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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Painter, Heber (1841-1900) to sister Ella

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02016.031 Author/Creator: Painter, Heber (1841-1900) Place Written: Batchelder's Creek, North Carolina Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 3 May 1863 Pagination: 4 p. ; 25 x 20 cm.

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02016.031 Author/Creator: Painter, Heber (1841-1900) Place Written: Batchelder's Creek, North Carolina Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 3 May 1863 Pagination: 4 p. ; 25 x 20 cm.

Reports a skirmish with the rebels where one Union soldier was lost. Two companies from his regiment were ordered out after two soldiers had been discovered dead two miles from camp. Seven men, thought to have been responsible for the murders were detained but later released when their innocence was proven. The letter is continued on the evening of May 5th. Writes that refugees from Kinston, North Carolina reported that rebels have left, possibly to Suffolk. Reports that his health is fine.

Before joining the service, Painter was a trained printer from Danville, Pennsylvania. He was mustered as a private into F Company of the 58th Pennsylvania infantry on 8 October 1861 and transferred to I Company on 1 March 1862. While in I Company, he was promoted to Sergeant and eventually mustered out on 21 January 1866 as First Lieutenant. Painter also held a post as Quartermaster's clerk, and performed freedman duties shortly after the war ended.

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