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324: Private Henry Peck, 17th Connecticut Regiment, Civ

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Lot 0324 Details

Description
Private Henry Peck, 17th Connecticut Regiment, Civil War Archive

17 letters, 1863-1865.

During the late summer 1862, the 17th Connecticut Infantry was organized at Bridgeport. The 17th joined the Army of the Potomac in time for the famous Mud March and Peck’s first surviving letters from his Civil War experience date from the late winter and spring of 1863 when the Union army was gearing up for what would be some momentous offensives. At Brooks Station, Virginia, Peck wrote of performing picket duty, but not close to the rebels, however he soon reported the Rebels are making raids into our lines most every day, But to no purpose. Discipline, it seems, was something they were learning slowly. After being paid off in March, Peck wrote that the boys are in good spirits. The reason, he noted, was that They run all over Virginia for Whiskey. Those that get it get well drunk. We have plenty shad and other fish, fresh water ones... A month later, he insisted that he was making every effort to avoid drink and bad things, even though he had a low opinion of the men in his company:

Father when I enlisted I thought it was my duty to do so. How many there were that went before me and suffered and was it and more than what was right that I should help preserve the Union, as well as the rest. I have no doubt but what there is those to home that often throw it up in your face concerning me enlisting with the company, But I might as well went in this company as any other. All you know have been a low class in when they do speak about it tell them they were cowards and now they have got us here they cant even back us up. Dam such a community if I may such a word...

In the fall 1863, the 17th Connecticut was transferred to the Department of the South and sent to Folly Island, S.C., where disease depleted them to a mere 290 effectives, and then after adding recruits, they were ordered to Jacksonville, Fla., and attached to the Head Quarters of the District of Florida. In Florida, Peck acted as a clerk, a position in much demand, he wrote, since all the white Regs [had] left the Departments. They tried the Colored Gentlemen for Clerks but it would not work. Such Dam work as they made in the Books I never saw in my life...Peck wrote that he and his tent mates have a man detailed to cook for us, a Nigger as that but he is a good one and just does things up in style. For dinner we had fresh meat toasted done & plenty of potatoes with some Tomatoes, Coffee & fresh bread included. And I must say I was never better satisfied in my life...

The stay in Jacksonville was not without its drama -- in August, 1864, Peck reported that seven men of the 75th Ohio Vols came in today, they have lived 7 days on Green Corn and slept in the swamps... -- but he admitted that much of his enlistment there was spent in comparative comfort, with good food and company. You can see by this we are not starving, but taking things cool trying to put the Rebellion down with pen and good living, and hope to succeed.
Condition
Good condition with expected wear, aging, and occasional minor starting at the folds.
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324: Private Henry Peck, 17th Connecticut Regiment, Civ

Estimate $1,000 - $1,500Dec 07, 2012
Starting Price $850
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