1st New Jersey Soldier’s Letter on Scarce Patriotic Stationery – Early Action Around Alexandria, Va. – Writer would be killed 9 months later at Gaines’ Mill
This letter headed “Washington DC September 1st, 1861” has a vignette of the capitol and Lady Liberty at the top. The soldier, quite creatively, has in red ink added the phrase, “The Union For Ever”. He also has put a fancy salutation to his sister in the red ink.

The writer, Uzal Trowbridge, had enlisted in May of 1861 and spent the first year in Northern Virginia around Washington. His first major battle was Gaines’ Mill where our writer was killed.

The letter is four pages in ink with some aging and spotting.

The letter has very interesting content, here are some of the highlights:

• “Today is the scene of the funeral of Andrew Dayly of Cap Whalen's Company, he of the third Regiment who was shot through the neck while out on a scout with the Company yesterday. He had just shot one of the Secessionists while he was getting over the fence into the road, and soon in the act of loading his piece again when he was shot dead.”

• “…the band played the dead march and the procession passed slowly by the Seminary near our camp, many eyes were filled with tears.”

• “This is the first man that has been killed out of the three companies from Elizabeth, excepting the drummer of this company, who was accidentally shot some time since...”

• “When the Surgeons went with a flag of truce, to recovered the body, the Rebels told them that their purpose was not to fire upon the Company but to surround them and take them prisoners, but that they fired upon them "the Rebels" first.”

• “Yesterday there was quite a skirmish between the Rebels and the Mozart, and the second Michigan Regiment in which a few were killed and wounded on both sides.”

• “The nineteenth, eighteenth, and some few other New York Regiments are at work throwing up fortifications on a fine hill near our camp to connect with those of the New Jersey troops.”

• “Nothing would suit the Federal Army as well as to have the enemy advance towards the capitol by the Fairfax or Leesburg turnpike, for they could open the guns upon them from forts Ellsworth, Albany, Cochran and Runyon, and if they got in range of these, they would be a poor site for their getting any farther.”

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