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Ohio Civil War Letters Lot Auctions for $13,920 at NateDSanders.com Auctions

To auction, buy, consign or sell Ohio Civil War letters, please email Nate at Nate@NateDSanders.com or phone (310) 440-2982.  Thank you.

Ohio Civil War Letters

Ohio Civil War letters are popular because, well, so many of you are from Ohio, and you are also Civil War buffs.  We at NateDSanders.com Auctions sold these Ohio Civil War letters a little while ago and I want to share them with you.

Incredible Archive of Ohio Civil War Letters from a Soldier Who Fought at Atlanta, Corinth, Iuka, Etc. “The dead lay strewed…horribly mangled; one having part of his head shot away…without uniforms their dead presented a peculiar ghastly appearance.” and “…we came in sight of a fine house…wrapped in flames. Our men had been fired upon from it…and this was the punishment.”

Truly unique and spectacular archive of George R. Gear who served in the 39th Ohio Infantry, Co. B. Lot includes 145 Ohio Civil War letters — many journal-like — and two diaries, all war dated between 1862-65. An observant and articulate man with an eye for detail, Gear captures all aspects of the war, from skirmishes with guerrillas, numerous battles and interacting with the locals. Upon returning home in 1865, Gear would become Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Marietta. Following the Battle of Iuka on 19 September 1862, Gear wrote a long letter describing the battle, beginning with the sight of William S. Rosecrans ride up to tell the men that they were surrounding Sterling Price’s Confederates: “About 4 o’clock we came in sight of a fine house together with numerous outbuildings, all of which were wrapped in flames. Our men had been fired upon from it, and one wounded and this was the punishment. We were now about

(Ohio Civil War Letters — Continued)

five miles from Iuka. We had moved forward but a short distance when we heard the cannon booming about 3 miles in front of us. After moving forward a short distance farther we stopped and loaded our guns and our colonel gave us words of caution in regard to firing low. The firing became more and more distinct until finally there was but one continual roar of muskets…Soon the balls began to whistle over our heads and fall in front and rear of us in a manner that was anything by comfortable. Two or three balls rushed past quite near me. It was a trying position. Without any chance to return fire we were compelled to stand there in presence of danger…” Gear continues for pages about the arrival of night, taking friendly fire from the 17th Iowa Infantry, the confusion of preparing for the battle in the morning, a wounded soldier groaning and crying out all night, and more. In the morning, they discovered Price had retreated, leaving behind the dead and wounded: “The dead lay strewed on every hand. Some of them were horribly mangled; one having part of his head shot away; one being shot in the side and weltering in gore. The secesh were without uniforms and their dead presented a peculiar ghastly appearance; said to be the effects of whiskey and gunpowder which was they mixed as a stimulating drink…” His account of the Battle of Corinth is equally long and detailed. “I had scarcely [turned] around before a shell came whizzing over my head, soon followed by others, thick and fast. We immediately fell flat to the ground, and lay in that position about 20

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minutes, while the shells flew over and around us, accompanied by grape shot. We lay behind a little embankment and were thus protected considerably so that not one of our company, but a number in the regiment were wounded. Soon however the rebel battery was silenced and it was captured and brought in by the 63rd Regiment, who were out on picket. This was the first time I had ever heard the whizzing of shell, but I never shall forget it. It has a very peculiar mournful sound that is well fitted to inspire terror…[the battle begins, he provides a rough sketch of their position.] The enemy advanced the whole length of the line simultaneously…The cross fire from [a battery to their left] was directly over our heads, and as it was necessary to fire quite low in consequence of the short range, we were nearly as great danger from our own guns as from those of the enemy. In fact I think that some of our own shell passed nearer to me than those of the enemy. The grape, canister, and shell from our guns mowed down the advancing enemy like grass, but on still they came, driving back our line on the right

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until finally they obtained possession of battery c and were in the very edge of town. Soon however, our men rallied, and the enemy was driven back in confusion. The battery was again gained, and the grape and canister flew with redoubled vigor, making fearful havoc in the ranks of the now running enemy…” On picket at Iuka, 30 October 1863, he described a typical skirmish: “This morning as we were about to leave for camp, news came that a squad of rebels had made their appearance just in front of us, and we were requested to remain, which we did. Pretty soon, bang bang bang, went the guns of one of our outposts just ahead of us. We immediately formed a line and waited for them to make their appearance just across an open field in front of us. Pretty soon they made their appearance, and our skirmishers let fly at them. The rebs returned the fire and whiz zzz zip went the balls around our head and at our feet. We skirmished with them for a while, and reinforcements coming upon our side they soon retreated and disappeared…” In Grand Junction, Gear records attending a Negro prayer meeting after growing bored with the white preacher: “One darkey took the lead. He made a pretty good prayer, then was some singing, and then he made a few remarks. The manner of speaking was — I can say nothing less than — awful. One moment his voice would be a perfect yell, at the next he would speak scarcely above a whisper. He was very wandering in his remarks, but there was evident sincerity about him, and the burden of his talk was Jesus, come to Jesus. Very many of

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these Negroes are religious, and although their manner of conducting services is rude, there is probably as much sincere piety among them as among some more favored…” On a foraging expedition in Alabama, he provided a humorous story of meeting the locals. “I went into a house and talked a while with the inhabitants. There was one young woman who talked quite intelligently, and was passably good looking; but even if I were generally disposed to fall in love at first sight, there was one thing that obviated all danger in this case. It was nothing but seeing her eject occasional mouthfuls of tobacco juice. Two or three of the women had never seen an American flag. They belonged to the class known as ‘poor whites.’ Said to them a laboring man is as much respected in the North as a rich man. They replied that it was not so here, that a laboring man was looked upon with contempt. But, said they, things are altered now. Poor folks are beginning to look up. It is the rich who are the helpless ones now. Their slaves are gone and they will be compelled to work. It will be a hard task for many of them who have never learned to do anything…” Gear also had occasion to interact with Confederate prisoners, guarding a large group who had been taken at Vicksburg: “We mingled amongst them freely and I learned considerable from some of them. Perhaps you have never seen a lot of secesh soldiers. If you have not you can hardly appreciate the dirty, filthy, motley look that they present. They are dressed in every manner of clothes mostly looking as though they had seen

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neither water nor soap for months. They have some excuse, however, for their dirty appearance. Their Government furnishes them no soap, and #11 a month will not buy many extras in rebeldom. One of them told me that he had paid $5 for a bar of soap in Vicksburg…Our boat is very much crowded. They are crowded thick everywhere, on the bow, in the engine room, on the boiler deck and hurricane roof. We reserved the cabin to ourselves, and thus managed to keep somewhere near clean, but the dirt and filth amongst the prisoners was horrible. In fact it was outrageous to crowd so many men on one boat, for nearly two weeks as they were crowded…” Several other letters describe the prisoners, the dismay in the south and poor morale in the southern army, with Gear remarking that the rich planters wanted to fight on, but the sinew of the army was the poor white man who had had enough. On picket one night in Alabama, he writes of meeting speaking with locals: “I said…how is it that nearly all the Union men have turned secessionist since. He said that it was because of their belief in the heresy of State rights that they owed their allegiance to their state rather than the United States. He also told me that such original Union men who are turned secessionists, are now the most bitter ones and hold out longest, whilst those who were the original rabid ones are the first to profess Unionism after our troops come in. ‘In fact,’ said he, ‘I have seen so many instances of professed Unionism in your presence, that I am almost ashamed to own myself a Union man, lest I be classed with them.'” During the buildup to the Assault on Kennesaw Mountain, he wrote: “Rebel pickets are distant but 250 or 300 yards. Firing is constantly

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going on. My post is behind a big log. We excavate a hole with our bayonets, which together with the log gives us excellent protection. Many bullets come near us, but none hit our log. Occasionally we catch sight of a Johnny. For the first time I fire my gun towards a rebel. During the day fire 25 rounds. There is a excitement in this firing back and forth which inspirits a man but which is very enervating if long kept up. It was a great relief to get out of range of bullets again…A shower of balls greets us. On we sweep, with a terrible yell, stopping not for the leaden storm.” Gear is tripped by brush and falls behind his company, but regains his footing to take part in the capture of the rebel position. On the Battle of Atlanta: “About 12 M we are in readiness expecting soon to go forward and occupy the rebel works. Suddenly skirmishing is heard in our rear and on our flank. What does it mean? Can they have outflanked us? Soon there is heard a yell. Evidently the Rebs are on our flank. Speedily comes the orders to move double quick. We move into an open field and form quickly in line of battle. The skirmishing is rapid and rapidly approaching us. The 2nd Division of our Corps is already in line on our left, it being providentially on the move when the firing began. The skirmishing is now replaced by a steady roar of muskets. Soon the rebel line appears coming out of the woods in front of the 2nd Division. Boldly they charge with a defiant yell. They are met with grape shot and canister from our batteries, and a rapid fire of musketry. Gallantly the rebels come on however,

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boldly waving their flags, and part of our lines waivers for a moment. Soon they begin to give back. Then with a loud cheer the 2nd Division charges after them and a large number of the rebels are captured, together with several stands of colors…” Gear continues in a similar style as the 39th is engaged and hit hard, but emerging victorious. Other letters describe the action near Jonesboro, and Lovejoy Station, along with incidents such as the mass desertion of about 250 men from Alabama and Tennessee, complete with their arms and officers, fired upon by Confederates as they did so, and returning fire.  A few letters written on foraged Confederate paper (as Gear noted with some satisfaction), the small pocket diaries are worn and splitting at hinge, with some pages loose, but most letters in very good condition. A fantastic opportunity to acquire a large and comprehensive collection of high literary quality. Great archive of Ohio Civil War letters.  Sold for $13,920.

Also, we at NateDSanders.com Auctions sold these Ohio Civil War letters:

Incredible Archive of Ohio Civil War Letters In Diary Form

Three diaries by Corporal Thomas M. Ireton of the 89th Ohio Infantry, Company F. Diaries span 1863 to 1865 and recount several battles and frequent skirmishing. First diary excerpt describes the end of the Battle of Fort Donelson: “Feb the 3 [1863] morning finds us entering the mouth of the Cumberlin River we have 5 gunn Boats with us before we got to Fort Donelson we came up with oure fleet and found out where the Rebels lay so we commence throwing Shells Feb the 4th 1863  there had bin quite a battle oure loss was 15 killed and 60 wounded there was 150 of the Rebels left dead on the field and some wounded Feb the 5th 1863 This morning 6am I was sent out on Picket found some more Rebles killed the No killed amount to now all together 250 oure Gunn Boats don good work” In June 1864, Ireton records the Battle of Hoover’s Gap: “June 24 /63 about one oclock oure division got into an engagement at Hoovers gap. Wilders

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Bregade was engage first they fought about 4 houres as we advanceed we met the ambulances loaded with the dead and wouded. the rebs begin to fall back then out of range of muscatery but the cannons played on them till dark we lay in battle line all night” At the end of the first diary, Ireton falls ill and goes into the hospital. He later rejoins the regiment at Chattanooga, where they served duty through 22 February 1864. In the second diary, he records siege operations against Kennesaw and Marietta from 10 June to 2 July 1864: “June 15, 1864 Skirmishing all night heavey Fighting all day Captured 1,000 Prisners Rebs have a good position on a very high hill an mountain [June] 16 we advance a mile clost to the Skirmish last night to mutch Shooting to Sleep June 18 faught all day loss on both sides considerable [June] 19 this morning the rebs have scedaddle followed them up about one mile and found them commence Skirmishing with them

(Ohio Civil War Letters — Continued)

drove them  mile to the foot of East mountain. Monday 20 Still heavey Skirmishing Hooker has taken Loss mountain our division took 60 prisners [June] 22 50 kill and wounded in oure Divisions the Shells flow thick around us at 9 oclock oure Divi mooved to the Left about  mile had to work on our fortification the most of tonite [June] 23 this morning had to keep oure Selves hid Soe that the Sharp Shooters could not pick us off June 24, 1864 the Rebs are on the Kenisaw Mountain June 27, 1864 this morning started on our march to reinforce the rite of the 4th Corps there was a charge maid all along the line to the Left as our Division Came in there was two Shells lit in front of our of oure Regt oure loss was heavey June 30 oure men and the Rebs met to Burry there ded July 3, 1864 as it was Supposed the reb had fallen back we advansed two miles they commensed Shelling us Hookers Batteries Shelled them out then advanced to Maryetta

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[August] 4 the Rebs are making a general retreat we have taken about 1100 prisners” At the Siege of Atlanta from 22 July to 25 August 1864, Ireton writes in part: “July 23rd we are within 2 miles of Atlanta throwing shells the Rebs marched out in two lines of battle from there works drove in oure skirmishes 31st Ohio was ordered to their support we formed oure lines in there Reare stray balls came in to our Regt one ball past through one of Co G and wounded one above the knee J. W Simmons was hit with a ball on the head July 24, 1864 laying within two miles of Atlanta we have our lines formed well Fortified our artilerary are throwing Shells into Atlanta [July] 25 last night they threw a shell into Atlanta evry 5 minits [July] 28 most of the night we threw Shells in to Atlanta last night whitch caused a big fire July 30, 1864 the Rebs are throwing 64 lbders Shell at us we had to get under the Cover of our works there was 5 wonded [August] 3 this

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morning the bugle blared to strike tents before we got oure breakfas we went on the extreem right wing in forming oure lines the Rebs Shelled a good deal one Shell past through oure Co August 5, 1864 Friday in advansing oure lines last evening we had a har time of it we was under shot and Shell for two hours there was one wounded in the 8 it is lucky that we get of as we did” The third diary offers a vivid account of the end of the Battle of Fayetville: “Sunday March 13th 1865 Still in Fayetteville Distroying the Arsenal to there is good deal of Union here Monday 20th /65 orders for 13 Division to report to the Corps as it was engaged in a heavy fight started at six got there at 9 the 20th Corps had a heavy fight the report is we lost 20000 the Rebs 4000 killed and wounded Tuesday 21st

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1865 We was relieved from the front Friday April 7th To day the good news that Richmond was taken lively times in Camp” Thomas Ireton mustered into Company F as a Corporal on 22 August 1862 and mustered out as a Sergeant on 7 June 1865 at Washington, D.C. The 89th Ohio Infantry saw action at Hoover’s Gap, Atlanta, Rocky Faced Ridge, Resaca, Dallas, New Hope Church, Pine Hill, Kennesaw,  Peach Tree Creek, Jonesboro, Fayetteville and Bentonville. 1863 diary measures 2.75″ x 5.75″. Cover held together by thread of diary binding; cover flap missing. Binding loose but intact. 1864 diary measures 3″ x 4.75″. Wear to cover and toning to interior. 1865 diary measures 6.25″ x 7.5″. Tape repair to covers and backstrip. Loosening to endpapers and overall wear. An extraordinary lot in very good condition.  Sold for $11,163.

Ohio Civil War Letters

Three diaries by Corporal Thomas M. Ireton of the 89th Ohio Infantry, Company F. Diaries span 1863 to 1865 and recount several battles and frequent skirmishing.

To auction, buy, consign or sell Ohio Civil War letters, please email Nate at Nate@NateDSanders.com or phone (310) 440-2982.  Thank you.

 

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