Up for bid is this 1-page letter written by Alonzo Kent, a soldier with the 92nd Regiment, New York Infantry, to his family in Ellenburgh Center, New York. The letter is datelined October 14, 1861. The letter was sent in a Union patriotic cover printed in red, white, and blue. The full description and letter text are below.
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Please Read Full Description and Condition Before Bidding
This is a genuine period letter and cover, not a copy or reproduction.
Up for bid is this very nice soldiers letter, and original patriotic cover (damaged) sent from camp to his family back in Ellenburgh, New York. Official Records show that Alonzo Kent was a Corporal in Co. “B,” 92nd Volunteer Regiment, New York Infantry. The 92nd was organized and trained at Potsdam, NY, during the last three months of 1861. They were officially mustered into service on January 1, 1862. At the time this letter was written (Oct 14, 1861), the 92nd was in its infancy, with new men coming in every day, drilling, shooting, and in general, learning the job of soldiering. Note: The full text of the letter appears below, and the service record of the 92nd NY appears at the very bottom of this page.
The letter is written on a large (12” x 7¼”) embossed letter sheet. The embossed image is faint, but appears to be an anchor within some decorative scroll work. Since the full text appears below, it can speak for itself.
The envelope (3” x 5¼“) is a Patriotic Cover printed in red and blue against the white envelope. At left is a U.S. flag on a staff, in front of a sunrise. The wording below the flag, partially covered by the stamp, appears to say “Protect It.” The cover is addressed to “Mr Peter Kent / Ellenburgh Center / Clinton Co NY.” The cover is franked with a single copy of Scott U.S.# 26 (type III, perf 15½), the dull red 3-cent value of the 1857-61 general issue. The cover is dated with a black POTSDAM / N.Y. circular date stamp, dated Oct 15, while the stamp is cancelled (not tied) by a matching black circular grid cancellation.
Full Text of Letter:
Oct the 14 1861
Dear father and mother brothers and sisters I take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well and hope these few lines will find you the same we have enough to eat and to drink and agod [a good] plase to sleep we drill 1 hour in the morning before breakfast then from 10 to 11 and then in the afternoon from 2 to 4 we have straw to sleep on with one blanket under and 1 over Eli is well and lively he thinks we had better have each of us a quilt if you send them over to Havens and he will send them right here tell Orpha that Dalmage has listed [enlisted] and Orlando Benson and James Richards and are here Lewis Igala(?) and Bear Nichols have gon to the Burg our camp bilding is about 200 feet long and our dining room 120 feet I have no more to right this time direct to Potsdam St & Lawrance CO NY I must go to drilling
Condition (Letter): The letter is written in ink, bold and easy to read. Normal letter folds, plus minor toning and soiling that do not detract. There are 5-6 tiny (¼” or less) fold separations. Overall, VF condition. Please see scans above.
Condition (Cover): Damaged, and in poor condition. The cover was opened very roughly at left, removing large pieces of envelope paper (including a portion of the patriotic image) front and back. There are small corner bends and wear-through at right, top and bottom. Please see scans above.
Civil War Patriotic Covers, especially with the original accompanying soldiers letters, are becoming more scarce and expensive every day. This letter from a man just beginning his soldiering career, along with the original (but tattered) cover, would be a very nice addition to your collection.
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92nd Regiment, New York Infantry – Service Record – Organized at Potsdam, N. Y., and mustered in January 1, 1862. Left State for Washington, D. C., March 5, 1862. Attached to 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 4th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to June, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 4th Army Corps, to September, 1862. Wessell's Brigade, Division of Suffolk, Va., 7th Army Corps, Dept. of Virginia, to December, 1862. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Dept. of North Carolina, to January, 1863. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 18th Army Corps, Dept. of North Carolina, to May, 1863. Lee's Brigade, Defences of New Berne, N. C., Dept of North Carolina, to August, 1863. Sub-District of the Albemarle District of North Carolina, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, to April, 1864. Palmer's Brigade, Peck's Division, 18th Army Corps, April, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 18th Army Corps, to October, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 18th Army Corps, to December, 1864.
SERVICE.-Advance on Manassas, Va., March 10-15, 1862. Ordered to the Peninsula, Virginia, March 28. Siege of Yorktown April 5-May 4. Reconnoissance toward Lee's Mills April 29. Battle of Williamsburg May 5. Operations about Bottom's Bridge May 21-23. Near Seven Pines May 29-30. Battle of Seven Pines or Fair Oaks May 31-June 1. New Market Road June 8. Seven days before Richmond June 25-July 1. Bottom's Bridge June 27-28. White Oak Swamp June 30. Malvern Hill July 1. At Harrison's Landing till August 16. Moved to Fortress Monroe August 16-23. Duty there till September 18. Moved to Suffolk, Va., September 18, and duty there till December. Reconnoissance to Franklin October 3. Affairs on the Blackwater October 9, 26, 29 and 30. Franklin October 31. Ordered to New Berne, N. C., December 4. Foster's Expedition to Goldsboro, N. C., December 11-20. Actions at Kinstoll March 14; Whitehall December 16; Goldsboro December 17. Duty at and near New Berne till April, 1864. Operations against Whiting January 18-February 10. Fort Anderson March 14, 1863. Expedition to relief of Little Washington April 7-10. Beech Grove and Batchelor's Creek, near New Berne, February 1-3, 1864. Ordered to Yorktown, Va., April 28, 1864. Butler's operations on south side of the James River and against Petersburg and Richmond May 4-28. Occupation of City Point and Bermuda Hundred May 5. Swift Creek or Arrowfield Church May 8-10. Operations against Fort Darling May 12-16. Battle of Drury's Bluff May 14-16. Bermuda Hundred May 16-27. Moved to White House, thence to Cold Harbor, May 27-31. Battles about Cold Harbor June 1-12. Before Petersburg June 15-18. Wier Bottom Church June 20. Siege operations against Petersburg and Richmond June 16 to December 1, 1864. Hare's House June 24 and 28. Mine Explosion, Petersburg, July 30 (Reserve). Duty in the trenches before Petersburg and on the Bermuda front till September 26. Battle of Chaffin's Farm, New Market Heights, September 28-30. Battle of Fair Oaks October 27-28. Duty in trenches before Richmond north of the James River till December. Consolidated with 96th Regiment New York Infantry December 1, 1864. Old members mustered out January 7, 1865.
Regiment lost during service 1 Officer and 67 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 115 Enlisted men by disease. Total 185.