Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 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.

Corbin, Elbert (b. 1836) to Emily Corbin [Incomplete]

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03685 Author/Creator: Corbin, Elbert (b. 1836) Place Written: s.l. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: July 1863 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Lists some of the men and their injuries, all of which came from the 1st Regiment, Light Artillery, N. Y. S. Volunteers (Pettit's Battery). Also lists supplies lost, repairs made, patching up a Lieutenant Sheldon, and being left there "in care of the Boys." Mentions that General Alexander Hays has taken command of their corps and would not keep volunteer officers on his staff. Discusses "dressing our Boys wounds then...assisting to cut out Balls and dress the wounded Rebels." Comments that he "can do up wounds from shot or shell or Bullits quite like an M.D." and further claims that when he sees "an Arm or a Leg taken off...it has no more effect on my feelings, than cutting so much Beef." He also remarks on seeing many dead in the field, amounting to "more suffering here in one second than you will see in a Leife." Thanks God for seeing him through the battle. Remarks: "such a 4th of July - such a sabbath I shall long remember." Wishes that Captain Rufus D. Pettit had been there, suggesting they would have lost less men. Describes the position of their line on the first and second day, and includes a hand drawn map of the scene on the bottom of p. 6. Apparently written to his wife. Pages numbers 3-6.

People: Corbin, Elbert, b. 1836.

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Keywords/Subjects: Civil War, Military History, Union Forces, Union Soldier's Letter, Soldier's Letter, Injury or Wound, Battle, Battle of Gettysburg, Artillery, Military Supplies, Union General, Confederate States of America, Ammunition, Religion, Fourth of July, Holidays and Celebrations, Death

Sub Era: The American Civil War