in a world where there is no war or trouble.
- I WAS NEVER MORE FATIGUED IN ALL MY LIFE THAN I WAS LAST NIGHT WHEN I GOT BACK TO CAMP HAVING BEEN OUT TWO DAYS, FIGHTING ALMOST CONTINUALLY NIGHT AND DAY.
- It is awful hot here now and has not rained a drop since a week ago Monday night. GENL. TERRY’S BRASS BAND IS NOW PLAYING “HOME SWEET HOME”, and it makes me think of you more than ever, but I trust that this cruel war is about to close. This is the most beautiful part of Va. that I have seen yet. The land is what is called “rolling land” but a mountain I have not seen since I left home.
- ON MONDAY WE DESTROYED ALL THE PUBLIC PROPERTY AT CHESTER STATION, which is a place a little larger than Stediline depot.
- Head Quarters Genl. Terry 3 hours later. We are now moved about half a mile from where we were in the morning to a large Southern mansion on the bank of the James which is a very pleasant place. The scenery here is beautiful. I can see across the river into the Rebel lines.
- The river here at this place is not a half mile wide, but at Williamsburg it is five and at Newport News is seven or eight miles wide.
- Catherine, I have not had a letter in nearly two weeks, but I blame no one for the mail has not been permitted to come to us, but I shall get five or six tomorrow if nothing happens. If you should see any of my brothers or sisters, please tell them that I am well and think of them often. I wrote to Mother just a week ago while I was at Newport News.
- My dear, I hardly thought I could write so much when I commenced writing, but for some reason, I cannot stop writing when I am addressing you. YOU MUST EXCUSE THE WRITING PAPER, AND EVERYTHING ELSE, FOR IT IS THE BEST I HAVE. Direct your letters “till further orders” to Fortress Monroe, or elsewhere in care of Captain Fairgrieves. Good bye. Your loving friend, H. C. S.
Condition is excellent and it comes with its original stamped envelope with Old Point Comfort postmark.
#L5-11-64 NY – Price $695