Three page civil war soldiers letter, written by Private Amos P. Burnham, Co. C, 2nd Massachusetts Infantry.
Company C was also know as the Andrew Light Guard. Burnham enlisted in May, 1861 and though he was twice wounded during the war (Cedar Mountain 8/9/1862 and Chancellorsville on May 3rd, 1863), he served until the end of the war.
Dated December 30th (no year, but most likely 1861).
Interesting camp content, in fine condition with wear as shown in the scan.
Written from "Camp Hicks near Frederick", here are a few highlights:
"our regiment is not in very good health I don't think we have more than six hundred men on duty the hospital is pretty well filled up with patients they are mostly sick with the slow fever none are very sick now there was a fellow died in our regiment last week he was boarding out to a private house his name Michael Maloney his body I believe was sent home... we have not heard from them since they left us except David Shea we heard from him when Mr. Putman was out here he called and see him and he said he was very sick and he did not think he ever would get any better but the boys don't give him up here
signed "your brother Perley".
Note: Letter comes with copy of letter (front & back pages) where he signs his full name "Amos P. Burnham".
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MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
THREE YEARS (RE-ENLISTED)
The 2d Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. was recruited in April, 1861,
by George H. Gordon, a West Point graduate, who became its
first colonel. It was the first regiment composed wholly of
volunteers raised in Massachusetts for the war. It was
organized at Camp Andrew at Brook Farm in West Roxbury, and was
mustered into the service May 25,
Leaving Massachusetts July 8, it joined the force of Gen.
Patterson at Martinsburg, Va., on the 12th. The summer and
fall were spent largely in picketing the line of the upper
Potomac. In the late fall it was in camp at Seneca Creek near
Darnestown, Md., and early in December it went into winter
quarters at Camp Hicks on the Baltimore pike about four
miles east of Frederick, Md.
Late in February it moved into the Shenandoah Valley, the
troops there being now under the command of Gen. N. P. Banks.
On March 10, Col. Gordon was given command of the brigade, and
the 2d now became a part of Gordon's (3d) Brigade, of Banks'
Division. On March 26, immediately after the battle of
Kernstown, Gen. Banks was given command of the newly formed 5th
Corps, and the 2d Mass. became a part of Gordon's (3d) Brigade,
Williams' (1st) Division of that corps. The 2d Division was
commanded by Gen. Shields. While Shields was fighting Jackson
at Kernstown, March 23, the 2d Mass., with the exception of Co.
G, was on an expedition toward Snicker's Gap. Returning
immediately to Winchester the regiment joined in the pursuit of
Jackson through Strasburg, New Market, and on as far as
Harrisonburg. Here it remained until May 5, when it joined in
the retrograde movement to Strasburg, which it reached May 13.
On May 24 and 25 it fell back with Banks' command through
Newtown, Kernstown, and Winchester, distinguishing itself by
excellent rear guard fighting and reaching the ford of
the Potomac at Williamsport on the night of the 25th. While at
Williamsport Col. Gordon was promoted to Brigadier General, U.
On June 10 the regiment again advanced, passing through
Martinsburg and Winchester and on to a position near Front
Royal, where it remained until July 6. It then moved over
Chester Gap to Little Washington, where on July 17 it became a
part of Pope's Army of Virginia, Banks' command being now known
as the 2d Corps.
At Cedar Mountain, August 9, the 2d Regiment suffered
severe loss. At Antietam, September 17, it was again heavily
engaged, losing its commander, Lieut. Col. Wilder Dwight. Here
it formed a part of Mansfield's (12th) Corps.
After a winter spent in camp near Stafford Court House,
the regiment participated in the battle of Chancellorsville,
May 1 to 5, and in the battle of Gettysburg, July 1 to 3,
suffering severely, especially at Gettysburg, where it lost
another commander, Lieut. Col. Charles R. Mudge.
In August it was sent to New York City to aid in the
suppression of the draft riots which were still raging. In
September it was transferred to Stevenson, Ala., the 11th and
12th Corps being now attached to the Army of the Cumberland.
In December a sufficient number of members re-enlisted to
preserve the identity of the regiment and it became known as
the 2d Regt. Mass. Veteran Volunteers.
Source: Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors & Marines in the Civil War