2nd South Carolina Infantry After the Battle of Manassas – “Glory & Credit on the Heart & Head of Our Brave Col. Kershaw” – Vienna, Va. August 1st, 1861
This 4 long page letter in ink was written by Isom Lee, a Private in Co. A of the 2nd South Carolina Infantry. The letter is signed with just the initials “I. L.” (We have had other letters of his.) Here is some of the wonderful content:

• “Our retreat from Fairfax C. H. was a masterly one, and sheds glory and credit on the heart and head of our brave Col. Kershaw, who on being a third time solicited to fall back from the foe that was surrounding him and leave about ninety of us "myself among the number" to our fate who even on picket in amongst the enemy's Grand Army replied, no, I will cut my way through their entire army before I forsake my brave fellows in their perilous positions.”

• “Our retreat was followed by two battles — the last a pretty decisive one — and then there was forced marches forward again and pickets and guards that are unknown to the body of the army, so we have not at all much time to ourselves.”

• “…how much more must I feel such loss here where I never hear any news and where half a dollar would be paid for a newspaper nine days old. I sent subscription money to two different papers but cannot even get one of them a week so am just as badly off as if I kept the money in my pocket.” • “…I was struck motionless to see the valor of mere boys…”

• “I never saw or read of anything fit to be placed on a level with the conduct of some of the South Carolinians on that terrible 21st of July. There was the brave Irishman and the hardy Scotchman opposite us & well they fought and fearlessly they meet their death wound and firmer, aye, much firmer they stood than the much vaunted New York Zouaves. We came into the field at a terrible crisis. Ten men were giving way a little but only to make a firmer stand and then I saw the mettle of our boys tried. There was the Irishman cracking his joke as he fired his shot and seemingly careless of the iron hail that showered round him a good contrast to the careful German who sought shelter of tree or hedge, but the other —loaded and fired with an impression that could not be misunderstood. Boys of sixteen to twenty "and we have many of them" trampled over the wounded, dying and dead with as firm set lips and glowing faces, aye and did not shrink from the fearful fire the enemy poured upon them no more than if we were only playing some game when at the word of some actor, all would rise up and with a dash of water clear away all traces of death.”

• “We had some killed but their comrades after a hasty glance pushed on. There were many wounded but I did not hear a groan from a Southern Soldier. The Yankees were lying also wounded beside them and I am sure this as much as pride restrained them. Mr. Lincoln and his General must indeed be maniacs to entertain for an instant the idea of subjugating such people.”

• “I know that our Captain has erased nine names from the muster roll of the company.”

#CG449 - Price $1,950