Civil War letter of Francis Van Dresar, 1863 Aug. 23
Francis Van Dresar.
- Pearce Civil War Collection, Navarro College, Corsicana, Tex.
- Francis Van Dresar (1838-1920), farmer of Westernville, Oneida County, N.Y.; enlisted as private in the 117th New York Infantry Regiment, Company D, on Aug. 13, 1862; wounded at Chaffin's Farm, Va., on Sept. 29, 1864; and mustered out on July 8, 1865.
- Van Dresar's letter expresses his patriotic feelings about the Union but fears the people of the North may be tiring of war, and praises the black troops of the 54th USCT for their actions at Fort Wagner. Van Dresar and his regiment participated in the siege of Fort Wagner, and he commented on the valor of Colonel J. Shaw's 54th USCT in their ill-fated charge on that fortification.
- "A few miles above here on another island is where the 54th colored Regt. of Mass. fought bravely & Col Shaw with over three hundred of his brave Blacks fell in the charge. White men need not talk & censure the valor & fighting quality of that race. They are fighting for Liberty; they know it; & God who presides over us knows it."
(See the NUCMC catalog record) (PDF, 69 KB)