Out of stock

SKU: AM00279 Category:


Description: In 1861, William H. Christian sought permission from New York Governor Edwin Morgan to recruit a regiment to serve the Civil War efforts. These five letters (four of which are in their original postally used envelopes) reflect the war efforts of the public and other engaged personnel. Maj. G. S. Jennings informs the Colonel that he has successfully contacted Dr. Aaron I. Steele who has agreed to be the Assistant Surgeon of their regiment, alongside Dr. Coventry: “We will thus have our medical staff agreeable to each other by previous social ties and ability” (May 17, 1861). A concerned father, Geo C. Tallman cordially requests that his son Edward A. Tillman be offered the position of “Treasurer of the Quarter Master” or another suitable position in the Colonel’s regiment, so he is not separated from a friend, the “Judge Baccus son [sic]” both of whom “have messed slept and kept together since they first enlisted [sic]” (May 28, 1861). The Secretary of the Ladies Association of Utica, S. H (?). Savage writes to him about a “bag of articles” sent to the hospital used by his regiment with a promise of “a further supply, should it be necessary” (June 1, 1861). Emos Clarke of Utica highly recommends Ethan B. Palmer, a divinity student in Madison University, as the Chaplain of the regiment, suggesting that the Colonel also consult Capt. Arrowsmith about Palmer (June 6, 1861). Sgt. William S. Buddle feels “compell to write agane as [he has] received know information as yet (sic)” in spite of being “in struckted . . . to assist . . . recrutting volentears [sic]”. He asks for information about provisions and pay that he can share with new recruits. Although he has found no “deserters,” he has “fond three or fore that [have] swornen into the state [sic].” He adds that “Col Christian is the topic of the day an all the cornors he has don miracals in get his regment up he will make a tell when he meats the rebels [sic]” (July 28, 1861). A sixth miscellaneous letter (without civil war reference) from J. Gorton of Rochester to Col Christian is included with the above.

Two of the letters are in patriotic covers with cancelled 3-cent Washington stamps, another is in an advertising cover for a Utica, NY boot and shoe store.

Col. William H. Christian (1825-1887) of Utica was the city surveyor. He first served in the Mexican War and because of his experience was granted permission in 1861 to recruit what became the 26th New York Voluntary Regiment. Although long reputed as a strong drill master and leader, he resigned under ignominious conditions after a show of cowardice in the Battle of Antietam.

Lt. Col. Gilbert S. Jennings (?-1893) of Elmira, N.Y. served in the 26th New York Regiment. He enlisted as a Captain in 1861 and rose to the rank of Lt. Col. in 1863.

Item #AM00279

Condition: All letters are legible and in very good condition. Three letters letter have short tears along the middle folds, but text is clear. Covers show some wear and soil.