Massachusetts: 1861. Very Good. Item #List107
Horace Binney Sargent was the Colonel of the First Massachusetts Cavalry during the Civil War, and used his wartime experience to launch a literary career contributing war-related stories to various periodicals. This is a collection of three letters written to Sargent early in the conflict, as well as his Honorable Discharge certificate, and shed light on the spirit of the confict in its early days. Sargent began his military career as an Aid de Camp to Governor Nathaniel Banks. His Honorable Discharge paper, from January 5, 1861, is included here. Also included are three letters to Sargent.
The most notable is a quite moving letter from Adjutant General William Schouler from October 1861 on Adjutant-General stationery, which reads: “Will you allow me to say one word at parting. When you are seated by the camp fires, on the hill tops, in the valleys or by the side of the big river where the war rages, Remember those you have left behind in Old Massachusetts, for most assuredly you will be remembered by the many friends you leave behind, but none more warmly or more kindly than by your friend and fellow laborer in the cause of the American Union and liberty, Wm. Schouler.” Another letter accompanies this one from a William Brown, referencing it and saying it should have been included earlier, and thanking Sargent for his kindness. A third letter from Thomas Drew, Assistant Military Secretary to the Governor, discussing a revolt in Sargent’s own camp: “ His excellency and your late companions in arms were highly pleased with Colonel Ritchie’s narative [sic] of the manner in which you quelled the attempt at rebellion and secession in your own camp a day or two since. All of us think that your conduct upon that occasion augurs well for a successful campaign upon a broader and more important field of duty.”
A small but interesting collection that shows both the spirit of the early campaigns and also the difficulty in commanding recruits. Discharge certificate with some tears to extremities, letters with remnants of paper tape from having previously been mounted, but generally well preserved, very good condition overall.