The Collection


1c Blue 1861, three, tied by light double circle postmark on PAPER SHIRT COLLAR, the inside of which has a letter written on it by a battle weary Union soldier at the end of "The Seven Days Battles" -- a series of six major battles over seven days from Jun. 25 to Jul. 1, 1862, near Richmond, VA -- to his mother in Philadelphia, datelined "Headquarters 2nd Regiment Banks James River Jul 4, 1862." and reads "Dear Mother, We have fought five battles and won five victories. They took place on the 26th, 27th, 30th, and 1st & 3rd. The reserve stood the brunt of three of them and are much cut up. General McCall is a prisoner, General Reynolds ditto and wounded. Adj. Generals Biddle and Simmons and a host of other officers killed. Major Wood and Captains Finnie, Neidi and Smith are wounded, Lieut. Fletcher killed. Nightingale prisoner, Lieut. Kennedy and Conners wounded and regiment much cut. We have been driven from the rights to the left of our line, which has been completely broken up, but our confidence in McClellan is such that we believe it to be a great strategic movement and expect to enter Richmond soon in triumph. We have lost everything that we stand in. We have been now eleven days on the go and am almost exhausted for want of rest and food, both of which we hope now to get. God in his infinite mercy has carried me unscathed through our dreadful struggle, and I hope for a continuance of his omnipotent care. With the kindess love to father and all. Your affectionate son. E.M. Woodward"