• Civil War Birney Zouaves: Soldier Captured by Privateer; Minnie Muskets; Others Springfield Muskets

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    Organized in Philadelphia on August 31, 1861, the 23rd PA Infantry, known as the BIRNEY ZOUAVES, saw action in dozens of important battles throughout the Civil War, including  Yorktown, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks,  the Maryland Campaign, Fredericksburg, Mud March, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Mine Run, Rapidan Campaign, Col d Harbor and Petersburg.

    The Zouaves were elite units, known for their precision on the drill field and for their colorful uniforms.

    CORPORAL CHARLES F. HUBER, Co. A, 23rd PA, was mustered in August 8, 1861 and transferred to Co. F, 82nd on September 14, 1864. He was wounded at Cold Harbor on June 1, 1864.

    The PENINSULA CAMPAIGN was a major Union operation launched in southeastern Virginia from March through June 1862, intended to enable the capturing of Richmond.  Gen. George B. McClellan was initially successful but an aggressive Robert E. Lee turned the tide into a humiliating defeat for the Union.

    Huber writes a 5 ¼” x 8 ¼” letter to his sister Rose, October 28th, 1861, Camp Graham.

    “…I have heard of the Battle of Balls Bluffs. I was very sorry to hear of the death of the Brave Col. Baker. All the men I knew of in the Regiment is saved, one of the men what was saved worked with Johnny and I up to Chandlers. I received the papers with much pleasure. It is the first I heard about Jim McCune being captured by a Privateer. I wonder how he is making out. I would not like to be in his boots. Our commanding officers are making too many blunders now a days. It is time they were doing something better. It will not be long before we are doing something. I hope it will be soon for I am tired of staying in one place so long. It is reported about the camp that as soon as the Regt is supplied with overcoats we will move over the rivers but it is hard to tell where we will go. We don’t know but what we will be sent out west…Job, Jim and Louis Cason are high Privates in the rear rank. Job did not receive the Sargentship. The billet he was after they are all well and in good spirits. He was formerly our 1st Lieutenant. He went to the city to recruit for the Regiment. We did not know he was promoted to a Captain till about a week before he came down. We have received the Minnie Muskets or Rifle Muskets that is the two flanking Companys A and B. The rest of the Regiments have the Springfield Musket. Our pieces are good ones. As good as we want. It would be good if the whole Regiment had them.  I suppose you ladys have plenty to do knitting stocking for our brave soldiers…One of the men of the camp received a box of liquor…I am very sorry to hear that Dave has not work yet. I would like to see the Nigger. I suppose he has grown pretty big…

    “From your brother

    “Charles F. Huber”

    Folds, toning, but overall in excellent condition and easy to read.

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