Autograph Letter Signed and Autograph Document Signed by two Civil War heroes, including one who fought at Gettysburg – JOHN W. MARSELLUS – and another who fought in the Vicksburg Campaign and was awarded the Medal of Honor – MANNING FERGUSON FORCE.
MARSELLUS enlisted at Rutland, NY, on Oct. 18, 1861, and was mustered into “C” Battery NY 1st Light Artillery. He also served in “E” “G” Batteries. His promotions included Sergeant, 1st and 2nd Lieutenant. He was mustered out on June 19, 1865. Marsellus’ battery at the time was Battery “C”, which arrived at Gettysburg on July 2, the second day of the battle. Battery “C” joined the Fifth Corps on a line with Gibbs’ First Ohio and Hazlett’s “D” Fifth U.S. on the right of Little Round Top. With good fortune, the battery had no loss of men, although some of their harnesses were cut with bullets and had to be replaced. Following Gettysburg, Battery “C” went with the Fifth Corps to Manassas Gap. The battery continued in the movements to the Rappahannock River and Mine Run. At Mine Run, the battery gained fire on a three-gun battery near a railroad cut and nearly destroyed it and its guns. Battery “G” had a strong role at Gettysburg and a monument was dedicated to it at Gettysburg. On July 2, 1863, the Battery marched to a point near Gettysburg and was soon ordered to report to Maj. Gen. Sickles. Sickles ordered the Battery to take a position at Peach Orchard. The men were supported by Gen. Graham’s troops. The men were hit hard but were able to save their weapons and remove their wounded. That night, the Battery refilled its ammunition chests and on July 3rd, they took a position with the Second Corps on the front line. They were subjected to a terrible fight but they were able to repel Pickett’s charge, helping to end one of the most difficult battles of the war.
In this one page, 4 ¾” x 8”, ALS to Capt. Angell Mattewson, Feb. 27th, 1865, Marsellus asks that Matthewson “please pay to Doctor U. Gilman [Uriah Gilman of the NY 12th Infantry] the sum of Fifty Dollars and this shall be your receipt. “John W. Marsellus “2d Lt. Batt “G” 1st NY Arty. “P.S. The reason for my doing this is that I am going home on sick and I am owing the Doctor for a horse an I give him tis order on you so that he may get the money before I get back. Yours truly, J.W.M.” Blind-embossed crest if George Washington on stationary. Verso contains the receipt. Comes with bios on Gilman, Marsellus and Force.
Folds with one small ink blotch, else excellent condition.
FORCE (December 17, 1824-May 8, 1899) was born in Washington, DC, where his father was the mayor. He was a lawyer, judge and soldier from Ohio. In 1861, Force joined the Union forces as major of the 20th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, serving in the Western Theater as part of Gen. James B. McPherson’s 17th Corps. He and his men got their first taste of combat at Fort Donelson in February 1862, and two months later at Shiloh. Col. Force’s 20th Ohio bore the brunt of the Battle of Raymond, Mississippi, in the Vicksburg Campaign. Following Vicksburg, Force and his men marched on to northern Georgia, where they fought in the Atlanta Campaign. There, Force would become known as a hero for valiantly leading his troops. Force was promoted to Major General of Volunteers in March 1865. In 1892, he received the Medal of Honor. The citation read, “Charged upon the enemy’s works, and after their capture defended his position against assaults of the enemy until he was severely wounded.” One page, 4 ½” x 7,” ADS, Cincinnati, 7th March 1888. “Received from Charles P. Greenough, Trustee, his check for Eighty-Eight dollars, bringing my share of $2100 distributed among the beneficial owners of the trust property. M.P. Force” Docketing on verso.
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