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Envelope addressed to a Confederate soldier

This envelope, or cover, is addressed to Enos D. Hanger, a private in Company D, 5th Virginia Infantry. This regiment was part of the renowned Stonewall Brigade commanded early in the war by General Stonewall Jackson. Enos Hanger was a farmer in Augusta County, Virginia, when he enlisted at age eighteen on February 4, 1864. During his short time in the field, he participated in two major battles, the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House. The Stonewall Brigade was part of Major General Edward Johnson’s division, and it was this division that helped to build and protect the famous salient at Spotsylvania known as the “Bloody Angle.” The fighting there on May 10 and 12 was unusually vicious and hand-to-hand. During a lull in the battle, a 5th Virginian walked over the field and noted: “The dead and wounded lie thick. The field is covered with things left by Yankees in their retreat, many of our boys supplied themselves with blankets, boots, paper and envelopes.”

Enos Hanger was wounded during the Spotsylvania fighting. In early June he was sent to a hospital in Richmond where he died of his wounds that summer.

National Postal Museum, Smithsonian Institution


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