A LOVE LETTER FROM A WHITE OFFICER ASSIGNED TO THE ALL-AFRICAN-AMERICAN 25TH CORPS AS IT SAILED ON BOARD THE SHIP EUTERPE TO NORTH CAROLINA TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SECOND ASSAULT ON FORT FISHER; Four-page letter from Lt. J. R. Goodard to his sweetheart. J. R. Goodard.

A LOVE LETTER FROM A WHITE OFFICER ASSIGNED TO THE ALL-AFRICAN-AMERICAN 25TH CORPS AS IT SAILED ON BOARD THE SHIP EUTERPE TO NORTH CAROLINA TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SECOND ASSAULT ON FORT FISHER; Four-page letter from Lt. J. R. Goodard to his sweetheart

On board the Euterpe: January 5, 1865. 1865. Unbound. Lightly soiled with some doodling at the upper corner of the first page. In this letter, Goddard expresses heartfelt sorrow to “Eva” that he would not be able to take leave for a visit. The reason he explains as follows:

“We landed from our Williamsburg expedition on New Years day and went into camp. I immediately made application for a leave of absence but before it could get through the proper channels we were ordered to reimbark for a second expedition so I shall have to wait a while longer. It is supposed that our destination is Wilmington again and I hope this time with better success than before. It is very probable that some weeks may elapse ere I have an opertunity to send you another letter. Meantime you may hear of hard fighting but do not enable yourself unhappy by worrying yourself about me. Remember that there are not one fourth so many killed in battle as is general supposed. If it be my fate to fall it is my desire that you should be happy remembering that our ‘father in heaven’ doeth all things well.”. Very good. Item #008922

Goddard was one of the white officers that led the 30th U.S. Colored Infantry, which was part of the then recently assembled all African-American 25th Corps that had been formed the month before. Its first intended engagement was to be an assault on Fort Fisher at Wilmington, North Carolina. The notoriously incompetent political general, Benjamin Butler, commanded that expedition in late December, but abandoned the assault shortly after it began on Christmas Day. Following the fiasco, the troops returned to Fort Monroe and Butler was relieved of command. Three weeks later in mid-January, General Alfred Terry led a second attack on the fort that was successful, sealing off the last Confederate port open to global trade.

The Euterpe was a commercial clipper used as a transport toward the end of the war. It had previously been used by the U. S. Sanitary Commission as a hospital ship and spent most of 1862-1863 at anchor in Hampton Bay as a receiving vessel.

Quite scarce; correspondence from the all African-American 25th Corps, which wasn’t organized until very late in the war, is seldom found.

Price: $400.00

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