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Charles E. Walbridge papers

Thirty-nine manuscripts and one volume, 1861-1865, 1868, 1890-1895, relate largely to the Civil War military service of Charles E. Walbridge (b. 1842), of Buffalo, N.Y. Walbridge began his war career as a Second Lieutenant in the 100th New York Volunteers, Co. H, spending much of his time in the quartermaster's department. Stationed at Folly Island during most of 1863, he was brevetted captain on 26 February. There is one letter from his time on Folly Island, dated 29 September 1863 and written to his brother George, in which he tells of going to Morris Island to have a photograph of officers taken and of being entertained by a man expertly playing various musical selections on the "jew's harp."

By February 1864 Walbridge was in Florida and assigned to the Assistant Quartermaster of Volunteers. A year later Walbridge found himself in North Carolina as a lieutenant colonel and chief quartermaster of the Tenth Army Corps and remained in this capacity until his resignation on 1 October 1865. A letter from his sister Louise, written from Buffalo on 22 September 1865, indicates she was unsure of his location but, she wrote, "I doubt not you are careering [careening?] about South Carolina with your herd of mules and horses." Much of the correspondence for the remainder of 1865 is between Walbridge and his brother. Letters from Darlington, Orangeburg, and Charleston talk of Walbridge's efforts to sell his stock without too much loss and of returning to New York; he was running freight with mule teams out of Darlington. On 19 October 1865 he wrote about meeting a Mr. Armstrong who was operating a weekly stage line to connect Orangeburg with "`Johnson's Turnout' a station on the S.C.R.Rd. twenty miles below Augusta Ga. There is a break in the railroad between these two points...." Armstrong, it seems, wanted him to invest in a daily stage and freight service for that route. Walbridge described his trains and admitted that they "make quite a formidable appearance moving through the country, and we have occasionally caused some apprehension in the minds of the citizens lest we were a small edition of `Sherman's raiders.'"

Other letters discuss cotton prices, General Grant's visit to Charleston on 1 December, and Charleston's observance of Thanksgiving on 7 Decemberó"It seems more like a religious day however, than a joyful occasion. But Thanksgiving I suppose is a new feature for South Carolina." The correspondence from South Carolina ends there, with the remainder of the collection being New York National Guard enlistment papers (1868) and receipts and notices regarding Walbridge's association with the Grand Army of the Republic and the Society of the Army of the Potomac. Also included is one bound volume, the proceedings of the reunion of the Veteran Association of the 100th Regiment of N.Y.S. Vols. in 1892.

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