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7th Connecticut Vols. - St. Helena Island, S.C., Nov. 1863 - Turning in Old Enfield's for Spencer Carbines - Fired Calcium Light into Fort Sumter, "A Shapeless Mass"
This letter was written by John G. Rowley, Company E of the 7th Connecticut Infantry.  The letter comes with its original envelope addressed to his parents in Winsted, Conn.  The letter is headed, “St. Helena Island, S.C. Nov. 18th, 1863.”  The letter is 3 pages in ink and is in fine condition.  The 7th Conn. Vols. was a hard fought regiment sustaining many losses on James Island on June 16th, 1862 at the battle of Secessionville and were devastated at Battery Wagner in July of 1863.  In our letter, it is mentioned that the 7th was “GOING TO FLORIDA TO CLEAN OUT THE STATE”.  Three months after our letter was written, the 7th would be hard hit in the battle of Olustee, Florida!  While Rowley gives a full military I.D. at the conclusion of the letter, he signs a flourish the meaning of which probably known only to his parents!  Fortunately for us, the cover gives us positive identification, as does another letter we have from Rowley, a copy of which we will include.

#L445CT - Price $235


Transcription:

                                                                             Camp 7th Conn. Vols.
                                                                                                 St. Helena Island, S.C.

                                                                                                                        Nov. 18th, 1863

Dear Parents,

Again we return to camp with full ranks.  We came home Tuesday withoutever going further than the place where we bivwacked.  Fort Sumter was our destination.  There was a calcium light thrown onto it and we were ready for them at any moment.  It would have been hard fighting for a while but we would have waxed the Rebs with Col. Joe with us.  One of the boys said we were all labeled Libby.  That is the last place we shall go to if we hang together.  Today we turn in our old Enfield rifles and received the new Spencer Carbine seven shooter.  I am very well pleased with them.  Rumor says that Col. Hawley is to be Military Gov. of Florida.  I hope so.  I think it a sell though.  I see that Lt. Col. Rodman is to be Col. of the 6th and both regiments are going to Florida to clean out the state.  I never yet knew what Gen. Terry and Col. Hawley went north for, yet probably shant until
something turns up that reveals it.  Lt. Dempsey came from Morris Island today, he says that Battery Chatfield fired several shots at Charleston City in earnest while he was there.  Some of the Batteries guns are all turned on the city.  Sumter is more and more a shapeless mass although it is garrisoned yet by the Rebs.  They fire wholly now new shells said by science men not to have been cast more than 10 days.  On Monday no shots more fired from the Rebels, cause unknown except want of shell.  We got no mail from home this arrival of the Fulton.  We got 109 conscripts by the Fulton.

                                                            Write & send paper.

                                                                                           “E” 7th Conn. Vols. 
                                                                                                          
Port Royal
                                                           
                                                              S.C.