The 3rd New
Hampshire Volunteers arrived at Hilton Head, South Carolina, along
with other forces to establish Federal footholds on the South’s Atlantic
Coast. They saw action on June 16, 1862,
when they participated in the Battle of Secessionville, where they suffered
losses of 104, including 27 killed. The 3rd engaged in amphibious
operations for several months and was assigned to one of the brigades to attack
Fort Wagner. The regiment engaged in two attacks in July 1863, losing seven in the
first and eight in the second. During
the spring of 1864, the 3rd was transferred to Virginia where they
joined the 10th Corps, also known as the Army of the James. They were heavily engaged at Drewry’s Bluff
on May 16, 1864, where 66 New Hampshire men were killed or wounded. The writer
of the letter offered here, Private
Edward B. Holt of Co. E, was severely wounded at Drewry’s Bluff. In August of 1864, the regiment fought at Deep
Bottom, Virginia. In January 1865, the 3rd
took part in the successful attack on Fort Fisher in North Carolina.
2 pp, 5” x 7 ¾”, ALS, Holt of Gloucester Point, May 1st, 1864, writes to “Ever dear friends at home, with cover, addressed to Miss Sarah M. Holt of Nelson, NH.
In part, “…We left Jacksonville Sunday morning a week ago today. It rained when we left and we got wet and the boat was a poor concern. It rolled pretty well. We were most all sick…We got onto the [Hilton] Head on Monday. We went right aboard the North Star. She is a good boat. We got good bunks on her. The 97th P.V. were on with us and we had a rough set. They got drunk and got to fighting. The officer of the day shot one man and there was a bloody set, but we got through safe to Fortress Monroe…The 28th we came on up to Yorktown. We are opposite Yorktown the other side of the York River. We landed and came up to the camp where we met the veterans. Yesterday we had a General review by General Terry and Gen. Butler. There is about 15,000 troops on this side as near as we can calculate. The old Gen looks stern and sober…as if he might do something and meant to soon…We trust in him who rules for the result of the conflict…”
Folds and toning. Writing is clear, though with creative spelling throughout. His signature is a bit smudged. Wonderful War-date letter.
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