One of the Rarest Sheets of Regimental Stationery: “Camp of Instruction Berdan’s U.S. Sharp Shooters Washington, D.C.” – A Camp Scene of Tents, Pickets, & D.C. in the Background. Letter Written by Lieut. John Wilson, 1st Berdan Sharp Shooters
This large 8 ½ x 11-inch letter sheet is written in ink. There are some water stains that effect the ink in several places but for display, this piece is fantastic. John Wilson signs as “Lieutenant”. On the Internet there is a report from Wilson “commanding” the regiment at the battle of Petersburg… apparently, he was an important guy. Wilson writes of the troubles in the leadership of the Sharp Shooters… especially the Major, who is apparently a bad guy!
Here is the content:
- Camp of Instruction Berdan’s U. S. Sharp Shooters Washington, D. C. November 14th, 1861. Brother George, Yesterday I sent to Father $300 which I told him to deposit along with your account in the bank. Should you wish to make any use of the money you can do so. I think or I know that he has plenty money to live with until spring without using any of what I sent. Thede put half of his $40 in the bank & sent the rest, but 5 dollars home.
- We expect to leave here in about 2 weeks for South Carolina. OUR COMPANY HAD A FLAG PRESENTED THERE THIS WEEK BY THE CITIZENS OF ALBANY.
- John Clark brought it on, and he can’t but give a good account of us on his return. The troubles I mentioned as existing in our camp have been in a manner settled. They have been entirely settled so far as I am concerned. Capt. Martin sent in his resignation a week ago. The Col. would not accept it and told him to withdraw it, but Capt. would not until the Major was dismissed from the Regiment. His case stands so yet.
- Our Lieut. Col. has resigned, so has our oldest line officer all on account of the Major.
- I HAVE BEEN OVER THE RIVER VISITING ALEXANDRIA. I SAW THE HOUSE ELLSWORTH WAS KILLED IN. FORT ALBANY ETC. ETC. I LEARNT MUCH OF CAMP LIFE IN MY TRIP BUT SAW NO CAMP TO COMPARE WITH OURS FOR CLEANLINESS OR DISCIPLINE.
- You wrote that you would like some situation here of some kind. It would be a very easy matter to obtain a job that would pay as well as where you are. But it would call you away from your family. Besides you would be compelled to spend so much money on the outside that you would be unsure of then where you are.
- The only place for you is Sutler for some Regiment. You can make a thousand dollars a month easy with a good Regiment. I could here get you in partnering with ours, but spoke for another person before your letter came or before I thought. Besides speaking for a brother as sutler for our Regiment could not be allowed. That is the only place you want. If you can possibly get that, go it.
- Give my love to all inquiring friends. Enclosed is a present for George E. My health is good. Excuse the writing & grammar & oblige. Your Brother, Lieut. John Wilson
For the Berdan collector or the collector of regimental stationery, this one is a “must”.
#L11-14-61 – Price $695