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Calvin Shedd Papers [Addition], 5, 8, and 17 Sept. 1863

Three letters, 5, 8, and 17 September 1863, added to the South Caroliniana Library's holdings of the papers of Union soldier Calvin Shedd further chronicle the South Carolina Civil War experiences of this member of Co. A, Seventh New Hampshire Regiment.

In letters to his wife from the U.S. Army General Hospital at Hilton Head, Shedd writes of his health problems and the progress of the war. The earliest of the three letters refutes claims made by New York newspapers that Union troops had captured Fort Sumter and Battery Wagner and further expresses sadness at news of the deaths of old friends and neighbors in New Hampshire, "I hoped the men that went for 9 months would get home safe; but it dont take long to use up a Regt in this War if they do any work or fighting." Shedd then takes up his own defense, presumably in response to criticism of his involvement, or lack thereof, in fighting on Morris Island. "I dont know who writes Sams letter & dont care the skip of a Florida Flea," the letter argues, but "I was in all the fight & danger the Regt has been in except the charge & am thought better of (according to the talk in the regt) than many that did go in. I was sick abed when I started for Morris both times & the Surgeon...& all the officers that saw me said I ought not to go & advised me not to go, and if I had dreamed there was to be an assault I should have tried to have got there, & any one that writes that which is not true about me may make me feel unpleasant that is all."

Shedd's 8 September letter further reports on the Morris Island fight, "They Say the whole of Morris...is ours sure & Sumpter & Moultrie knocked into Pi[e], with numerous other items of bad luck to the Rebs." "Rumor that old lier says the 7th is in Sumpter," the letter continues. "I dont quite see it yet, but hope it is true; if any Regt is in there I should as soon think it the 7th as they have done as good work as any."

The third and final letter gives some impression of the gravity of Shedd's situation, "I have been on the Bunk for the last 11 days have not set up half an hour at a time but am used to this kind of thing & dont despair I must own however that I get most discouraged."


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