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C.R. Knapp letter to Walter J. Knapp

Letter, 9 March 1863, from Union soldier C.R. Knapp, Co. H, 24th Regiment, Maine Volunteers, St. Helena Island, to his brother, Walter J. Knapp, Bridgeport, Me., reports that he had been stationed for four weeks on St. Helena Island, where it was already as warm as June in Maine. Uncertain whether they would move toward Charleston or Savannah, Knapp expressed hope that Ft. Sumter would soon fall so that Union troops could shell the city of Charleston. More likely, he admitted, Sumter would have to be taken by gunboats. Knapp advises that his brother avoid being drafted—"you had better be most anny where els than in the army"—and suggests that many soldiers' enthusiasm for freeing the slaves had subsided. The letter further reveals something of living conditions in camp—"wee...stay in...shelter tents...made of cotton cloth and big enof for two men to sleep in and when wee move each man have to carry half of one on his napsack theay are vary good in dry wether but moist in wet."

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