When Robert E. Lee first brought his Confederate army north to invade Maryland, Governor Curtin of Pennsylvania sent out a call for an emergency militia to help stop the invasion. Fifty-thousand men responded. This letter was written by one of those militiamen as they streamed into Hagerstown and Boonsboro, Maryland and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. This letter records the impressions of one soldier believed to be Malcolm M. Coppuck. The Pennsylvania Militia stood as the last line of defense between the Confederates and the northern states in case Lee broke through the Union lines. Coppuck managed to get a ride into Sharpsburg the day after the fighting. This letter describes the horrors that he saw along with his feelings about the politics of the time. He mentions visiting the battlefield at Sharpsburg, dead rebels, gathering souvenirs from the battlefield, and McClellan. We all know what the Battle of Antietam was like based on reading history books, but to read a first hand description immediately after the battle is quite sobering. (We will provide a complete transcription of the letter upon request of anybody seriously interested in purchasing this item.)
Included with the letter is a period cabinet card of the presumed author of the letter. It measures 2 inches by 4 inches and was done by M.H. Kimball Photographer, 477 Broadway, New York. The letter consists of two folded sheets of lined paper with seven handwritten pages, is written in a strong hand with the typical spelling errors of the time, and has embossed stationary impressions on the top of each page. It is dated September 19, 1862 written from Hagerstown, Maryland. There are some stains and a few tears at the folds. Overall, it is in wonderful condition and allows you to reach out and touch history. It will be provided in archival sleeves with the transcript.
The letter is signed "Mal". From the register of the Pennsylvania Militia we have been able to determine that the author is Malcolm M. Coppuck, a resident of Philadelphia. He was a corporal in Company K of the Seventh Regiment of Pennsylvania Militia, was mustered in on Sept. 11-13, 1862 and discharged on Sept. 26, 1862 after the threat of invasion was over as a result of Lee's defeat at Antietam. Among other interesting information we discovered was that Coppuck lived his life in Philadelphia, he held an 1866 patent for a new type of tobacco pipe, and he was a clerk in the Highway Bureau for 42 years. There are lots of Civil War era letters available, but to have one written in such timely fashion after one of the most significant battles of the Civil War with observations about that battle is truly special. Clearly, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to obtain a unique piece of history.
You can shop with confidence at Sweetpea Cottage. YOUR SATISFACTION IS GUARANTEED. If you wish to return your purchase for any reason we gladly refund your purchase price minus shipping. Within three days of receiving your item, simply notify us by email that you wish to return it. Once we receive it in original condition in a timely fashion, then we will refund the full purchase price minus shipping charges. Shipping for this item will be free anywhere within the U.S. This letter is historically significant to citizens of the U.S. and we will not be able to ship this item to international customers.
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