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Story of a Testament

Herbert E. Valentine Civil War Diary


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Valentine, Herbert E.
P.5, P.6, P.7
1891-08 (issued)
When I enlisted in 1861 I exchanged testaments with my friend David B. Pillsbury. We purchased them in 1858 and they were just alike. In the one I carried to war was his address viz.-- David B Pillsbury 310 Essex St. Salem, Mass. and on the fly-leaf I pasted a newspaper slip containing the following poem. I Apart from vanity and sin How calm the Sabbath stands; As if our Father held it in The hollow of his hands. II How calm! A vestibule before Of work-days and of care, Oh let us ope�۪ its golden door Before the hinge of prayer. Sometime during our stay at Camp "John A. Andrew" near Annapolis, I lost the book, and although I searched long for it, I could not find it. Years after the war I received a letter from Mr. Pillsbury�۪s friends, saying that a lady in Lawrence had the testament and would give it up to the owner. I replied at once, describing the book and quoting the poetry thus proving my claim and the book was sent to me. Upon the fly-leaf had been written the following:-- "Found in an old trunk on Roanoke Island N.C. the day of the battle of Roanoke Island, Feb. 8th 1862 by Alonzo Falls Co. I 23rd Mass. Regt." Corporal Falls wrote me as follows:- Aug 22nd 1891- Dear Comrade: - xxx Our engagement with the rebs. commenced at 8 o�۪clock A.M. and lasted some 3 hours. That evening we first went into the log houses for quarters. After we had cooked our supper from food left by the rebels, we began looking over the things they had left. In a trunk we found a bunch of love-letters, also this testament xxx I kept the book a few weeks and then sent it to my wife in Lawrence, supposing at the time that it belonged to some Yankee Soldier who had been taken prisoner. This is all the information I possess about the matter." xxx When we were in camp at Annapolis Md., it was correctly reported that there were rebel spies in our camps. My theory is that some spy found the book in the Company street or about the camp where I may have dropped it, and looking upon it as a relic (just as I would in such a case) carried it with him when he returned to his quarters at Roanoke Island.
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Annapolis (Md.)
Falls, Alonzo
Massachusetts Infantry. 23rd Regiment
Pillsbury, David B.
Roanoke Island (N.C.)
Spies--Confederate States of America
Story of a Testament

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