Various places, 1862. Approximately pp. Quarto and octavo sheets, most letters one or two pages in length. Old folds, some minor soiling. Light wear to a few items, but generally very good. Collection of letters written to Capt. Nichols W. Kneass (1840-96) of the 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry during his time engaged as a soldier in that unit, though one or two of the letters are written by Kneass to folks back home. The 89th Pennsylvania Volunteers, of which the 8th Cavalry was a part, was organized at Philadelphia in the Fall of 1861. The regiment saw action at Manassas, Chickahominy, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Spottsylvania Court House, and were present at Appomattox when Lee surrendered. Kneass served throughout the length of the war, mustering out with the rank of Captain. A medical student when the war broke out, Kneass returned to his studies and later became a doctor. Most of the letters in this group are from the first few months Kneass was away at war. One of the letters written by Kneass to his mother, dated at Camp Leslie on March 22nd, reads in part: "Tonight at officers call we were ordered to prepare three days rations. Tomorrow we start for Alexandria where we will take the fleet, and further destination is unknown but we will probably move south and reinforce Burnsides....I have several trophies of our late march to Manassas. I have a number of documents taken from Fairfax Court House and will endeavor to send them at the earliest opportunity." Many of the other letters discuss family or friends, or regimental business, primarily a brief term Kneass spent as Adjutant. (Inventory #: WRCAM48493)
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