Wonderful grouping of five Confederate letters in ink on light blue stationery, spanning the years 1861 to 1864. The first letter is written by John F. Sawyer the other five by Charles H. Sawyer. They were either brothers or cousins and served together in the 12th and later the 32nd North Carolina Infantry Regiments. Both Sawyers were captured on May 10, 1864 at Spotsylvania, and both died at Elmira prison camp within 11 days of each other in March 1865.
The first letter is dated October 16, 1861 and composed by John F. Sawyer. He writes that he is in good health and that there is no fighting at present. The men have been paid but will not be home for Christmas. A man was shot and killed in town by a colonel, and 73 Yankees were brought to camp from Roanoke. There is good camp and personal content with clear penmanship.
The second and remaining letters are composed by Charles H. Sawyer. His letter dated October 22, 1861 and relates to being on guard duty and being sick, though improving. There is fighting near Yorktown but he hopes that there is no attack at his location. He writes about a Yankee lieutenant taken into camp, and that they have moved to Portsmouth. His writing can be difficult to read but there is nice personal and historic content in the letter. His third letter is written from Portsmouth, VA on April 13, 1862. He tells his father that he is in good health and hopes he is as well, and that John T. Cahoon of the regiment died. He speaks of Easter and a variety of camp and family matters.
Charles Sawyer writes his fourth letter to his father from Richmond on June 11, 1864 on a half sheet of stationery. He wishes he could see everyone at home but there are no furloughs coming. He has received some money and would like to send some home. He writes in length about various individuals owing him money. There is interesting content in this letter and a variety of names to research. The final letter is written near Orange Courthouse on February 16, 1864. Sawyer writes from the “32nd North Carolina, Daniels’ Brigade, Rhodes’ Division, Ewell’s Corps.” There is snow covering the ground and it’s “cold as blazes.” He tells his father to talk his younger brother Anson out of volunteering and that the service would kill him. He hopes to be off on furlough soon. He continues about his brother Anson and writes “give him this letter and tell him I said if he volunteers the yankees wood kill him.” His writing becomes erratic, and he apologizes for having to close the letter as his “paper is greesey.”
A wonderful collection of letters from 2 young men of the Sawyer family that fought on Culp’s Hill at Gettysburg, were captured at Spotsylvania, and died at the notorious Elmira prison in the waning days of the war.
Inventory Number: CON 257 / SOLD