• Civil War Letter Illustrates Maryland Governor Hicks Attempt To Prevent Secession With CT 10th Presence

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    W.L. SAVAGE enlisted on September 17, 1861 as a Sergeant and was mustered into I Co. CT 10th Infantry.  He was wounded at Deep Bottom Run, VA, on August 16, 1864 and was discharged on October 18 of that year. The Tenth was mustered into service at Camp Buckingham, Hartford, and left for Annapolis, MD, on October 31st.  It was assigned to Gen. J.G. Foster’s Brigade of Burnside’s Division. The Regiment remained at Annapolis for two months for training. On January 2nd, it joined the Burnside Expedition for North Carolina, remained on the ship for five weeks, landed on February 7th and on the 8th fought valiantly in the Battle of Roanoke Island, losing 56, who were either killed or wounded. In the Battle of New Bern, the regiment lost another 27, who were killed or wounded. In the summer of 1862, the 10th was sent to Roanoke Island to suppress a mutiny. The entire Regiment took part in the Trenton and Tarboro expeditions. On July 22nd, all troops were organized into the Ninth Corps under the command of Maj. Gen. Burnside. The Regiment was later involved in the Goldsboro Expedition, engaging in a sharp engagement at Kinston, NC.  The Tenth drove the enemy from Kinston and captured 500 rebel prisoners, with a loss of 106 killed or wounded.  The Regiment continued to display valor and astuteness in many other battles.

     

    Our writer provides a nice narrative of men who fought in the disastrous Battle of Balls Bluff and a glimpse into the complicated state of affairs in Maryland, which was divided over the Civil War.  Maryland Governor Thomas Holliday Hicks favored slavery but was intent on preventing the state from seceding.  The Tenth was notable for its skill and Hicks wanted them to remain in Maryland to prevent his state from seceding.

     

    3 pp, 5 x 8, SAVAGE, writes to Miss Amy Hustee, Annapolis, 21st [no month listed], 1861. “…We have had to study a considerable since we have been here and between study, drill, writing home and my other duties, I have passed away my time to be sure…It is said that there are now in and about Annapolis eleven thousand five hundred soldiers…moving most every day. Yesterday noon a regiment cavalry came into this place from Balls Bluff, Virginia, where there was a recent battle fought. [The Battle of Balls Bluff was an early Battle in the Civil War and one in which Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan’s forces suffered a humiliating defeat.]  The horses look pretty poor; some of them and the whole regiment looked so they had had a rough time on their march. Accompanying them were near one hundred wagons. They were some time in passing. There is also a regiment of Zouaves, which arrived here yesterday. They look like a hard nation. Some of them were pretty dirty. There is considerable talk now that we shall stay here all winter. The citizens of Annapolis say that the 10th is the best regiment there has been here, and I heard this morning that Gov. Hicks has petitioned that the tenth be left in Annapolis. The men don’t like this idea much.

     

    “If we stay here and the war does not last more than six months (as they talk now), we shall not see any fight, if we go South, as we hope to do…

     

    “Nov. 22. I hear this morning that the Colonel has accepted the offer to stay here this winter and guard the provisions being stored here, to receive one hundred per month extra pay…We fellows have decided to write home for a Thanksgiving dinner to be sent in a box from Joseph E. Bush’s store. I suppose we could get our dinner here, but it would cost a considerable [sum]…If…it wouldn’t be too much trouble, [we] would like your people to ask our folks for some chickens. There are ten in our mess, pretty healthy fellows who thought they would like a Thanksgiving dinner cooked in New England…”

     

    Folds, toning.  In pencil but easy to read. One small edge tear reinforced with archival tape.

     

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