Description: On February 20, 1863, Phisterer writes from Camp Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to Major Frederick Townsend who is on leave. He tells Townsend that he has “attended to all mentioned in [the Major’s] letter” and that he is missed. He tells Townsend about how “Shepherd is at his old tricks again, he wants to break up two companies of each [2nd and 3rd] Battalion” in order to favor officers Kinney and Mills by making them Captains. Phisterer sees the whole “affair [as] nothing but a scheme to get Douglas, Kinney, and Mills home and [that] for appearance sake one or two other officers will get a chance to go.” He also writes about attempts to stop Shepherd. He gives Townsend news of the other officers and sends “their respects.” Phisterer also confides in Townsend that his family is urging him to visit, but that he doesn’t know what to do. He says, “if there was the slightest hope, that our difficulties will soon be settled, I could easily make up my mind.” At this time, they had heard a rumor about “an early forward movement;” they also were “almost down to half rations, 5 days to last.” He hopes that Townsend “will enjoy [his] leave in good health” and signs the letter, “Your Obedient Servant Fred. Phisterer.”
Federick Phisterer (1836-1909) received the Medal of Honor for passing along information “under a heavy fire” at the Battle of Stones River (the Battle of Murfreesboro) in Tennessee in 1862. The information was credited with saving a battalion of regular troops from “capture or annihilation.” Later in life, Phisterer complied the 6 volume New York in the War of the Rebellion.
General Frederick Townsend (1825-1897) was a Union Officer of the US Army’s 18th Infantry. He also served three terms as Adjutant General of the State of New York from 1857-61 and in 1880. Phisterer served as Townsend’s battalion adjutant in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
This 3-page autograph letter signed is written on a 8” x 10” sheet of paper which is folded. Item #A00772.
Condition: Fold lines and three large water stains in the center of all three pages. Writing is, however, clear and quite legible.