Annapolis, Maryland: U.S. General Hospital, Division No. 2, 1863. Unbound. This three-page bifold letter measures approximately 5” x 8” when folded. It is datelined “U. S. General Hospital / Division No. 2 / Annapolis Md. / Oct 10th 1863.” It is addressed to “Commanding Officer / 14th N. Y. State Militia”. No envelope. In nice shape. A transcript will be provided.
Geist states in his letter that he
“was taken prisoner on the 4th day of July at Gettysburg, was taken to Richmond and paroled and sent here [to Annapolis] where I arrived on the 13th of August and being sick was sent to the General Hospital where I have been ever since. Since being here I have had a severe attack of chronic rheumatism and consequently been unable to return to my Regt. . .. Not having been furnished with a descriptive list, I have been obliged to do without pay and my family is suffering in consequence and you will do me a very great favor by sending me the required certificate so that my wife can draw the allowances due her. I have always endeavored to do my duty as a soldier and have never had the most remote Idea of deserting. . ..”. Very good. Item #009687
The 14th Regiment New York State Militia (sometimes designated as the 14th Brooklyn Chasseurs or the 84th New York Volunteer Infantry) was assembled in April 1861, primarily from Brooklyn abolitionists, and immediately mustered into service. It fought with gallantry in most Eastern Theater battles including the First and Second Battles of Bull Run, the Battle of Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, The Wilderness, and Spotsylvania Court House. During its early service, the unit served in General Phelp’s famous Iron Brigade. It was one of the very few Union regiments never to wear a standard blue uniform. For the entire war, its battle dress was in the style of French zouaves with bright red trousers. At First Bull Run (Manassas) earned a nickname that would remain for the duration of the war, when Confederate General Stonewall Jackson alleged rallied his soldiers by shouting, “Hold on boys! Here come those Red-Legged Devils again!” (See various online sources including Wikipedia.)
Online military personal records show that after Geist was released from the hospital, he joined 7th New York Veteran Regiment which was fough at the Petersburg Crater explosion and a number of smaller engagements, and was present at Appomattox when General Lee surrendered.