Alfred Gilmour of the Famous 72nd Pa. Infantry Writes Home Sending “A picture of my hut”

Alfred, a member of company B, who enlisted on August 25th, 1862, is writing home from Stevensburg, Virginia on February 24th, 1864.  The 72nd was hard fought and over his first 10 months, he would participate in Antietam, Fredericksburg and Gettysburg.  Shortly after the Wilderness Campaign in 1864, Alfred died on 5/27/64… only 3 months after this letter was written.    

This letter is 4 pages in length written in red ink!  He encloses one of the cutest drawings (2 ½ x 4 ¼ inches) that we have seen.  It has a stone fireplace with a barrel chimney on the top.  On the door is written “Soldiers Rest” and below his drawing “A home in the wilderness”.  The letter and drawing were in a small envelope, also addressed in red ink having a fine “Washington, D.C. FEB. 26, 64” cancellation with 3 cent Washington stamp.  Together these 3 pieces make more a beautiful set framed up. 

Here is the content:

  • Stevensburg, Va. February 24th.  Dear Mother,  This evening I received a letter from Tommy but he did not mention anything about responding to it or where to direct to or wither he was at home now or not; however I will answer it to you and should he be home tell him the letter is as much in answer to his and for him as it is for you.
  • I suppose yesterday was quite an exciting time in the City by accounts in the papers. WE ALSO HAD A REVIEW YESTERDAY BY GENERAL MEADE. The review of several thousand troops in the City at home would make quite a sight as those shot or even saw the Army, but if they could have witnessed our service they would see something like me, worth looking at.
  • But we see so much of it we dread to hear the order for a review. YESTERDAY ON REVIEW THERE WERE ABOUT FIVE HUNDRED LADIES, MORE THAN I HAVE SEEN AT ONE TIME SINCE I HAVE BEEN IN THE SERVICE. The most of them were officers’ wives and connections to them.
  • They were principally all on horseback except a few in ambulances. They made a pretty sight indeed and when all the troop were in position, General Meade and staff (composing about a hundred officers all his staff) moved off along to review the troops and all the Ladies & their respective companions followed after them. It was indeed a sight.
  • The reason as many Ladies were here our Corps had a Large Ball on last Monday night, the 21st, where there were about seven hundred couples at it. Numerous crowds of Ladies came from Philadelphia & Washington & Alexandria. There was a fine line there.
  • The building was erected for the purpose and held sixteen couple at one time on the floor. Therefore the review was for the especial purpose to show the Ladies the sight.
  • We were paid off today. Therefore I will tell you to look out for my money in a few days. I think I will send it by mail but should I include to send it by express I will write again before I send it. But I rather think I will send it by mail. There will be $70.00 and $50.00 as note and one $20.00 note. Yours Respectfully, A. N. Gilmour.  Will send my money about next Monday so you watch for it about Wednesday.

Written at the top of the letter, “Enclosed you will find a picture of my hut.”

#L2-24-64PA – Price $395

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