110th O.V.I. – Sergt. R. V. McCollum Writes of the Fate of Fellow P.O.W. Asa L. Collins of the 106th N.Y. Infantry – Both were P.O.W.’s at Danville, Virginia – Matching U.S. Christian Commission Stationary & Cover with Chaplain’s Endorsement
Offering this two page letter in ink, along with its gold U.S. Christian Commission cover, are both in fine condition. Sergeant Russell B. McCollum, Company C of the 110th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, was captured at the battle of Monocacy, Md. on July 9th, 1864. He was sent to Danville, Virginia Prison. On the march to Danville, he became friends with Asa L. Collins, Company E of the 106th New York Infantry. In our letter, McCollum is writing to Collins wife as he promised Asa he would do. The letter is dated September 29th, 1864, Annapolis, Maryland. McCollum had been paroled and was in the parole camp at Annapolis.
Madam, according to a promise made your soldier husband, I now address you a few lines, giving you all the information in my possession concerning Mr. Collins.
I was taken prisoner on the 9th of July and sent to Danville, Va. On the march from Frederick City, Md. to Staunton some more prisoners were added to our number, your husband if I recollect, being one of the number.
I became acquainted with him in prison at Danville and found him a very agreeable companion. I was on account of ill health sent from Danville to Richmond on the 30th of August and was finally exchanged on parole and arrived here on the 26th of September. During all the time I was with your husband he was in good health and getting plenty to eat, it was enough fare but sufficient in quantity. In writing to Mr. Collins be careful to write nothing but personal matters, nothing of a political character will be allowed to reach him. You must also be careful on the directions which I now give you.
Mr. A. L. Collins
Prisoner of War
Prison No. 1
R. B. McCollum, Sergt., Co. C, 110th Regt. O.V.I.
The gold cover with “U.S. Christian Commission” imprint and “Due 3” is addressed to “Mrs. Martha E. Collins, Pottstown St. Lawrence Co., N.Y.” (McCollum should have written Potsdam, not Pottstown). In the upper right-hand corner the Chaplain at the Annapolis Parole Camp has signed “N. P. Hammond, Chaplain U.S.A.”
Apparently, Asa Collins was eventually released from Danville Prison, but very weak and sick. HE DIED OF DISEASE ON JANUARY 7th, 1864 AT POTSDAM, N.Y.
A very historic pair of letter and cover!
#PO73OH.9-29-64 – Price $250