#L3-13-64SC

Letters Actually Written from Fort Sumter are Especially Desirable.  Offered are 4 Action Filled Letters Written by Alonzo A. Vanderford, 21st S.C. when stationed there in March of 1864

Alonzo A. Vanderford enlisted in December of 1861 as a 2nd Lieut. in Company D of the 21st South Carolina Infantry.  After spending 1862 and 1863 defending the city of Charleston, S.C., his regiment headed to Virginia and it was there at Petersburg that he was mortally wounded and died. 

Each of these 4 letters is written in nice dark ink.  Here is the content:

Letter #1)

  • Fort Sumter March 13th, 1864. 
    • My Dear Cynthia, I am now in Fort Sumter. We are all well and getting along very well. Duty is very heavy but we will do it cheerfully.
    • THE OLD FORT IS BADLY TORN UP, BUT I DON’T THINK IT WILL COME UP TO WAGNER YET.
    • Captain Tarth and myself are all that are here with the Company. We have fifty men with us and all in good spirits. All seem to be willing to do their duty cheerfully.
    • The Yanks have thrown three shells into the city. Up to this time today, now 4 p.m. on Sunday evening. 
    • When you write again write to me in this way, Lt. Vanderford, Care of Capt. Tarth, Fort Sumter, and write as soon as you get this for the one written on Saturday will not reach me in several days to come.
    • I have no news to tell you, only I wish that our time was nearly out so that I could go home again. We have a plenty to eat here now. But I have to cook it myself. Will get a cook on tomorrow. Our cook started with us but did not get on the boat at Fort Johnson.
    • THIS IS A TORN-UP PLACE, I TELL YOU, BUT I HAVE SEEN WORSE. I think you must keep cheerful. I will write to you every third day while we remain here and I will advise you of all.
    • I will have to quit writing very soon and go in the bomb proof and take a nap. Get ready for tonight.
    • Some say that we will have to stay here 12 days. Some say 20 days and others say 24 days. Some Company from our Regt. will relieve us, and I think in 12 days. That is long enough for anyone to stay here, I think, but others have the thinking to do.
    • I will miss getting my coat now until I get out of this place. Kiss little Sallie for me and write to me as soon as you get this letter and direct to me in care of Capt. Tarth, Co. D, 21 SCV Fort Sumter, Charleston, and then I will get it the next morning after you write it. I am well. Nothing more at this time. Love to all at home. Your loving husband, A. A. Vanderford

Letter #2)

  • Fort Sumter March 17, 1864
    • My Dear Cynthia, I received your letter of Monday last night and I was glad to hear from you. Also, to know that you are well.
    • I AM NOW HERE IN OLD SUMTER, SITTING FLAT DOWN ON THE SAND, LEANING BACK AGAINST THE PARAPET.
    • ON TUESDAY THE YANKS GAVE US A DECENT SHELLING AND WOUNDED 4 OF OUR MEN. ONE OF THEM SEVERELY, W. SCARBOROUGH BROKE HIS ARM AND COLLAR BONE.
    • THEY THREW ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY SHELLS. ONE HUNDRED STRUCK THE FORT. They have been very still ever since.
    • IT DOES THEM NO GOOD TO SHELL THE FORT AND THEY MIGHT JUST AS WELL LET IT ALONE.
    • You say in your letter that there is some Confederate cloth in Cheraw selling at $5.00. Get me three yards or 3 1/4 enough to make me a suit if it is good cloth.
    • Tell your Pa to pay for it for me, and when I come home, I will pay him in new issue. It will take 3 1/4 yards I reckon. Maybe you had only better take 2 yards to make me a coat, if he will furnish you the money. If you have not got it, go and get Mrs. Tarth to go with as she is a judge of the cloth. If you will get it right off, I will thank you, and as soon as we get out of Sumter, I will try and get off home.
    • This is one of the places I tell you and it seems that Capt. Tarth and myself are destined to be together whenever anyone of the Company is killed or badly wounded.
    • You must excuse this letter as I have no place to write upon. Try and get Sallie well and take good care of her…
    • …and IT IS FUNNY TO SEE OUR MEN TODAY SITTING IN THE SUN WITH THEIR SHIRTS OFF AND LOOKING FOR LOUSES OR FOOT CAVALRY AS THEY CALL THEM.
    • Cynthia, try and get the Confederate grey for me and write to me immediately so as I can get some trimmings for the coat. If you are not a judge, get Mrs. Tarth to go with you. I am well and doing well. We will get out of here next week on Thursday I think if nothing happens to prevent.
    • Give my love to all at home. Kiss little Sallie for her Pa. Tell your Ma that I have seen sights since I was at home. I will write again in a day or two. Direct your letter in a Big Hand to me, Fort Sumter, and don’t write any after Monday. One on Monday I will get on Wednesday. Any after that I will not get. I will take care of myself and try and get home soon.  Your Loving Husband, A. A. Vanderford

Letter #3)

  • Fort Sumter March 18, 1864
    • Dear Cynthia, Again, I write you a few lines to let you know that I am well and doing well although DUTY IS VERY HEAVY. WE ARE UP ALL NIGHT BUT SLEEP ALL DAY OR THE LARGEST PART OF THE DAY.
    • I DON’T KNOW WHEN WE WILL BE RELIEVED. CAN’T FIND OUT, BUT IT IS AS GOOD PLACE AS CAMP WHEN THE YANKS ARE NOT SHELLING.
    • I wrote to you on yesterday to buy some of the Confederate cloth for me, and if you buy it, let me know immediately. I hope to get a letter from you tonight but I may miss it. Don’t write to me at Fort until you hear from me after Monday. A letter written on Monday will get here on Wednesday, and I hope we will be relieved on Thursday, and if we do, then I will put in for a leave of absence.
    • THE YANKS HAVE NOT SHELLED ANY NOW FOR TWO DAYS, AND I THINK THAT THEY HAVE GOT TIRED OF THE JOB AND ARE GOING TO QUIT IT.
    • ON LAST NIGHT WE HAD AN ALARM, AND I WAS IN COMMAND OF THE 2ND DETACHMENT, AND WE WERE THE FIRST OUT ON THE PARAPET, BUT NO YANKS CAME.
    • If it was not my time to go home, I would just as leave stay here as in Camp.
    • THERE ARE THREE THINGS HERE I DON’T LIKE – SHELLS, BRICKBATS [flying fragments after a shell hits], AND LICE. BUT A SOLDIER CAN STAND MOST ANYTHING.
    • I think that this is the last year of the war. I do think that it must close now soon.
    • TELL YOUR PA THAT THERE ARE MANY A THOUSAND DOLLARS’ WORTH OF IRON LAYING AROUND THIS OLD FORT. I EXPECT TEN STEAMBOAT LOADS OF OLD SHELLS. 
    • Give my love to all at home. Tell Sallie to be a good little Sallie and Pa will come home soon. Write to me on Monday. I am well.
    • BE SURE AND GET THE CLOTH AS ALL THE REGT. ARE GETTING NEW UNIFORMS AND I WANT ONE TOO. Nothing more at this time.  Your Loving Husband, A. A. Vanderford.  Direct Lt. A. A. Vanderford Fort Sumter Charleston

Letter #4)

  • Fort Sumter March 22, 1864. 
    • My Dear Cynthia, Again, I write you a few lines to let you know that I am well and getting along very well. I expected to get a letter from you last night but did not. Maybe I will get one on tomorrow and if I do, I will write on Thursday evening. We expect to be relieved on that night. Capt. Tarth got a letter from his wife and she says that Charles is at home. Write and let me know how long he will stay. I will try and get off just as soon as we are relieved from here. It will take 4 days to get my papers through. Tell C. that I would like to see him, and if there is any chance I will be at home some time the first of next week.
    • I AM NOW WRITING ON THE BUTT OF A TEN-INCH RIFLE GUN. JUST MOUNTED IN THE FORT.
    • It has been very uncomfortable here for the last 4 days. Cold and rainy and windy, but we don’t mind that much. Have got use to it.
    • If we are relieved on Thursday night I will try and get to the city on Saturday and have the coat cut, and IF YOU HAVE BOUGHT THE CONFEDERATE CLOTH, WRITE TO ME SO THAT I CAN GET SOME TRIMMINGS FOR IT.
    • I will try very hard to get off home next week. Tell Charles to make his stay as long as possible at home.
    • THERE IS NOTHING NEW IN THE FORT. THE YANKS THROW A FEW SHELLS AT US SOMETIMES BUT HAVE NOT DONE ANY SERIOUS DAMAGE YET.
    • IT IS THOUGHT THAT THEY ARE MOUNTING A GUN TO BEAR ON THE ANGLE NEXT TO THE CITY. IT IS A WEAK SIDE, BUT WE ARE PUTTING UP SAND BAGS SO AS TO BE IN TIME FOR THEM.  [This was the famous “Swamp Angel” Battery]
    • Kiss little Sallie for me. Have you given her the crow soup or not? You did not write to me anything about the note that F. Lynch owed. I hope that he has not paid it. Love to all at home. I will write again Thursday evening.  Your Loving Husband, A. A. Vanderford.  Don’t write any more letters to this place. Direct to me Lt. Vanderford, Co. D, 21 SCV as before.

A rare opportunity to obtain letters actually written from Fort Sumter where the war began in April 1861 and finally fell in February 1865.  An “end of war” celebration took place there on April 14th, 1865 with the re-raising of the original flag taken down by Robert Anderson. 

#L3-13-64SC – Price $1,600


Letter #1)







Letter #2)







Letter #3)







Letter #4)







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