October 18, 1911-Dated G.A.R. Period, Autograph Letter Signed, from Charles Hines, a Union Civil War Veteran, who was a Member of the Honor Guard for Assassinated President Lincoln as he laid in State in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, the musician who played the funeral dirge on his fife, and he mentions “Wilkes Booth”, Choice Very Fine.A historic Abraham Lincoln Assassination and funeral related Autograph Letter Signed, “Charles Hines”, 3 pages, measuring 5” x 6.25”, Pittston, PA. Hines enlisted into Co. G, 18th Pa. Infantry as a musician in the Union Army on April 7, 1864 and was honorably mustered out Aug. 3, 1865. The 187th PA. Infantry served as the “Guard of Honor” over the remains of assassinated President Lincoln while in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, and the unit escorted the funeral cortege to the train depot. Superb content, writing of his regiment and guarding the slain president’s remains, and of his personally playing the “funeral dirge” on his fife. This Letter reads (spelling corrected), in full:
"Dear Sir, -- Yours of the 14th at hand & contents noted. Will say at the time that President Lincoln was shot by Wilkes Booth, the 187th Regt. was doing guard duty at Camp Cadwalader, Philadelphia, Pa. & a part of the 18th Regt. was sent down to the State Hall to guard the remains & keep order while the body was being reviewed by the people of Philad., & three of the drum Corps was detailed to play the dirge. I, Charles Hines, was fifer & Henry Hipple & Oak Grandey was the 2 drummers. We marched down in the morning, stayed there all day & all that night. Next morning the escort started to the depot. I cannot say how many other companies or of other Regiments or Bands, as it has been a long time ago. I cannot remember other than my Regt., 187th. So I will say I still have the old fife & long to sound the old notes on the old stick, but comrade, my playing is a thing of the past. Will say I bought the fife in Philadelphia. It is a red cedar fife, the letter B & will say I prize the old fife very highly. Chas. Hines".
A remarkable firsthand account of his best recollections, keeping his memories and prized fife in remembrance. Boldly hand written in deep black ink on clean wove writing paper. A great Lincoln assassination related letter mentioning that President Lincoln was shot by Wilkes Booth.