Missing Repairmen

mssEC_05_111 - repairs on the line.jpg

Ft Monroe Sept 9th 1862
I fear Ryan and Haines are
Captured. I sent Haines to repair
Line between Yorktown and Williamsburg which
had been badly torn down by
Teamsters. The line was working to
Williamsburg at ten last night heard
nothing from Haines or Ryan since
have no Repairer or Tools here
will be in bad fix if
line break between here and Yorktown
can you send repairer and Tools
by this evenings Boat please reply
Sheldon

Sheldon’s concern for two of his telegraph repairmen is interesting, especially because it made its way into the regular ledger books. The letterpress books in the Eckert collection primarily contain telegrams about the business of the USMT, but they don’t begin until March of 1864, so the only glimpses that we have of the early days of the Military Telegraph come from notes like this one.

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