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Civil War Ltrs Between Munsell Angevine

Civil War Ltrs Between Munsell Angevine

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Published by: Nancy on Nov 13, 2009
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 Three Letters WrittenByJohn G. MunsellTo An AngevineJuly 1863 – August 1864 Version 131 December 2001
Prepared by: John R. Angevine, 2006 Swan Terrace, Alexandria VA 22307Email:angevinej@usa.net 
This document contains the images and transcripts of three letters written byJohn G. Munsell over the period of July 1863 to August 1864. The recipient of allthree letters is a “Brother Angevine” that resides in Pataskala, Licking CountyOhio. I am unsure which member of the Angevine family this is, but John G.Munsell’s (JGM) would have been contemporaries with Edwin Angevine, b. Dec1830 in NY; Hiram R. Angevine, b. Jun 1834 Harrison Twp; or Frank Angevine, b.Nov 1841Granville Twp. The letters came into my possession through my fatherRobert C. Angevine, who received them from the estate of my Aunt, Dorothy Angevine.The letters are dated July 6
1863, Nov 5
1863, and Aug 2
1864. Thereare no envelopes or other supporting documentation. They are in generally faircondition with folds, creases, yellowing, and minor stains and tears. The writing isstill legible, although some parts require a magnifying glass to better discern whatis written.
 Who is John G. Munsell:
 At the time JGM wrote these letters he was assigned to the 110
IllinoisInfantry Regiment, a history of the regiment is attached at Appendix A.
JGMshistorical references all seem to match the documentation that I have found inmultiple sources and are identified in endnotes throughout the transcripts. Hisservice within the regiment is recorded
as follows:
Date of MusterRank Residence Date of Rank or Enlistment RemarksPrivate Mt. Vernon Sep 11, 1862 Prom. Hospital StewardHosp Steward Mt. Vernon Aug 14, 1862 Sep 11, 1862 Prom. 2
Asst Surg.2
Asst. Surg. Mt. Vernon Mar 10, 1864 Apr 6, 1864 Mustered out Jun 8, 1865
JMG became a First Lieutenant when he was promoted to 2nd Asst. Surgeon and itappears that he mustered out of the Army at that rank. The record shows that hewas mustered out on June 8, 1865.I posted a query on Ancestry.com and got a quick reply back from Bill Munsiland Nancy Cunningham. Bill provided the following information: John GMUNSELLE was born in 1836 in Harrison Twp, Licking, Ohio. He appears in the1850 Ohio Census at age 14. He may be the same John Munsell as 1900 Illinoiscensus (b. Aug 1838) or in the 1900 Ohio Census (b. 1837). If he is the Munsell inthe IL census, he lived at 128 N. Walnut, Centralia, Marion Co. IL. Copies of theemails are attached. According to Bill the last name is spelled nine different ways:Muncel, Muncell, Muncil, Muncill, Munsel, Munsell, Munselle, Munsil, and Munsil.However it is spelled most of the family descended from Thomas Munsell (and otherspellings) who showed up in Connecticut prior to 1680.
 From JMGs letters we learn that he was a medical school student inCincinnati at the beginning of the war and that he sat for the Illinois Medical BoardExams in September 1863.It is plausible then that JGM knew one of the Angevine’s from his early yearsin Harrison Township, Licking County Ohio – perhaps school, church, or grange?We will do some more investigation to see if we can confirm this. It is clear from theletters that number were exchanged over the period covered, so we only have asmall sample.
Historical Context
1863 was the third year of the war; the first two had not gone well for theUnion. In fact the state governors were having trouble raising enough troops andconscription was instituted, unrest grew and draft riots occurred in New York City.Lincoln faced reelection in 1864 and knew he must improve the performance of the Army if he was to win the election. The year did not begin well, and hit a low pointin May when Gen Hooker was decisively defeated by Lee's much smaller forces atthe Battle of Chancellorsville. During this battle Stonewall Jackson was killedalong with 13,000 other confederates and 17,000 union soldier. In June, Gen Leelaunches his invasion of the North but is defeated at Gettysburg and chased south. At almost the same time, July 4th, Grant also takes Vicksburg. The Union was nowin control of the Mississippi, the Confederacy was effectively split in two, cut off from its western allies.The 110
and JGM marched with Rosecrans from Readyville in May, foughtat Tullahoa, pushed onto Manchester and then to the Elk River when the first letteris written on July 6, 1863. The Union is headed towards Chickamauga. OnSeptember 19-20 the decisive Confederate victory by Gen. Bragg's Army of Tennessee at Chickamauga leaves Gen. William S. Rosecrans' Union Army of theCumberland trapped in Chattanooga, Tennessee under Confederate siege. Thesiege continued until late November when Union forces under Grant defeat theconfederate siege by Bragg. The 110
didn’t participate in Chickamauga, but wasnearby. JGM plays down the defeat in his second letter on November 5th, but theloss is significant enough that Rosencrans was relieved.The year 1864 opened with the North in control and in the spring a series of coordinated attacks was launched to defeat the confederacy. In Virginia, Grantwith an Army of 120,000 begins advancing toward Richmond to engage Lee's Armyof Northern Virginia that included battles at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, andCold Harbor. In the west, Sherman, with 100,000 men begins an advance toward Atlanta to destroy Johnston's Army of Tennessee. Richmond was considered the“mind” of the confederacy and Georgia the “heart”. Destroying the confederateforces in these areas would position the Union for victory. The third and final letterfrom JGM is dated August 2, 1864 – in the field, before Atlanta. The 110
 participated in the battle for Atlanta which began on July 20
, and is described in

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