John Gifford fonds, 1814
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Fonds contains 7 letters written to Lt. John Gifford of the 25th Infantry during the War of 1812. The letters are written by his brothers Arthur Gifford and C.V. Gifford, and sister Frances H. Gifford, who resided in New York City and Rose Hill. They date from February to September 1814. Many letters touch on the events of the War. When John Gifford was wounded his brother Arthur wrote on August 1 “I this moment learnt from Mary that you were wounded at the late victory, so glorious to your army collectively and so honorable to yourself individually”. A letter dated at New York, August 14 states “…we had a report last week by a British deserter that the enemy was on their way to attack this city which gained some credit…the fortifications on Sandy Hook and Brooklin heights go on rapidly, the citizens volunteer with such alacrity that merchants, lawyers, doctors and divines are seen digging trenches.” The British invasion of Washington in August 1814 is mentioned in a letter dated September 1. Arthur Gifford writes to his brother “…you have heard of the capture of Washington, this is rather disgraceful and I think plainly indicates something rotten in the Cabinet. If that army who encountered the Plains of Chippewa, who beat them at Bridgewater and compelled them to a retreat at Fort Erie had met them far different would have been the results, the Capital would have stood.” His sister Frances writes to her brother about the poor health of their father in January, followed by a letter in February describing his last days and death.
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