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.

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

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02829.06 Author/Creator: Allen, George D. (fl. 1859-1864) Place Written: Aboard USS Delaware 60 miles from Richmond, Virginia Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 20 June 1862 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Written to his sister Mary. Aboard the USS "Delaware" about 60 miles from Richmond on the James River. Says they are with the USS "Monitor." Says they have left the company of the "Mosquitoe fleet" and are now with the "ironclads." Says they are eating well: chicken, mutton, veal, cherries, strawberries, plenty of fresh milk. Reports that the slaves of a rebel colonel named Cass sold them a young steer they stole from him for 5 dollars. Says he is getting the gout some nights when he goes to bed. Says there are sharpshooters along the banks of the James when they travel up it, but tells her not to be afraid "for I am sharper than the shooters." Says no one has been hurt yet. Sends regards to many of his individual family and friends. Postscript says the Rebels came down to where the fleet was anchored at City Point and poured artillery into them for 15 minutes. Says the "Galena" got as close to the shore as she could, while the "Delaware" followed her. Infantry then fired on the ships from the shore, but they were scared off with grape shot. Asks for her to send their mother and father's photographs. Says he will pay for them.


Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Keywords/Subjects: Civil War, Military History, Union Forces, Navy, Soldier's Letter, Union Soldier's Letter, Ironclad, Diet and nutrition, Military Provisions, Confederate States of America, Slavery, Finance, Health and Medical, Artillery, Infantry, Weaponry, Photography

Sub Era: The American Civil War