Civil War Soldier's letter dated May 7, 1863, from a camp near Falmouth (VA). This letter to his cousin was written just following his the days long Battle of Chancellorsville where the Vermont Infantry 3rd Regiment found themselves under attack from 3 sides due to the retreat of General Joseph Hooker. His loss to Gen Lee at Chancellorsville is about all Hooker is remembered for.
This soldier remembers one of his fellow Union soldiers shooting himself rather than go into battle, and a few of the men on the front being taken prisoner by the'rebs' that were all around them. He speaks to being fired upon from three sides. Unfortunately, the soldier only signed the letter as Daniel. There is no envelope, but there is good news for the historians: First, there were only 5 Daniels in the rosters of the Vermont Infantry 3rd Regiment in all the Companies thereof that could have been involved in the battle, the others having already died or been discharged for disabilities or had not yet signed up. The five are Daniel Maranville of Salem in Company D, Corporal Daniel Shaw of Springfield in Company A, Private Daniel Yeazy of Springfield in Company A, Private Daniel Lee of St.Johnsbury in Company C, and an officer of Company D, Daniel Kennesson of Derby. Personally, given the comments made in the letter regarding the calling of the retreat and the fact that the writer was personally unscathed, combined with the overall reporting and logical thought lead me to believe it was a higher ranking individual that was not on the front lines. Genealogical research might quite well reveal the true author or help narrow it down further by identifying which, if any of the identified individuals were related to the Websters. The second is that this letter was included in a lot of 51 envelopes and letters in various combinations, some with letters, some letters without envelopes. All sent to or from members of the Webster family of Hartland, Vermont between the 1850s and the mid-1870s. I was hopeful that it was from the Daniel Webster of North Hartland, but he was discharged out of the regiment in 1862 on disability. You can find a great deal of information online at the Hartland Historical Society regarding the Webster family and their long and early membership in the community beginning with Moses Webster, Revolutionary soldier who settled in the area circa 1780s. I have read or grazed through most and most are personal family members reporting on relatives and some are business related. They are addressed primarily to Azro N. Webster, some to his spouse, some to a John Webster probably Cpt.
John Webster and a few to Daniel Webster, Azro's son born around 1857. Also to Mary Webster and Laban Webster is spoken of in some.
Stamp Collectors: The majority of the covers in this collection had the stamps cut off, and the letters are NOT stampless folded letters, they are simply missing the stampless covers. I have included photos of any stamps that may be relevant to collectors. They are in generally poor condition with small tears, also included are any relevant postmarks.