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  • Framed Civil War Letter of Chester Morse, 2nd Colorado Infantry and Cavalry, Died of Measles in 1864 / SOLD

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    Framed Civil War Letter of Chester Morse, 2nd Colorado Infantry and Cavalry, Died of Measles in 1864 - Inventory Number: DOC 268 / SOLD

    January 1864 letter written by Chester Morse (alternately spelled Morris in the records) on Benton Barracks letterhead. Morse enlisted as in late 1861 as a private in the 2nd Colorado Infantry, which saw action in the 1862 New Mexico Campaign and in Oklahoma. The regiment was consolidated with the 3rd Colorado Infantry in late 1863 and became the 2nd Colorado Cavalry. Morse succumbed to measles in May 1864, after a three-month hospitalization. There is a notation in pencil under the Benton Barracks letterhead that reads “letter written by my bro’ Chester while in the Civil War-died May 2-1864.” The letter measures 15 ½” by 9 ½” and is framed to be readable on both sides. 


    “Wednesday Jan 6th Benton Barracks, St. Louis/1864

    Dear Brother & Sister,

    It being over 1 year since I (illegible) to write to you I will endeavor to write a few lines, hoping that you will excuse me for not writing sooner, for a man that won’t lie, steal, swear, chew, and smoke, and not get drunk is not much of a soldier, although I will not own to all of those faults, and don’t profess to be much of a soldier. I am well at present, with the exception of one of me knees, which pains me all of the time. I think I am agoing to have a sprain on it. I received a letter from Melissa some time ago but did not have time to answer it until I came here and have not had much leisure time here. Our Regt. arrived here 2 weeks ago last Friday. We have had rather bad weather since we came here, one week ago today it commenced raining, rained all day, then commenced freezing and snowing. Snow fell 6 inches deep and since then has been as cold as h—l. 

    I have just came off guard, that is pretty cold work. I am on guard once in 4 or 5 days, guard is rather heavy here we have about 2 miles to guard around the barracks. It takes 40 men each day. I suppose you know before this time that I have one of Uncle Sam’s horses to ride instead of going a foot and am not sorry a bit as I have hoofed it over 3000 miles since I have been soldiering. The 3rd Regt. are put into ours and all mounted, we have drawn nearly everything except guns and revolvers, have not drilled any yet. I did intend to get a furlough and come home, but that is played out now for we are under marching orders, and I think we will leave in about 10 days for Arkansas somewhere southwest of Little Rock. It will be very bad marching it being so cold, but that is the life of a soldier, neither storm, cold, nor mud stop them. Since I have been a soldier I have laid in a tent with the water four inches deep in it and laughing to see the clothes swim around. Our next journey will be about 400 miles, that will take us nearly to Red River, then we will soon be in Texas. The river is frozen hard enough here to bear teams with heavy loads, consequently we will have to march all of the way.

    I believe the 9th Iowa is going with us. When our Regt all get together there will be 12 companies. The climate here does not agree very well with our boys, we have bad colds the most of the time but we would like to stay here this winter. This is a very good place to winter, we can get plenty of fruit, pies and cake and I should like very well to have been home to spend New Years and Christmas. Christmas I went to town, ran around a while and came home. New Year I hardly went out of doors. When you write tell me how you spent your time Christmas and New Year as I have no news of importance I will close, please give my love to all inquiring friends, write soon.

    From Chet Morse,

    Direct, Co. E. 2nd Regt Colorado Vol. Benton Barracks, St, Louis MO.”

    Chester Morris - Enlisted on 12/1/1861 as a Private. On 12/1/1861 he mustered into "G" Co. CO 2nd Infantry.   

    Chester Morse - Enlisted on 10/1/1863 as a Private. On 10/1/1863 he mustered into "E" Co. CO 2nd Cavalry. He died of disease on 5/1/1864 at Kansas City, MO. Hospitalized 1/30/1864 Kansas City, MO (Sick with measles)


    Inventory Number: DOC 268 / SOLD