4th New Hampshire Infantry Letter – Folly Island May 3rd, 1863 – Trading with the Enemy
This letter 3 pages in attractive dark blue ink was written by Leander Harris, a 28-year old from Hampstead, New Hampshire. He enlisted into Company I in September of 1861, reenlisted in 1864 and was mustered out in 1865. The 4th New Hampshire served mainly in the Charleston, S.C. area until 1864 when they were devastated at Drewry’s Bluff, Virginia and then entered the long Petersburg Campaign.

The letter has fine content and should be displayed with a picture of Union and Confederate soldiers trading with each other:

“If you have a map of the harbor, you will see that we are getting into the Rebel county. This Island is close to Morris and James Islands. The Rebels occupy those places, and the pickets on both sides are quite friendly. They go in bathing together in the river between their posts and exchange papers, etc. Our men sent them salt, beef and coffee, and they send back tobacco and whiskey. We are within 4 or 5 miles of Fort Sumter which can be seen quite distinctly.”

Harris goes on to state:

“There may be an attempt to drive the Rebels from Morris & James Islands and to occupy those places soon. It will be likely to take some hard fighting to accomplish that object as they are strongly posted there.”

“This Island is a much better place than some that we have occupied but the water is very poor.”

“I would walk now five miles in the hot sun to fill my canteen with as good water as that in the old blueberry swamp.”

The letter comes with a fine cover with “Port Royal” postmark.

#L645NH - Price $225