This letter was written by 17 year-old Albert Clarence Aubery (1844-1932), the son of Harvey F. Aubery and Annabella Dodge of Brooklyn. In 1860, Albert’s father was a liquor dealer in NYC. After preparatory school, Albert attended the University of Vermont and then graduated from Columbia College in 1867 and became a lawyer.
Albert wrote the letter to his cousin, Cullen Bullard, Jr., the son of Cullen Bullard (1806-1883) and Wealthy Bullard Aubrey (1812-1894) of Weybridge, Vermont.
Albert’s letter informs his cousin of the grand welcoming party sent to greet Gen. Michael Corcoran—a favorite Irish son of NYC—who had recently been released from Rebel prison where he had been confined for over a year.
August 23, 1862
Dear Cousin and Friend,
I wrote to Uncle and Aunt when I arrived and by the letter, you know before this, that I am once more within the limits of this vast city. Last evening I wrote to my friend at __emsters and went down to the post offie this morning so it would go by this day’s mail. On my way home, I thought of you and Vermont and at the next corner at a paper stand, I bought you this week’s Harpers Weekly as on the first page is the engraving of General [Michael] Corcoran who was a prisoner in Richmond, Va., since the Battle of Bulls Run. You have heard a great deal of this man and I thinking you would like to see him, I bought it for you.
Yesterday he arrived in the city. I went down Friday where I saw the procession and the General and then run down some of the other streets ahead of the procession to the corner of Stanton Street and Bowery where I saw him again. The procession was composed of a few military and some prisoners who came from Richmond with the General and a large procession of Irish societies which in all made about 2 or 3 thousand people in the procession and took about an hour to pass. General Corcoran rode in an open carriage drawn by four or six horses (I forget which), all decorated (with plumes on their heads and some of the most beautiful horses I ever saw. He had his hat off and once in awhile stood up to make a bow to the ladies. You know, Cullen, Aunt Wealthy did complain of what a noisy fellow I was. I tell you, if she was in the city when Corcoran passed and heard me yell and scream and shout, what in the world would she think? I think she would say I made more noise than all the rest for my voice was heard above all others.
The city was greatly decorated with flags and ensigns, “Welcome Corcoran—the Hero of the Brave.” Now you want to know something about the crowd? Just before the procession came, you could walk on the people’s heads, when the policemen received notice to clear the streets so the procession could pass. I tell you, Cullen, many a person got a sap over he head with the policeman’s club. I was in such a place that I could not see my feet and my hat being jammed with now and then a thump upon my breast by a policeman’s club and begging, “Stand Back!” when they are pushing like “thunder” behind.
Quite a disturbance took place last evening next door to our house. A man tried to kill his wife. He stabbed her in the head and cut her considerable. He was arrested soon after.
The city is in quite an excitement about the war and the rumor of Gen. Pope being cut to pieces by “Stonewall” Jackson.
Tell Mother I received the letter she sent which came from Danbury. I go to Danbury on Wednesday. Cullen, I am in a great hurry and would write more. I would send and write you the whole four pages full if I had time. You will please excuse all imperfections. Remember me to all enquiring friends. I remain your close friend and cousin, — Albert Clarence Aubery