Greenwood, [Pennsylvania]: 23 June and 18 July 1863. Unbound. Two letters (one with 6-pages and one with 4-pages) measure approximately 4.5” x 6.5”. Their envelopes are postmarked at Brookeville, Maryland; one is franked with a 3-cent Washington stamp (Scott #65), and the stamp is missing from the other. The letters and envelopes are in nice shape.
These letters contain exceptional content from a female Confederate sympathizer regarding the New York City draft riots and General Lee’s campaign through Maryland and Pennsylvania that culminated with his army's defeat at Gettysburg.
Some of the content includes: "There are no cars now running to Hood Hills. The Confederates have possession of Frederick [Maryland] and have burned one of the railroad bridges, consequently the cars advance no farther than Ellicotts Mills. . . . I was [on] the last train that came as far as our station, we are not entirely cut off from Balto. . . .
"The excitement in the city was intense, streets barricaded with Logheads of tobacco, flour barrels, etc. anticipating a cavalry raid. Have not the Confeds behaved as true Southerners in Pennsylvania! The contrast is so great between their conduct and that of the federals on Virginia soil. Gen. Lee is near Leesburg threatening Hooker and ‘tis said, determined to take Washington. On Sunday there was an incessant roar of cannon. . . . There must have been a severe battle though the papers spoke of it as mere artillery skirmishing, a true sign the Federals gained no advantage. As we sat upon the portico listening to the dreaded sound, I sadly thought of the many poor fellows lying in agony. . . . We anticipate with foreboding . . . the appearance of either army here. . . .
"A letter just received from Ester . . . the excitement is intense. Madison St. barricaded up to Aunt Glenn’s door. The city being rapidly fortified. . . . We are at a loss to know where is a place of safety. The papers think Lee intends marching on Pittsburgh. . . .
"Through the papers we have terrible accounts of the scenes enacted in your midst this week. . . . Some of these horrors must have been perpetuated almost before your door but we trust none of you have been in anyway injured. Ma desires me to say that while such excitement prevails in [New York City] you and your family had much better pay us a visit. . . . I do not wonder many poor fellows object to the draft, but tis sad to read of the fiendish delight with which vengeance has been wreaked on many innocent. . . . I hope Mr. Gabriel Disosway will not be molested. I see the rioters have undisputed sway on Staten Island. . . .
"A wagon train gathering up all the Confederates left in their raid through our country, broken down horses and mules, old wagons, harness, etc. passed us on Wednesday. Halted a while before our gates, old contraband drivers, who in loud tones with terrible oaths expressed their detestation of their former mode of life to our servants, had no respect for the white officers with them and seemed to be on perfect equality. How it made my blood boil! The change of position of the armies will I suppose rid us again from such annoyance. . . .
I saw in a Baltimore paper the marriage of Lieut. Clem Disosway to Miss MaryLyber. . . but think during such a fearful times Miss Mattie’s could not have been a joyous wedding. . . ." Very good. Item #008776
Of course, the armies did not again change position as after Gettysburg as General Lee’s forces never marched north again. No doubt, Miss Rebecca was even more distressed when she later learned that Lieutenant Clem Disosway, had been murdered at Fort Magruder, Virginia by a private (perhaps a draftee) who was serving with him in the First New York Mounted Rifles. An exceptionally scarce pair of letters. As of 2017, no similar correspondence from a female Confederate sympathizer living in the North is recorded in OCLC, the Rare Book Hub, ABPC, or for sale in the trade.