New Jersey: 1861.
Unbound. An archive of seven letters, 4 with envelope. All items about very good with tears and folds from mailing.
A collection of 7 letters written by Private Edward Duffy and his family while he was serving under General Theodore Runyon in the New Jersey militia during the Civil War. These letters are from his three month volunteer enlistment period in 1861 and discuss the New Jersey encampment as well as moving to Washington D.C. to provide additional defenses for the city. In one letter he writes, “I had a spy arrested and had to take him to Washington to headquarters to get orders what to do with him and we had to take him to prison. The man that we arrested is postmaster of Camden and we heard that he was going to the South.” He is most likely discussing Samuel Hanna who was the postmaster of Camden at the time. A reply from Duffy’s brother discusses the spy situation and reads, “they care nothing for our country – they would sell it but we will not judge of this matter – it will all come out in trial and then they will learn to behave themselves.” The letter also discusses the poverty of soldiers, “I am sorry you are so bad off for paper, tobacco and money, it appears to be a general complaint among solider men and between you and me money is very scarce with most of folks…Cheer up though, do not despond, I will see what can be done for you.”
Once at camp he writes about the daily routine and the lack of resources saying, “the rifles I told you about we have not got yet and there is no chance of getting them I think although the Colonel says we will get them.” He continues saying that with the rifle shortage men are given muskets for the time being. Duffy also writes about the work of setting up camp and daily tasks the soldier’s face, “the men was a working as hard as we near all the time for they was a pitching tents on the new camp ground. The tents is all pitch and now we are a working at a battery a digging and throwing dirt for three hours every day with diving and turning out every time that a gun is fired.” This unit, as well as similar militias, were some the first soldiers enlisted in the Civil War. Following his three months with this outfit, Duffy reenlisted with the 7th New Jersey.
A modest but interesting archive of letters detailing an early unit in the Civil War.