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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.

Allen, George D. (fl. 1859-1864) to Mary Mayberry

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02829.08 Author/Creator: Allen, George D. (fl. 1859-1864) Place Written: Aboard USS Delaware on Pamlico River, North Carolina Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 26 April 1863 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Writing to tell her he is alright, even though it is not his turn. Says he is about 10 miles from Washington, North Carolina under batteries which have caused them a great deal of trouble for the past 3-4 weeks. It was the cause of them not going to Philadelphia. Says the rebels sneaked in and built the batteries during the night and "They built them a little back from the river so that they could not be seen when they got them finished they cut the trees down in front of them." They were also built under the ground so they could not be shelled out. Says Commodore Hull ran the gauntlet of the batteries to reinforce the command of General Foster at Washington. 160 shots hit the troop ship, wounding 3 men. Foster then outflanked the battery and an engineer from his ship landed and when he planted a flag there, he was shot and killed by a rebel. In the battery there was "a dead nigger with a note in his pocket saying we leave you two busted guns and one of your [illegible]. We will be back in a short time to see you again." Says Washington is "a miserable little hole." Liked being at New Bern, North Carolina where he and his friend Cromwell "had a couple of girls ... we used to go see." Says they left when they refuse to take the oath of allegiance. Sends respects to his family and friends.


Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Keywords/Subjects: Civil War, Military History, Union Forces, Navy, Soldier's Letter, Union Soldier's Letter, Artillery, Confederate States of America, Injury or Wound, Battle, Union General, American Flag, Death, Contrabands, Weaponry, African American History, Women's History, Oath, Slavery

Sub Era: The American Civil War