Friday, January 14, 2011

Letter of the Day: January 14

Headquarters National Guard
of Pennsylvania

Adjutant General's Office,
Harrisburg, Pa., Jany 14" 1896

Daniel L. Foster, Esq.
Washington, D.C.

My dear Sir:

I wish you would call at the Government Museum, sometime at your leisure, and ascertain if possible, whether or not my leg is there. It was amputated at Alexandria, Va. Jany 30, 1864, and I learned at that time it would be sent to Washington, D.C. for examination, after which it would be placed Medical Museum.

By making some inquiry you may be able to ascertain where it is.

Very Truly Yours
A.L. Crist

x c/o


Washington, D.C.
No. 19 Iowa Circle
Jany 18" 96

Respectfully referred to the Surgeon General U.S.A. with the request that reply be made direct to Mr. Crist.

I would add that he was a member of Company A 5th Pa. Reserve Vols. Infantry

Respect'yDaniel C. Foster

[Contextual Note: The Museum does not have Mr. Crist's leg, but given the information in his letter and in Foster's note, I was able to find Crist in the National Park Service's Soldier and Sailors Database, which tracks Civil War servicemen, from both the Union and Confederacy. Mr. Crist was very likely Corporal Abram L. Crist. He served in the 5th Pennsylvania Reserve Infantry, Company A, on the Union side. He entered as a Private and left a Corporal. From the letterhead on which he wrote his letter to Foster, Crist may have gone on to work for the Pennsylvania National Guard.]

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