Lewis, George Letter

A Guide to the George Lewis Letter, 1863 Ms.2012.015


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Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu

Cliff Bryant, Student Assistant, and Kira A. Dietz, Archivist

Repository
Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech
Identification
Ms.2012.015
Title
George Lewis Letter,1863
URL:
http://ead.lib.virginia.edu/vivaxtf/view?docId=vt/viblbv01009.xml
Quantity
0.1 Cubic Feet 1 folder
Creator
Lewis, George (4th Regiment, Michigan Infantry)
Language
English .
Abstract
This collection consists of a single letter written by Union soldier George W. Lewis, 4th Michigan Infantry,to his brother, and dated February 1st, 1863.

Administrative Information

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from George Lewis Letter must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: George Lewis Letter, Ms2012-015, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

This collection was purchased by Special Collections in February 2012.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the George Lewis Letter was completed in June 2012.


Biographical Information

George W. Lewis enlisted in Co F, the 4th Michigan Infantry, on June 20, 1861, at Adrian, Michigan. He was wounded in action at Gettysburg, Pa., on July 2nd, 1863. He subsequently lost his leg, and was transferred to the Invalid Corps in Washington, D.C. on February 15th, 1864.

Scope and Content

This collection consists of a single letter written by Union soldier George W. Lewis, 4th Michigan Infantry,to his brother, and dated February 1st, 1863. The letter was written from camp near Potomac Creek, Va. In the letter, Lewis gives detailed descriptions of the construction and pitching of the ubiquitous Civil War Sibley tents used in camp, as well as vivid descriptions of the sounds made by musket balls flying across the battlefield. He also describes the poor conditions in camp, including spoiled rations, and the low morale of his fellow troops. Lewis was wounded on July 2nd,1863, at Gettysburg, Pa., and subsequently lost his leg.

"... It is grumbling from morning till night ... The soldiers damn the war... and hope the Union will go to the devil if the war is not settled by spring as they think the president and the congress can do as they please but are obstinate about a settlement - because they are making too much money."

"...we lay in the 'fatal city' (Fredericksburg) for two days with the guns of both armies playing over us and the Rebels threw some among our men. Musket balls we could pick up anywhere. They went splat, splat against the walls around us. One piece of a shell planted itself about five feet from me and went into the ground about 4 inches. It weighed half a pound. I was also under an apple tree in a garden and a heavy rifled cannon ball came smashing through it a foot or two from me."

"The shells make music the sweetest - as they start from the guns they make a noise like a whip swung rapidly around in your hand, the noise being flickering or appearing to waver for a few seconds and then increasing to a scream almost deafening a few moments before it bursts..."

Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • Civil War
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
  • Virginia -- History

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Lewis, George (4th Regiment, Michigan Infantry)

Container List

folder 1
Letter,
1863