• Civil War MA 24th Soldier Writes From Military Prison Fortress Monroe

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    Throughout the Civil War, Fort Monroe remained in Union hands, although most of Virginia became part of the Confederacy. The Fort became notable as a site of early freedom for former slaves under the provisions of contraband policies. After the war, the former Confederate President Jefferson Davis was imprisoned at the fort.

    President Lincoln ordered Fort Monroe to be reinforced in the early part of the war so that it would not fall into Confederate hands. It was held by Union forces throughout the war. Several sea and land expeditions were launched from there.

    The 24th MA Infantry Regiment fought in the Battles of Roanoke Island, New Bern, Secessionville, Sieges of Fort Wagner and Battery Gregg, Petersburg, Richmond, Morris Island, saw action at Tranter’s Creek, Washington, St. Augustine. [Research included]

    WILLIAM B. HAMMOND of Salisburg, MA, was a 27-year-old printer when he enlisted on October 8, 1861, as a Private. He was mustered into B Co., MA 24th Infantry, promoted to Corporal on September 1, 1863, and discharged on October 9, 1864.

    1 ½ pp, 5 x 8, Military Prison & Camp of Distribution, Fortress Monroe, VA, Oct. 10 [1864]

    “Dearest Georgia:

    “I am a Citizen!

    “I was mustered out of the United States Service at the Front near Richmond on Saturday morning last. I arrived at Bermuda Landing Saturday night and started for Fortress Monroe Sunday morning arriving at night. We were provided with lodgings at the above named place, and this morning the wind is blowing fresh and I am almost froze. We shall try to get our pay to day and then if it is a possible thing, I shall go to Washington and shall also stop one night in New York so you need not expect me home before the last of the week. I intend to visit the Fortress to day if I can gain entrance. The boat does not start for Baltimore till about 5 o’clock this afternoon. Breakfast is ready and I must close.

    “So long Georgia

    “Till I arrive

    “From Your Husband

    “Wm B. Hammond”

    Folds. Light soiling but overall in excellent condition. Nice example of a solider concluding his service for this important regiment.

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