CIVIL WAR - UNION - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 07/11/1862 - HFSID 251304
Sale Price $414.00
CIVIL WAR: UNION SOLDIER'S LETTER.
"A.S. Oberly", 4p, "Off Baton Rouge", on the U.S. Gunboat Kineo, 1862 July 11. With envelope addressed by Oberly to Mrs. O.O. Woodford of New Haven, Conn. The envelope bears two 3-cent U.S. postal stamps (one pre-printed on the envelope). The letter in part: "The weather is warm and sultry...the thermometer records 92o - I think the warmest day we have had...I made a call on some Northern ladies...[they]...conducted the female seminary in this place. They report that they have been prosecuted badly since the outbreak of the rebellion...and continued following their vocation until the outbreak or rather the bombardment of Baton Rouge when the school closed. They say that unless we commence with the female population that we will have long work in ending the present struggle, as they impel all the men to leave home and fight, and if they refuse to act they are considered traitors...The institution of slavery brings with itself fear, and as the last is the governing agent in the south they know not how to cower down and implore mercy...The Negroes stand it [the climate] very well and can labor in the sun without any injury or sickness, to which the white is exposed - They are healthy and jovial and from their looks are enjoying themselves better than the ruling...very few are gratified at the idea of Baton Rouge being in possession by Federal troops...A few days ago...four men came to the commanding officer to claim protection...stating that they had been engaged in attack with a band of guerillas and that they killed a few...They were willing to take the oath of allegiance and take up arms...I think they will desert...The Kineo is the only navy representation and whose presence has a salutary moral effect on the enemy, as the very name of gunboat is sufficient to make them shudder...Our last news were that part of the fleet was above & part below while the army was engaged in cutting the levee to divert the channel of the Mississippi some miles from Vicksburg, rendering it inapproachable by water except at its highest stage...Nothing but red river boats have any access to us...." Baton Rouge sits on the Mississippi River. The River was a strategic problem to both the North and South. To the North it was a highway straight to the Confederacy's heart. To the South, the River was a vital transport system for Confederate commerce. On May 1, 1862, General Benjamin Butler occupied New Orleans which had been occupied by Admiral David Farragut's fleet. True to this letter, Louisiana thereafter saw very little action in the war. The Vicksburg, Mississippi naval assault mentioned occurred in late June 1862; Farragut ran by the batteries at Vicksburg with eight vessels joining Commander Charles H. Davis' fleet of iron-clads above the city. All but three Federal vessels succeeded in slipping past the Confederate fortifications. Yet the offensive against the city continued for another year. The letter has usual folds, else in fine condition. The envelope is soiled and torn. Two items.
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