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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.

West, Lewis H. (b. 1829) to R. West

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03836.32 Author/Creator: West, Lewis H. (b. 1829) Place Written: Baltimore, Maryland Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 13 March 1862 Pagination: 4 p. : docket ; 20.2 x 12.6 cm.

Sent 340 dollars in gold to his father's address. Says the USS "Flag" arrived with news that the Confederates fled St. John's on the approach of gunboats. Mentions the destruction of the USS "Cumberland" and "Congress," by the CSS "Merrimack." Says everyone predicted the result and that it was a topic of discussion for the last 6 months. Says the Secretary of the Navy or the flag officer of their fleet are "drivelling idiots." Says the arrival of the USS "Monitor" was providential. Reports that the army is at last on the move.

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