Confederate Soldier’s Letter – Drewry’s Bluff Battery April 7th, 1862 – “We have a good many Negros working on the battery… We have two 8 inch Columbiads and the balls weight 64 pounds” – Great Line about their Bread: “When it is a day or two old it is hard enough to knock a male cow off a bridge.”
This Confederate soldier’s letter is written in ink and is 3 ½ pages in length. It is written by William C. Ivey who was a member of that Drewry’s Bluff Battalion. Confederate records are sketchy but he was listed as WC. Ivey later in the 1st CS Engineers.

This letter was part of the original collection we bought from Richard Frajola in Connecticut over 40 years ago. Each piece had a nice hand printed descriptive title, and that page is still with this letter. Drewry’s Bluff commanded a bend in the James River and in 1862 was chosen as the site to hastily construct the defenses of Richmond. It was continually strengthen as to be almost impregnable. Here is that great content:

• “I learned of the death of Jno Clarke; I suppose he was a Christian, if he was he is better off now I reckon.”

• “Troops are going down the river on the steamers all the time nearly there is a report that they are fighting at Yorktown.”

• “yesterday was the Sabbath but we had to drill, I did not drill owing to my having been on guard Saturday and Saturday night. We have a good many negroes working on the battery but it is nothing like completed. We have only two guns here and they are not yet mounted, they (are) 8 in. columiads and the balls weigh 64 pounds I believe.”

• “We have a cook we pay $10 a month for him besides we have a bakery now, and can have our bread baked for 25 cts a month apiece of course. I think I shall have mine baked as it is a lighter, this we have is nothing but grease and flour and when it is a day or two old it is hard enough to knock a male cow off a bridge.”

• “They are putting obstructions in the river just below our battery, indeed they are no farther than 80 or 100 yds from our battery.” • “I wouldn’t be surprised if they are not fighting now down on the peninsula.”

• “The Captain and one of the Lts took one or two squads of men out patrolling last night they caught several negros.”

#CG482 - Price $250