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One of Five Brothers in the Union Army Sees His Duty
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Some one has got to do this Work I might as Well do it as any one els but just as they think not as I care I Stood it two years in the feld most I gess I can Stand Nine months more…

AUSTIN LAMPREY. Autograph Letter Signed, to his mother, Bridget P. Lamprey, December 16, 1864, McClellan Hospital, Hampton, Virginia. 4 pp., 8vo. with envelope.

Inventory #21265.20       Price: $250

Complete Transcript

                 McClellan Hospital Hampton Va

                                            Dec 16th 64

My Dear Mother

            With Pleasure I Seat my Self down to write you A few lines to let you know that I am yet alive and in Very good health for me I received your kind letter of the 11th ult this Afternoon and Was Very happy to learn that you Were all So Well at home the Weather here has been Very bad for the last few days first rain then Wind and Cold but No Snow yet Nor any Singns of it but I think it Would be Warmer if We had about A foot or So there has An expedition Gone from here Where they have gone we cant tell you Will prabley hear before this reaches you they came down from the front <2> And laid out in the Stream here one or two days they drawed twenty days rations then Started for them and us parts unknown they have No doubt Gone to Visit Nort Calinia there was the 25 Army Corps (Nigger) and part of the 24th Corps (White) they must have Suffered Some While laying out here for it raind most of the time and they had nothing but their rubber Blankets and Shelter tents with them I received A letter from Maurice yesterday and Wrote him to day he Was Well and enjoying good health they have had A good deal of rain up there for the last few days I belive it is colder up there then it is here for they have had some hail but We have not had much yet I expected to have been up there before this but I have not gone <3> yet and cant tell When I shall go if it Was Warm Weather I Would have gone before Now but it is Culd So I dont care about starting out right away if I can stop here at While longer I Shall if not there none more redy to go then me Some one has got to do this Work I might as Well do it as any one els but just as they think not as I care I Stood it two years in the feld most I gess I can Stand Nine months more So let them Go it I shant cry I have got A fine over coat I paid ten Dollars and fifty cents for it I am haveing it fixed over Some Which Will Cost me A little more but it Will look better any Way I received A letter from Henry he Was in (W) Mass as you Wrote I Shall Write him Soon Delia <4> is Well as usal all the time on the tramp I should think She Would get Sick but She Stands it Well I am glad you received the mony I Alloted they owe at most four months pay Now I hope they Will come around again Soon but I must Close for this time but Will Write again Soon to Some of you tell Clarence not to think of enlisting they may tell him some fine storys in Camp there but he Would find diffrent if he Was here Give my love to all and all Whom may enquire after me dont Worry for me I am all right With much love I Will Now bid you A kind Adue

                                                                        From your Affect Son

                                                                        Austin

[Envelope:] Mrs B Lamprey / Concord / N H

Historical Background

Austin L. Lamprey was one of five brothers who served in the Union army, including Maurice S. Lamprey (1835-1912) in the 10th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry, Maitland C. Lamprey (1838-1931) in the 16th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry, Horace A. Lamprey (1842-1862) in the 2nd New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry, and Clarence S. Lamprey (1847-1896) in the 18th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry, who enlisted at age 17 less than two weeks after Austin Lamprey wrote this letter to his mother. Their oldest sister Delia Lamprey (1828-1883) served as a nurse, first in Concord, and then at Fortress Monroe and Washington, D.C.

The 13th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry was organized in Concord, New Hampshire and mustered into service in September 1862. It participated in the defense of Washington until December 1862, when it was part of the Battle of Fredericksburg. In February 1863, it moved to Newport News, Virginia, then took part in the siege of Suffolk in April and May. The 13th New Hampshire remained in the Norfolk, Virginia, area until March 1864, when it moved to Yorktown and on to the battles leading to the siege of Petersburg and Richmond. The regiment remained before Richmond until April 1865, when on April 3, it was one of the first regiments to enter the Confederate capital. It remained there until being mustered out in June 1865.

On December 16, 1864, when Lamprey wrote this letter to his mother, most of the 13th New Hampshire was in “snug little log-huts” at their camp within sight of Richmond. Lamprey was at the McClellan Hospital, sixty-five miles away in Hampton, Virginia.

Austin L. Lamprey (1840-1920) was born in New Hampshire and was a brickmaker in Concord in 1860. He enlisted as a private in Company C of the 13th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry in August 1862. He was mustered out of the service in June 1865. In 1870, he again lived with his parents in Concord and worked in a carriage shop. He apparently never married, and in 1900, he lived on a farm with his brother John who also was unmarried.

Bridget Phelps Lamprey (1802-1884) was born in New Hampshire and married Ephraim Lamprey (1800-1884) in 1827. Together, they had eleven children. In 1849, they moved from Groton to Concord, New Hampshire, where he established a brickyard. She died one week after her husband in November 1884.


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