If this envelope ever carried a letter in it, the letter is long gone but it may have been sent solely for the purpose of transmitting the two pages ripped from the gospel of St. Matthew in the New Testament which were “picked up at Manassas April 1, 1862”—perhaps as a relic of the Battle of Bull Run.
The envelop was addressed to “Mrs. George L. Schuyler of Dobb’s Ferry” on the eastern bank of the Hudson River in Westchester county, New York. The wife of George Lee Schuyler (1811-1890) was Eliza (Hamilton) Schuyler (1811-1863). The note on the envelope was followed with the initials “M. M. H.” which I have concluded belonged to Mary Morris Hamilton (1818-1877), a younger sister of Eliza Schuyler. The sisters were very close—so close in fact that after Eliza died in December 1863, Mary became the second wife of her brother-in-law, George. Mary was a granddaughter of Alexander Hamilton.
The note on the envelop implies to me that the relic was picked up on the battlefield on 1 April 1862 which would have been some 9 months after the battle of First Bull Run and some five months before the battle of Second Bull Run. During the April 1862 timeframe the battlefield would have been under Union occupation and available to sightseers and relic hunters from the North.
George and Eliza (Hamilton) Schuyler had at least three children, one of whom was Brevet Major Philip George Schuyler (1836-1906), another was Louisa Lee Schuyler (1837-1926) who was the corresponding secretary of the Women’s Central Association of Relief in New York City during the Civil War, and Georgiana Schuyler (841-1923) who also participated in the soldiers’ aid societies during the war—particularly the US Sanitary Commission.
This war relic belonged to Charles Edney, Jr. (1844-1914), the son of Charles Edney, Sr. (1818-1855( and Mary Ann Beer (1817-1900). Charles’s parents were born in Kent, England, while Charles was born in Rouen, Francem, in 1844. The family came to the United States in 1851 was Charles was 9 years old, and were living in Jackson, Mahoning county, Ohio at the time of the Civil War.
Charles and his younger brother Andrew Edney (1846-1863) enlisted in Co. F, 41st Ohio Infantry. Both brothers enlisted at the same time in October 1861. Andrew was killed at the Battle of Missionary Ridge; Charles survived the war, mustering out of the service in November 1865.
In the fight at Missionary Ridge, the 41st Ohio was brigaded with the 1st and 93rd Ohio, the 5th Kentucky, and the 6th Indiana. This brigade seized Confederate positions at the base of the ridge, the brigade advanced up the hills, driving the Confederates before them. Near the crest, the 41st captured an enemy battery and quickly turned the guns upon the fleeing Southerners.
Captured by Charles Edney
Rebel writing paper captured at the Battle of Mission Ridge from a Rebel Battery November 29th 1863
Brother Andrew was killed by a cannon ball.
Rebel postage stamps 1 traded for at close of war in East Tennessee
Captured by Charles Edney
1 These 10-cent Confederate stamps were issued in 1863-64. Its engraved design features President Jefferson Davis in profile. Each stamp is worth approximately $30 today (2022).