James A. Parker, Co. E, 100th Pa. Infantry Writes from Hilton Head, S.C. on November 20th, 1861 – He describes the taking of Hilton Head – Parker would be killed 7 months later on James Island
This 4-page letter is written in nice dark ink. Parker was a resident of Lawrence County, Pa., enlisting on August 31st into Company E of the 100th Pa. Infantry. This regiment was known as the Round Head regiment, a title given it by General Scott (read the interesting story on the website, 100thPenn.com). His regiment left immediately for the assault on Hilton Head. The letter is headed, “Hilton Head, Nov. 20th, 1861”. Here is the content:
- Hilton Head Nov. 20th /61. Dear Uncle, Aunt and Grandmother, I received a letter from you a few days ago and was glad to hear of your welfare. I am well at present. Geo. Maxwell has been sick with a fever but is getting better. He will be able to fill his place in ranks in a few days.
- There is several of the boys got the measles but are getting along fine. H. McCune has got them along with the rest.
- I expect you have heard where we are before this time. We are on Hilton Island, S. C. working on the entrenchments. They are fortifying this place pretty well.
- THE REBELS HAD IT PRETTY WELL FORTIFIED BUT HAD TO LEAVE IT AND LEAVE 30 BIG CANNON ON THE FORT WITHOUT SPIKING ONE OF THEM.
- They left everything dead and usual muskets, knapsacks, cloths, provisions, Negroes and many other things. If ever they come back, they will think the square headed Yankees (as they call them) has been doing something for they are to work throwing up embankments as fast as they can.
- We was on the Ocean Queen twenty days. There was a storm when we was sailing. There was one ship lost and another, the mast was blowed off her bow, broke in.
- They had to throw everything overboard, but there was no lives lost on it. The ship was called the Windfield Scott.
- THERE WAS EIGHT MARINES KILLED ON OUR GUN BOATS IN THE FIGHT BETWEEN THE U. S. TROOPS AND THE REBELS AT HILTON HEAD.
- We should be thankful that there was not more of us killed. THE FIGHT COMMENCED ABOUT TEN O’CLOCK AND THE STARS AND STRIPES WAS HOISTED ABOUT THREE O’CLOCK ON THE FORT.
- I heard them talking about starving the Rebels out, but I think it would take a good while to do it by the looks of Hilton Island.
- We received our pay yesterday up to the first of November. I sent ten dollars per month for you to take care of. We was paid for two months and four days, so there would $21.33 cts. of mine gone home.
- Mr. David McCune Esq. was appointed to receive this money and pay it out as was directed. I borrowed two dollars from Mr. Joseph Moore when he was with us. You will please pay him the same out of my money when you get it.
- Grandmother thanked me for the oysters. Tell her there is plenty oysters, sweet potatoes and oranges on Hilton Island. I wish she had a share of them. Grandmother, I am a good piece from you and don’t know as I shall ever see you again, but I can wish you much happiness in your old age. Farewell Grandmother for this time.
- Aunt, what will I say to you? I thank you for your well wishes to us, and I thank you and the neighbors for the butter you sent us. We are working on the last keg. I must quit for my sheet is full.
- Upside down on last page: Please write soon. From J. A. Parker To: A. Christy
- Upside down on page 3, 2 and 1: Norman Maxwell says to tell you he is well. He is staying at the hospital taking care of George. The mess sends you their respects and best wishes. You said Mary had gone to her parents. I think you will have a quiet time without her. My respects to all inquiring friends. Nothing more. Jim
As we mentioned earlier, Parker was killed on June 6th, 1862 in the assault of Battery Lamar on James Island. Condition is fine.
#L11-20-61PA – Price $250