Colorful Letter Lot by 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Sergeant -- ''...Capt. Shepherd has a bullet in his leg now and several more of our company have old scars to avenge...''

Colorful lot of 10 letters written by Sergeant Lyman Uriah Lee of the 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Co. M. A 25-year-old teacher at enlistment, Lee has an acerbic wit displayed throughout the letters, beginning with one dated 5 May 1864 in which he describes a deserter being killed: ''...We had the job of shooting a man for desertion the other day. He belonged to the 8th Conn. He was a brick and died a gunie. He marched out to the spot of execution by music & stepped exactly on time stepped upon his coffin and turned his left side. He was as cool as man going to a days work; nine of our boys fired at him, Seven balls piercing him. 5 through the heart. He died in a second's time. One ball went through the head - G W Campbell offered 20 dollars for a man to fire his gun but he was detailed and had to fire. We plague the boys about going to the shooting match and killing a man. They don't like to think of it some of them. The Execution was upon the fair ground in Norfolk. And a large crowd to witness of white & black. A caution to deserters...'' He continues in the letter, ''...We may possibly be troubled here if the rebels get possession of Newbern, but all of their force above us they are concentrating to resist Gen. Grant. The N.C. forces may come back this way, but they cannot do much here on account of our navy. I don't see how the 1st Main Artillery can be ordered to the front unless they put them on to seige trains or light batteries and either is preferable to infanrtry for they can ride instead of having to march. All I should dread is the tramping any way & artillery got rid of that. The capts & privates ride upon the guns & cosseins and the officers & sergts are mounted. I was in hopes to take part in a light battery, but we are disappointed. Our fort mounts five 42 pounders. Very heavy guns and long range...'' In an undated letter he writes of the wounds sustained by officers in the regiment, ''...Sergt Sanborn has been wounded 4 times. Sergt Carruth had his jaw split by a shell. Capt. Berry was shot three times. Capt. Shepherd has a bullet in his leg now and several more of our company have old scars to avenge if they ever give us a chance. Lieut Emery was the only officer left in his company at Port Hudson and stuck to it for days alone and was promoted for bravery. Several of his men are in the company now. So you see we have a tired company and a good one. The only fault I find is they have a bad habit of swearing, but Lieut Smith is trying hard to break of the habit. We drill mostly on the light battery now and are trying to get liberty to go as such entirely. I would be glad enough to get rid of these muskets and drive the brass 12 pounders with a revolver & sabre...'' In 1864 he writes a sad letter about losing his dog because of his fellow officers getting it drunk, ''...I had a splendid puppy named Ben Butler, but the other sergts killed him by making him drink too much whiskey. They would turn it down him and laugh to see him drunk and the poor fellow died as thousands of men do from the effects of whiskey...'' Lee writes several letters about relishing killing Rebels. To his mother on 28 July 1864 he writes, ''...So you think it best to pray for them instead of killing them. I think if half the time already spent praying for them to submit had been spent in plotting their destruction, that they would be nearer submission now. I pray that they may all submit to the general government or be blotted out of existence as the tribe of Pequods were & I am ready to help do it...'' and on 29 June, ''...They report here that Gen. Grant is undermining Petersburg. I hope he will blow the whole city to Halifax or some other place beginning with H...'' He mentions a relative who was killed at Petersburg several times and is filled with vengeance because of it, ''...It brings Lennie's sad fate to mind at once and the more I think of that the more unreconciled I am. After making such a sacrifice I don't know as I care to see peace until every rebel is conquered or killed and better the latter only it would take the blood of many a good loyal man to accomplish it...'' The Lennie he refers to is Leonard Lee of the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery; in the letter dated 28 July 1864 he writes about a visit from Leonard's father who is vainly looking for his dead son, ''...Mr. Lee says he does not believe Lennie is killed for he dreamed he was wounded in the legs so he could not walk and was taken prisoner...Of course we shall think of them as dead till we hear something to the contrary...'' Leonard had already been killed at Petersburg. Lee also writes of another friend or relative who had been wounded, in a letter dated 2 December 1864, ''...It seems for all Sylvanus has been so much shorter time in the service than I, he has met the bad & I have not. Well unless the bone is much shattered it is the best place to be wounded upon a man, above the elbow easier to cure than below and it not being hot weather it will be likely to get well sooner & he will have an honorable wound to show received in fighting for his country. Still I should prefer less honor and whole bones...'' Even though Lee is strongly pro-Union, he seems unopposed or at least ambivalent about slavery, as he writes on 10 February 1865, ''...I feel bad when I think Pa's having no one to take a step for him...I wish Pa had a good smart negro boy of 15. If I could buy me one and hold him in the north I would endeavor to get him one. I expect the churches would take up contributions for his immediate relief. If they had sent their gifts to Sherman's soldiers instead of the wives & children of the rebels they drove out of Savannah, it would be of more credit to them - Just as long as the north continues to feed and supply the south, so long will the south fight them...'' With much more interesting content, and a 3.25'' x 5.25'' photo of Lee in GAR uniform, identified on verso as being taken in 1911. In near fine condition.

Price: $6,000
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Colorful Letter Lot by 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Sergeant -- ''...Capt. Shepherd has a bullet in his leg now and several more of our company have old scars to avenge...''Colorful Letter Lot by 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Sergeant -- ''...Capt. Shepherd has a bullet in his leg now and several more of our company have old scars to avenge...''Colorful Letter Lot by 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Sergeant -- ''...Capt. Shepherd has a bullet in his leg now and several more of our company have old scars to avenge...''Colorful Letter Lot by 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Sergeant -- ''...Capt. Shepherd has a bullet in his leg now and several more of our company have old scars to avenge...''
Colorful Letter Lot by 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Sergeant -- ''...Capt. Shepherd has a bullet in his leg now and several more of our company have old scars to avenge...''Colorful Letter Lot by 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Sergeant -- ''...Capt. Shepherd has a bullet in his leg now and several more of our company have old scars to avenge...''Colorful Letter Lot by 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Sergeant -- ''...Capt. Shepherd has a bullet in his leg now and several more of our company have old scars to avenge...''
Colorful Letter Lot by 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Sergeant -- ''...Capt. Shepherd has a bullet in his leg now and several more of our company have old scars to avenge...''
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