Saturday, November 27, 2004

Civil War: Sallie Howell to Pembroke Scott, 118th Ohio, 1863

from Pembroke S. Scott who was a member of the 118th Regiment, Ohio Volunteers Infantry. He entered the war on August 11, 1862 & was killed May 14, 1864 in the Battle of Resaca, Ga.- the first Major Battle in the campaign for Atlanta.

This particular letter was written by Sallie Howell and sent to Pembroke. It reads:

Feb. 18th, 1863

Mr. Scott,

Thinking as you did about writing to some body or some body else I concluded I would write you a few lines telling you about the country and people. Well there has not been much change in the country since you left. I believe the most perceptible is the one caused from the transisition of the seasons when you left-the people were gathering in the harvest-and filling their granaries. Now it is muddy and the farmers are sitting by the fire smoking their pipes and reading the news.

Well, I believe the people are living just as they were when you left, quiet and happy, with the exception of their thoughts for the soldiers that are now so gallantly standing by the old stars and stripes. The banner of our country, and the free government of our own United States of America. But I think we need not fear but that our army will soon triumph.

You desired me to tell you about Phebe, I saw her last Sunday at church. I think she is just as pretty as ever, surely as mischievous. My sisters are all well. Lucy and Beck is going to school they say to remember them to you enthusiasticly and say they wish you were near so that they could visit you and get a good dinner. Harrison? is well and is preparing to go to plowing, he wishes you a safe return home.

Please excuse poor writing and bad spelling. Please write soon.

Yours respectfully, Sallie Howell.

Civil War: Pembroke Scott, 118th Ohio, 1863

Civil War letters from Pembroke S. Scott who was a member of the 118th Regiment, Ohio Volunteers Infantry.

He entered the war on August 11, 1862 & was killed May 14, 1864 in the Battle of Resaca, Ga.- the first Major Battle in the campaign for Atlanta.

This particular letter was written by Pembroke's brother and sent to him while he was in Cynthiana, Ky. It reads:

June 3rd, 1863
Fayette Co. (Ohio)
Mr. P.S. Scott,

Dear Brother,

It is with the greatest of pleasure that I seat myself for the purpose of writing you a few lines in answer to those I recieved from you, May the 24. And you may depend your very kind Epistle was gladly recieved by us, we were very anxious to hear from you, & to know that you were well at that line, R.H.S.C.? & myself are well at the present, & we hope when these few comes to hand, that they may find you enjoying the same blessing of life as it is one of the greatest.

We are teaching school this summer, our schools are doing very well, my school some weeks ago averaged 44, but now there is not so many. We had a letter from home some days since, they were all well at that time. I think we will go out there this Summer as soon as our schools are out to see them, as we have not been there since we have been married, we want to see them very bad, & I would like to see you just as well.

We wrote to some time ago but I suppose you never got the letter, as you said nothing about it in yours. The weather here is very fine, things look very well, unless it is wheat, it looks very bad & very thin. We will not have more than 1/2 crop. As regards the war, we wish it would come to a close, but we are willing to be subject to the will of Government & we think the prospect for the war to come to a close. T

he people are very well pleased with the prospect of Grant's army. They think he will take Vicksburg & Pemberlan's Army & that will discourage the Rebels very much, by cutting them in two. And as they get the most of their provisions west of the Mississippi, they will feel the loss very much.

Cynthia is still in the ill?, she never writes to as but Sister Maggy does & she gives us the reports of the times, you will please write soon, Yours truly from your fine? friend & brother, M.C.C.

Henry Noyce, Maryland to Thomas Noyce, New York, 1843

This stampless letter has a circular date stamp for BALTIMORE R[AIL] ROAD [the AIL is too faint to see / weak strike], and is addressed to Thos. Noyce, P.M. [postmaster], East Painted Post, Steuben co., N.Y., and is a three page 'Dear Father' letter written by Henry.

The headline is Baltimore Md Saturday morn. Docketing on a fold has H.B. Noyes, July 15/43 [1843].

Some abstracts:

"We finished counting & delivering the lumber last eve & have the tally sheets all examined ..." "Mary Ann is at home but goes to Lyme again this summer. If we have no trouble shall leave for Philad. [??] this eve."

"John Noyes made a great mistake when he decided not to come to this city as Doct Lee who he would have associated himself with has since died & the person who took the store is doing a very fine business."

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Edd Egger, Arkansas 1918


336th Recruiting Barrack,
Camp Pike, Ark.
May, 1918

Hello papa how are you?

By this time I am all ok and hope you are the same. Well I was glad to get that letter from you. I was glad to know the crop is doing all right and to know Ruben is doing all rite. Well, I have not got but one letter from Emma since I have been gone.

Well I don't know whether I will get off for the marrying. They said for me to return the papers about the 10th of this month and see what we could do. Well I have sent it up and all I like is for the head quarters signing it. Just but thirty days and that maybe the reason.

Well I will rite you again as soon as I can and you will know what I am to do later. If not then I would sure be lifted up if you will send me one of their pictures that were made of them marrying. I sure would like to see you all are the best family in the world.

Well Frances, will you take the stuffing over to Aunt Florence and make me a pillow and send it? I will sure be glad if you will.

I guess I had better close for this time. So be good till we meet again.

From W.E. Egger to one and all.

Notes: W.E.Egger is William "Edd" Edward Egger, the son of Fannie Clara Kendrick and James Holland Egger. Frances is his sister (Mary Frances Egger). Florence is Florence Given's. He will marry Emma Johnson that is mentioned in the letter. I believe that Ruben is his horse.

Sallie Kendrick Mohave to Fannie Egger, Arkansas 1899


July 20, 1899
Mrs. Fannie Egger

Dear friends it avail my self of the opportunity of writing you a few lines. This leaves us all well. Hope these few lines may find you all well. I have no news to write. Our boys are gone to Kansas to work in the harvest. They are with the thrasher man. Single hands gets 1.25 per day wages and team gets 2.25 per day. Jesse took a team. Got a letter from Olie yesterday.

The boys like this country very well. I like very well. Would like better if had some of my old neighbors up here. You don't know how much I think of you all. I've had some very good neighbors. I don't like the Indians here very much. That is the full blood. They will come and sit for an hour and won't talk unless you ask them something. I would as soon had a log sitting up in my house as them, sense can't talk English. They are going to have a camp meeting concerning Erig Friday they say. They have big times. I am going. I have never been to hear them. It is ½ mile to the church. Our preacher meeting commences the first Sunday in August.

How do they all like Preacher Rigs. Are they getting a long with the new church? How is the Baptist getting and who's their preacher this year? Tell Prather Bost we are trying to live up to our duty. Tell him we very often think of him. I would give anything to hear him cry uncle more. I want you to write and tell me all of the news.

Don't wait for us to write. We have so many to write to. I think if nothing happens to our crop me will make something. We had to mortgage for 60 dollars. Think we'll have10 or more bales of cotton besides out corn. The boys will help gather the crop. They want to all farm together next year. The Land works fine. I think you and brother Egger might take a trip up here this summer.

Tell all of the children I would like to see them. Tell Jonice I haven't had anybody to laugh with since I left the reservation. Tell him old Jasper is still a live and eats all the grain he wants. You will get tired reading my foolishness, so by by.

Love to all. I remain as ever your true friend,
Sallie Mohave

Notes: Sallie is daughter of Mary Ellen Stanley and Jonis Wesley Kendrick. Fannie Clara Kendrick is her sister. Jesse Sallie's son. Not sure who Olie is. Not sure who Erig Friday is. Prather Bost is a close family friend, and out families remained friends for generations. Sounds like they used to wrestle a bit. Sallie married a man from the Mohave tribe and lived with her husband on the Mohave reservation for most of her adult life. She loved it there, and was not happy to leave. She herself is half-Cherokee. The family lost track of Sallie, just after this letter. If you know the where-abouts of Sallie Kendrick Mohave (last name may be mispelled), please contact her great- great neice at

J. H. Egger, Arkansas, 1929


Scotland, Ark
Aug. 12, 1929
Mr. J.H. Egger

Kind Friend,

Francis handed me a letter from you the other day in regard to the oak timber on your place. You have a large amount of red oak but we have no market for it yet. In regard to the balance due you in fine timber, do you remember when we bought the mill from Jack Williams we cut 40 thousand ft. of my timber which you was due me half that much timber off of your place, but I never got any.

Mr. Egger, I have always thought you was an honest man. If you are, you will consider this account if it is a few years past. You are due me for a little timber you got pasture near 10 years ago, you intended to put in some timber at the mill to pay for same. There was only some where abouts 500 ft. So let me heare from you about this.

Do as you would be done by and I will be satisfied. We are facing the hardest time here that we have ever had. People are leaving here almost ever day. We have the sorryiest crop I have ever saw. I can't sell anything. I am going some where to work to get something to live on this coming winter. I am broke up. Don't thank there will be enough corn made here to bread the people.

Your Friend, C. E. Reed

Notes: J.H.Egger is James Holland Egger, son of James Holland Egger Sr. and Margaret Ann Kolb Egger Givens. J.H. Egger owned a shingle and lumber mill in Arkansas. Francis is the daughter of J.H. Egger (her name is Mary Frances Egger). I'm not sure who C. E. Reed is, but apparently he lived in the area and they were friends.

J. H. Egger, Arkansas 1903

E.G. Mitchell, Circuit Judge ~ J.M. Shinn, Prosecuting Attorney A.B. Couch, Circuit & County Clerk ~ J.W. Hatchett, Sheriff E. Hall, County and Probate Judge ~ S.H. Bradley, Treasurer A.S. Jones, Assessor ~ H.P. Lay, Surveyor

HOMESTEAD COST. 160 acres, $15.15 120 acres, $14. 15 80 acres, $ 8.10 40 acres, $ 7.10 FINAL PROOF COST 160 acres, $11.60 120 acres, $10.60 80 acres, $ 9.60 40 acres, $ 8.60 OFFICE OF A.B. COUCH, CLERK ~ J.A. THOMAS, D.C. COUNTY AND CIRCUIT CLERK VAN BUREN COUNTY

Special pains taken in assisting Homesteaders to obtain the correct numbers
Clinton, Ark.
June 22, 1903
Mr. J. H. Egger,
Edge, Arkansas.

My Dear Sir & Friend; As per promise last Saturday, I send you herewith my personal check on Van Buren County Bank for Three and 34/100 ($3.34) dollars, the amount you had deposited with me for tuckerrytion. If the land remains unredeemed until the 11th day of next June, I will certify the same to the state, at which time it will become state land and be subject to dontation. Please bar in mind the date. But if you should purchase it before that time, the proper thing for you to do would be redeem it before it is certified as state lands. Wishing you much success and thanking you for your past personal favors I bring to memory.

Your friend, AB Couch

P.S. Sign your name across the back of this check and Missns' Lefter and Luidsey will cash it for you. ABC

Notes: J.H. Egger is James Holland Egger.

William Egger, Arkansas, 1918

Help Your Country by Saving, Write on BOTH Sides of This Paper.

5 Co. 1st Regiment Inf. Replacement Camp,
Camp Pike, Ark
June 22, 1918

Hello Papa,

How are you? By this time fine I hope. Well I am all ok and I hope you are all well. Well I was sure glad to get that pillow. Well I have moved today and I have not saw you a while. I hope you will come and see me and bring me a apple that grounded at the house.

I am going to France the 15th of July. Will I hope that George won't haft to go to the war. Well tell Mandie and Exeum I said hello and tell George and Rosie hello. Well tell Exeum I will write to them when I get more time. Well I have got three stamps and have not wrote Marcy. I haven't got a cent. I can't get you all a present till I get some money. I wil get paid the first of this month.

Well I can't think of much to write. Will tell all the boys to come down. We are going to parade Little Rock the forth of July and I hope we will get to see how you and the boys is. Well I will close for this time so answer soon and a large letter for sure.

To one and all, William E. Egger.

Notes: This letter is from William "Edd" Edward Egger, the son of Fannie Clara Kendrick and James Holland Egger, Jr. The apple grounded at the house was for good luck. George is Edd's little brother. Mandie and Exeum are Exeum Claphos Egger (Edd's older brother) and Amanda "Mandie" Bost. They will marry soon after this letter was written. The George and Rosie that are mentioned in the letter are George Egger (Edd's little brother) and George's "intended", Rosie McNabb.

Edd Egger to James Egger, Arkansas 1921

April 17, 1921
Biglow, Ark

Hello Papa,

How are you by this time? Fine I hope. Well Papa, I wish you would come down here and stay with me a while. You will not do nothing. We will feed you on straw bearies. Well Pearle said tell you to come and help her pick straw bearies and go a fishing with her. Well I am going to look for you. So I will close for this time. So tell George and Rosie to rite to us.

Well so by from W. E. to J.H. Egger

Notes: This letter was written by William "Edd" Edward Egger, to his father, James Holland Egger Jr.

Doctor's letter re Sarah Tullis' child, South Carolina, 1822


Dr. James Coleson
South Carolina
12th, March, 1822

This very day of 12th, March, Sarah Tillis, Indian wife of John Tillis, was gathering in the foothills when she wrapped her infante childe in it's blanket and laid the childe down to sleep. Mrs. Tillis continued to gather in her basket when she heard her infant cry out. When Mrs. Tillis turned, a large catamount had stolen her infant childe in it's blanket and tooken the childe at a run into a shallow cave. Though naturally reserved and silent, Mrs. Tillis chased the catamount down and fought the beaste with a limb from a tree for the return of her childe. I examined the childe today and the wounds of the childe are simple and not likely to cause illness, although Mrs. Tillis insists on doctoring the wounds herself with Indian remedies. I see no harm in this action. I will check on the infant childe tomorrow noon.

Notes: Letter is refering to Sarah Tullis, wife of John Tullis. Sarah and John are the parent's of Elizabeth Tullis. Elizabeth Tullis married Prettyman Berry and resided in Hog Mountain, Georgia.

Belle Kendrick Boyd to Fannie Kendrick, Alabama, 1898


Baxter, Ala

Feb. 16th, 1898

Dear Brother and Sister.

I one time more suit myself to drop you a few lines to let you know that all are well in the land of the living. We are not well at all. Peyton has been down for a week with the lagrippe, he is better though. Today the balance of us is up. I hope this will go swift to you and find you all well and doing well. Fannie, there have been a heap of changes took place in the last twelve months.

Aunt Pollie Stanley died this winter. I don't remember what day. Uncle Will K. wife died. With Brights Disease . Peel Hornell died of Storm Fever. Corlishia's second man died 1 year a go and not a great while later married again to Mr. Sean Parson. Her first children is about grown old. 1 yrs West has lost her mind. She is living with cousin Will.

Well Fannie, you needed to know Pa's death. He did talk a heap through his sickness but was so shattered we could not understand which he did not call any of us to him but Mollie and she could not go to see him for she was sick. You may rest assured that he was prepared to go. And recived the best of attention while he was sick. Buried nice and by Ma's grave. Pa died at Uncle Hortens cirid. They got every thing he had. I don't know whether he had any money or not but every body said he had. Uncle Hort would not let me and Peyton see in his trunk at all. I know he had about 80 dollars worth of stuff. I went down there to get his things and have them sold but they would not let me have anything to do with them.

Well I will not dwell on this to long but if you was here I could tell you a heap that would open your eyes. I can't write like I could talk. I am ill. There on of his children that is close enough to know anything about it and it grinds me to the bottom to think that they have done like they have. Ran burial expenses and doktor bill was $13.00 and Uncle Hort charged him $9.00 for him being there sick and charged me $4.00 for 1 week so he managed as to get everything. Pa was well cared for while sick.

Well I will close for this time. I will write sooner next time. I have got the headache to day.

Belle Boyd

Notes: Belle Boyd is Julia Belle Kendrick Boyd. She is the daughter of Mary Ellen Stanley and Jonis Wesley Kendrick. Belle married William Peyton Boyd (William Peyton is the son of William Boyd and Elizabeth Hobbs). Uncle Horton mentioned in the letter is Horton Ferris Kendrick.

Cronalie Kendrick Burt to Fannie Kendrick Egger, Mississippi, 1901


March 28, 1901
Sumner, Miss.

Dear Brothers and sisters,

I will write you a few lines to let you know how we are all getting along. All well but myself. I have been feeling bad all day. I think I have gout. The Blue's thought perhaps I would feel better if I would get up and talk to you a little.

Well Fannie, Eddie got home the 27 you know I was glad. He has been gone 7 months and Henry Burt came down the 17th and left the 19th. Ellen went back home with him to stay 3 years. She will come home and visit in the fall. Henry is doing well. He has got a find place and a fine house built with 6 rooms. He lives at Armory, Mississippi. It is a big town near where Ellen will go to school. In town Eddie went to see Billie and Uncle Martin last week. They are all well.

Eddie says Billie has got 4 fine Boys as he ever saw & the smartiest Boys & the best looking boys of any Batch. Uncle Martin is losing his mind. The poor old fellow sent me his Aunt Hass furniture it would nearly break your heart to look at them. They look so old. Belle & Payton is going to come down this fall. Yes & Uncle Hort sent me a sha base full of sweet potatoes. I have eat the bach and they are a fine sort.

Mother is well. Her & I went to town yesterday. She went to have her picture taken. You can look out for one of them in 2 weeks. She will send you one. Dad Kendricks sent me his picture. Imagine him & his folks is living in Columbus also Corce & her family. They are working in the factory. Eddie says imagine will weigh 240 pounds.

Well I will close for this time. Hoping this will find you well.

Write soon, your sister,
C.J. Burt Cornalie Jane Kendrick Burt

Notes: C.J. Burt is Cornalie Jane Kendrick Burt, daughter of Mary Ellen Stanley and Jonis Wesley Kendrick. Cornalie is writting to her sister, Fannie Clara Kendrick Egger.

Fannie Kendrick Egger from Julia Kendrick Boyd, Alabama, 1897


June 3, 1897
Baxter Alabama
Mrs. F. C. Egger
Edge, Ark

June 2nd , 1897 Baxter, Alabama
Mrs. F. C . Egger,

Dear beloved brother and sister. It is with a trembling hand I write you this letter to tell you pa's death wich occurred the 20th of May. He was taken sick on Thursday and died Fri. Next he was taken with the chills and paralisis had 2 doctors with him. He died at Uncle Horts. He rented sheds and Nicholas's wife the first of the year and wis living by his self when he got sick. I begged him not to go there but he would have his own way. He got so he would not do. I wanted him to he would not stay with us long at a time. I was with him all through his sickness and we all done all we could for him

I would have wrote to you sooner but we have all been sick with the chills. Aunt and Uncle Hort said they was going to write to you soon. We are all well now, but the baby he has got the flux. Baby was borned the 17 Jan. Named him Victor Wilmont. I don't think pa had anything but his horse and I guess that will go to pay his expenses.

Oh how I wish you was here. It seems like I need you worse than I ever did in life. Well I don't know how to write to you but if you was here I could tell you a heap. Have all had the chills so much till we are all amighty nigh dead. I wrote you a card but I don't know whether you will get it or not. Pa died mighty easy. He was like he just went to sleep. Never struggled at all.

Cara has 2 children Emeo Jan said she wanted to see you that wanting was all she could do. Jan there was no chance a see you she knowed likely live in Calidonia.

Well I will close. Aunt Polly is getting write purple. Aunt Beth Lance is rite purity. Cousin Sis sends us love to you all and said she often thought of you. Well I will close and I want to write Cornelia a letter.

Write soon, your sister, Belle Boyd.

Notes: Written by Julia Belle Kendrick Boyd to her sister and brother in law (Fannie Clara Kendrick and James Holland Egger, Jr.)

James Holland Egger to Fannie Clara Kendrick 1867

Submitter E-mail:

April 11th, 1867

Dear Fannie, I am better now that you have written me the answer. I am your beloved. The letter has filled my heart. I have had the pleasure of reading yesterday, your feelings of love so close to my heart. You are my love and you are the dearest complement for my heart. Now that I know you love me, please excuse my manners when I saw you, for I can no longer hide that I always thought. You were the prettiest one that I had ever seen.

That day that we saw each other, I hoped that you wouldn't think ill of me for telling you so. I will tell you again when you get here. You may believe me, my needs for you are from my heart. My heart is filled with love and it's bleeding because we are parted. Your yes in this world leads me to believe in love. I will suppose to close for this time and wait to hear from you again soon for nothing could give me more pleasure than to read your letters.

So good by Fannie,
J.H. Egger

Notes: Written to Fannie Clara Kendrick from James Holland Egger, Jr., just after the Civil War. They would marry, have children, and be in love for the rest of their time together. He would write poems, plant gardens and fashion bracelets for her to show his love for the next fifteen years. Fannie would then die in child birth with their tenth child.

J. H. Egger, Arkansas 1892

Submitter E-mail:

Letter to Mr. J.H. Egger,
Edge P.O., Ark.
Vernon, Ala,
March 13th, 1892

Dear Brother and sister, I will try to answer your kind and most welcome letter which come to hand a few days ago was more than glad to hear from you all. I begin to think you was not going to write any more.

You say you don't get any letters from us. I never fail to anser your letters as soon as I get one as for the others I don't know what they do for. I am always so anxious to get one from you. John wrote you a card stating that he got his socks. Got them Christmas Eve and ws hung on the Christmas Tree for him he was the proudest thing of them you ever saw. I asked him what would he take for them and he said he would not take 10 dollars for them.

Well, we are all well and doing well as the good Lord will let us. You said you had a girl. I did not know at all till I got your letter and you know that we don't get a letter often.

Well Fannie, Cornelia is left in a destitute condition. Joe has left her. Left her in the fall and has not sent her a nickle. He went to the bottom. They have made out someway, but I don't know hardly how. Eddie has work. I all the winter at 35 - cents a day and she has done what she could to ketch something to eat they have done remarkable well and some of them had the chills all the winter. She said that if Joe could stay all of the winter and them on starvation, he could just stay of for she was not going to have any more to do with him. The people is mighty good to her so for her baby is the fattest thing you ever saw has named it Mittie Viola.

Well I will on something else I have got any garden nearly all planted any cabbage as if and beets and onions are nice for Peyton has planted some corn and going to plant some more today. Grady has got the whooping cough but has not hurt him. He is beginning to talk. He goes just where he pleases. You said you would send pa your picture if he wanted them you know he wants them you don't know how glad I would be to get them for I think of you all every day that comes well as my paper is scarse. I had better quit for this is the last piece of paper I have got.

The connection is well as far as I know Uncle Sammie Johnson is dead been dead a month or more. Uncle Nait Kendrick is dead. After Aunt Synthia died, he broke up and went to the bottom with Joe and died here he dies down dead a month or so. Leona Kendrick is married. She married Christmas to Jorn West one of the ugliest fellas that you ever saw but he is good by her.

Good bye, your sister Belle and Peyton.

J. H. Egger, Arkansas 1896

Letter to Mr. J.H. Egger,
Edge P.O.
Van Buren Co, Ark

After 14 days return to S.J. Stanley, Lawsonville, Texas

Lawsonville Texas,
July the 13th, 1896

Mr. J.H. Egger, Edge Ark.

Dear Cousin and family.

I take my pen in hand to drop you a few lines and to your kin. Your kind letter which came safe to hand in dire time. Was glad to hear from you all once more and that you were all well. This finds us all well at this time. I have no news of importance to write. Crops are very good in this community. Though our corn is short and wobbly on account of dry weather. A large fraction of Texas is a failure on account of drought. I think I will make plenty of corn and to spare. Cabbage looks fine at this time.

Well cousins Fanny, I would be so glad to see you all. I feel like I could sit and tealk to you all a week. Well I will tell you about my family. We have 5 children. 4 girls & one boy. Lealia May is the oldest, 13 years old. Lillie Belle Next 9 years old. Early Roscoe Next 7 years old. Our last ones are twins. Their names are Bulah & Lula. They are 3 years old the 14 of this month. They are mitey pretty and sweet but they don't favor much. Sister Dacia has his very sick but is up again. Her trouble was.... neuraligia. She has bin troubled with it off and on for15 years. I recall she has suffered ten thousand deaths. She has four children. 3 girls and a boy. They live a half mile from us. Dacia wanted to write some to you in my letter but is not able. She will write some next time.

Well Hallond, we met every night to be here to help me eat watermelons. We have had some mighty fine ones. My best one weighed 42 pounds. Land is worth from 3 to 10 dollars for an acre average. I have as good neighbors as I want. Our land is red land and lies well.

Cousin Fannie, when you write again, tell me when you have heard from your grandpa and grandma. Also from George and Fanny I don't reckon they ever will write to me anymore. I think Fanny has treated sister Betty ferrly shabby.

I left Ala. Last Dec and sister Betty I don't think had heard from her in about 50 years I reckon she is too rich to write to poor kin. Mattie says tell you she would be glad to see you. She sends her love and respects to you all.

Cousin Fannie I have got a good woman for a wife so with many good wishes from you all I close asking you all to write some and give all the news.

We are as ever, your cousins, S.J & N.A. Stanley.

P.S. I forgot to say we have 2 children dead both are boys. Died in infancy.

J. H. Egger Arkansas 1901

Letter to Mr. J.H. Egger,
Edge P.O., Ark.

After 14 days, return to: C.J. Burt, Sumner, Mississippi

March 27, 1901

I give my love to all the children. I am going to have my picture taken next week if nothing happens. Tell Holland I have not forgot him. I wish I could see you all. Joe sends his love to you. Eddie sends his love and his picture. He says that is all he has got to send you and says he would write but he could not think of nothing and hope I write everything worth writing. He will leave in a few days for Alabama.

Mrs. Lizzie Burt

Ed Egger, Arkansas 1919

Letter to Mr. J.H. Egger, Scotland, Ark, R.1. Box 60

August 11, 1919

Hello Papa,

How are you I am all okay and hope you are to. Well I am writing you the last letter for a while I am going to start to France tomorrow and I don't know when I will write so I will close. Your son, Ed Egger I sent home to you my hat band I will give it to you all.

W. E. Egger, Arkansas 1918

Scotland, Arkansas July 16, 1918

Mr. W. E. Egger,

My dear brother.

I will try to answer your kind letter of the other day. Was glad to hear from you. This leaves us not well. I'm in the bed again and have been a week tomorrow. I'm some better tho than I have been. The rest are well. Hope this will find you enjoying life fine.

Well Edd George is gone to Clinton today to be armied. I am awful afraid he'll be called in a few days. They've got him in 1st class. Well Ed, little crippled Troy Bost was buried yesterday. He died Sunday morning.

Well Edd I can't write much I am to weak I can't set up. I sure was proud of them cards you sent us. Would be awful glad to get your picture in your uniform. Ed, we have never heard from Emma yet, only Anthony Latimer wrote to Francis that Emma was going to school. Has she been to see you anymore? I don't know whether George will get to come or not to see you for me being down and him looking for his call any time now. He's talking of coming next Sunday in Griggs car if I'm able. He couldn't get off last Sunday. His registering no. is 65 and his order no is 16.

Well Edd, excuse short letter and I'll do better when I get able. So be good and let us hear from you soon.

We are your bro and sister and nephew. George, Rosa and Eruen Egger and J. Tillis

May God be with us all until we meet again if we meet no more on Earth let's meet in Heaven.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Civil War Letter: Charles W. Brouse, Tennessee 1863

Name: Anthony Meeks
E- mail:

This letter appeared in the Indianapolis Daily Journal on February 6, 1863 on page 3 column 3.
The spelling and punctuation are unchanged from the original publication.

One Hundredth Regiment An extract from a letter from Captain Chas. W. Brouse, company K, 100th regiment, to his parents, dated January 15th, written from Grand Junction, Tennessee, which is about 40 miles south of Memphis:

“I received two letters from you last night. You cannot tell how glad I am to hear from home; but few of our letters come to hand. — We fear that few reach our friends. “From Memphis we were ordered to College Hill; from there to Holly Springs; thence to Tocapatapa; subsequently we returned on the I same route to College Hill, where we took a road to the right, passing through Abbeyville and camped about five miles north of the village for the night. “On the following Sabbath, at 2 p.m., we were ordered to march immediately, and we marched ten miles that evening by 9 o’clock and camped ten miles south of Holly Springs. Leaving at daylight next morning, we arrived at Holly Springs at noon. I immediately sought for Wm. H. Smith. On the way I met T. A. Goodwin, looking very well. We called on Smith and spent an interesting hour.
At this place the rebels destroyed a large amount of property and government stores.

“Col. Murphy, who was commander of the post, is now undergoing a trial before a court martial at Holly Springs. Lieutenant Colonel Heath is a member of the court. “On Monday, January 6th, we marched in a northeasterly direction to Salem, Miss., by 5 o’clock p. m., 16 miles, Major Parrott commanding the regiment. The next evening we camped at Smith’s Mills, where the same rebel force that attacked Holly Springs made an attack on us, but were repelled by one company of Hoosier boys.

“We arrived at the Junction on the 10th inst., and camped on the north of the town on low ground. It had rained all day and the ground was very soft. About midnight it commenced raining in earnest and continued until morning. We were without tents. In company with my Lieutenant we had the fly belonging to the Major’s tent for a covering. About one p. m. the water made a break over the ditch around us, and in less time than it takes me to tell it the water was about three inches deep, entirely covering our blankets. You can imagine it was not very pleasant standing in the water pulling on our socks. — When I went to put on my boots they were half full of water. After dressing we stood in the rain the remainder of the night

“I must stop writing for the present, as I have business at Lagrange, General Denver’s headquarters. It is a neat little town of about 2,500 inhabitants. It contains some good houses, mostly frame. HICKORY GROVE, Jan. 14. I returned last night to my command and found all well. At home you no doubt would think it strange for one or two men to go 15 or 20 miles from camp without a guard, but this is frequently done. While at Tocapatafa Chaplain Munn and myself rode over to Ox-ford, 18 miles, and returned the next day. The next morning after the flood, Colonel McDowelI detached companies K, E and H, to report 8 miles up the W. S. Railroad for guard duty, where we arrived at dark.

Our camp is on the east side of the railroad. We think our position is a good one. We have a block-house made of heavy logs; also a stockade, two bake ovens in which we bake all the light bread we want, and we have plenty to eat. We have just received our tents for the whole regiment, and hope never to be without them again. I have just received your letter of the 7th; it contains the latest news we have. We were glad to receive the Daily Journals you sent me; they go the rounds in the company, but they come very irregular; the last mail brought 15 copies. We are now of Grant’s army, Denver’s division, McDowell’s brigade. Our letters should be directed via Memphis, with request to forward to the 100th regiment, Indiana volunteers. We have had hard marching, but little fighting. We are getting along very well in the company and with the officers of the division. My health is better than it has been for years.

How glad I am to receive advice from my parents; I am trying to carry it out, and so are many of my brave boys. Wise, Collis, Bollinger, Cherry, Wirt, Smith, Norwood, and Spratt, and most of the other boys, are very well and wish to be remembered to their friends at home. This day I have the painful duty of writing to the parents of John Hoag, of my company, who died on the 1st. It will be a hard shock for his aged parents. I would have sent him home, but all communication was cut off at that time. We buried him with the Union soldiers in the grave-yard at Holly Springs, and marked his grave. John was a good boy, always ready to do his duty. This is the second one of my little band we have buried. The other was Colclazer.

If you could see how this country is laid waste, houses and farms destroyed, it would make your heart ache, but as the boys say, it is all on account of rebellion. Write soon, and tell me how things are going on in the North; how the President’s proclamation is received by the people. It suits us much; we are ready and willing to return home and fight traitors there if it must be so. In this I think I speak the sentiment of almost the entire army.” . .

Notes: Charles Brouse was born on December 30, 1839 in New Albany, Indiana. He was the first child of John A. and Mary Catherine (Downey) Brouse. He enlisted in the army on August 7, 1862 at Indianapolis, Indiana. He was given a captain’s commission and placed in command of Company K 100th Indiana Infantry. At the Battle of Missionary Ridge on November 25, 1863 he was severely wounded while leading his men in the attack on Tunnel Hill. He was discharged from the army on January 16, 1865 due to the wound that he suffered at Missionary Ridge. He married Margaret Caroline Thorpe on December 25, 1867. They had the following children: John, Mary, Louise, Richard, Julia and Helen. He served as pension agent in Indianapolis from 1869 to 1873. After his service as pension agent he worked in real estate in Indianapolis. On May 16, 1899 he was given the Congressional Medal of Honor for his conduct at the Battle of Missionary Ridge. He died on October 26, 1904 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Civil War: Hugh McLaurin, 1861


Dated December 19, 1861, Headquarters Camp Lovell.

Mc Laurin enlisted on May 16, 1862 at New Hanover County as a Private. He mustered into Company "G", NC 3rd Cavalry. Although there is no record of whether this soldier survived the war, the records do reflect that he was detached on July 30, 1862 at Wilmington, NC. The record also reflects that he was in the Quartermaster Department thru 2/28/64.

McLaurin writes to his mother of the "fine time" he is having, the boots he exchanged for shoes, and the puppy he wants her to keep for him until he comes home. Little did he know that the puppy would be five years old before he would return home—indeed, if he ever did.

The letter writes in part:

"I take the present opportunity of writing you a few lines to let you know how I am and how I am getting along. I am well at present and I have fine times here. We have plenty of tough beef and flour to eat and I think we have splendid officers too. They are friendly and kind to us and they play and joke with us. And they trot us through about five hours every day…. Ma, don’t let anybody have my puppy before I come back.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Wallce & Florence "The Circle", 1885

"Did you go to Grant’s funeral? They had quite a time here. They fired the cannon over to the fort all afternoon, and all the bells in the town tolled for about two hours…."Florence, August 9, 1885

Two letters taken from the archive of "The Circle" family. Both letters are dated August 9, 1885, one day following Grant’s funeral. They are written from "out West"--Junction City, Kansas.

The letters are from a brother and sister, Wallace and Florence, to their Father and Mother and siblings and consist of a lengthy six pages, measuring 8" x 10". These manuscripts come from a group of letters from one family who called themselves collectively, "The Circle". This family wrote prolifically and also had a newsletter distributed called the "O" or the "Circular"--a fascinating family archive.


Both letters are delightful--filled with news to their family and the report on the death of General Grant. Wallace, down on his luck, reports that everyone in Kansas "is a liar."

"Junction City--August 9, 1885-->

Dear Father, Mother, Brothers and Sister--

… "We received mother’s letter last Wednesday, was very glad to hear from you. We are all well. It is still as hot as we can stand. It tried to rain last night, but didn’t rain enough to do any good."
Did you go to Grant’s funeral? They had quite a time here. They fired the cannon over to the fort all afternoon, and all the bells in the town tolled for about two hours. A good many business houses were draped very nice. I didn’t go down town, but Wallace told me about it. They had a procession of the band, five Companies and G.A.R. men. The sermon was preached in the opera house…."

Ed was down a week ago, came down Thursday and stayed until Monday. He was out to Brown’s of course nearly all the time. He and Alma came in Saturday afternoon—came here and got Ethel and then went out to Vean’s. When they came back, I got in with them and rode down town with them to order some things for supper. Ed has a nice covered buggy. The darkeys were celebrating their freedom! The park was full as well as the streets. There is a colored family living in the second house from us. There is a young lady in the family that has hair as red as flannel. She looks odd, I tell you!

[excerpt only]

"Junction City—8/9/’85

Dear Father, Mother, Sister and Brothers--

We rec. letter from mother last week and was glad to hear from you. Also feel better to hear that the lightening struck on the other side of the road. I suppose before this you have seen the letter to Father Coultas, or you heard from him. I have had steady work with Potter taking care of his horses. That is I had 15 head to feed hay and mixed feed, clean out all the stables, water, and tend to two diseased horses & c. & c. Well his nephew came along the other day. He has worked for him before and knew just how to please him. So, you see, he gave me the bounce. That makes the third slip I have had since I came to Kansas, and it is spoken of as the best place in the world for a poor man, but that is all a lie, but it is nothing for a person in Kansans to lie. I believe I am getting that way myself. I can’t believe myself at all as I would sooner lie than not and that is the way with all in Kansas, except, Florence [author of letter above], and she is too honest to live out here. So I am thinking very seriously of coming back before she [Florence] is spoiled…. [excerpt only]

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Annie Curley, 1864, Connecticut

Below I have quoted a few excerpts of each letter.

The first quoted letter, dated May 20, is beautifully written by an intelligent, educated, young lady named, Annie Curley. Her poetic prose is a stark contrast to the horrors of Civil War. It appears that she has a romantic interest in Woodward. He has noted in manuscript the word "Forever" below the Patriotic Letter Head and the word "Union". This is a great letter and I am fairly certain that it originates in Stratford, Connecticut as the City of Stratford and Orange is referenced.

Sunday Evening May 20

Friend Woodward

Seated in Aunt Betsy’s parlor. I am endeavoring to awake my sleeping thoughts in order to comply with her requests which is to write to you.

I am spending a few weeks here. We arrived in Stratford at 10 o’clock, Wednesday night. Aunt Betsy drove over to where we were—only three short hours on the road. Nevertheless, the ride for the last four or five hours was exceedingly delightful—the beautiful moon rose and shone with unclouded splendor bathing in silver light, the lovely hills and dales—the delicious fragrance of the apple blossoms and musical songs of the mosquitoes, were highly gratifying to the respective senses.

When we got home, we found the house well secured for the night and Uncle William, seizing the opportunity during Aunt Betsy’s absence, had fallen into the arms of Morpheus, but after calling loudly several times, the fair Goddess was compelled to relax her embrace, and after a few moments, the poor fellow emerged from the house looking very much like Mr. Slipper Slopper, a person I have read of in the juvenile story of Master Fox.

I think that Stratford is the most quiet little village on the globe. Even the birds seem to catch the spirit of the people. They do not sing here as they do at home. Your Orange friends were all usually well when I left them. Grassy Hill is not robed in white as I think it was when you left there, but has donned her more becoming green.

The view from the hill at this season of the year is truly enchanting. Sometimes, early in the morning the mist that arises during the night gives the valley an appearance of a large lake studded with innumerable islands—such is not to be enjoyed but for a few moments, for as the sun rises, it dispels the mist and the lovely scene vanishes. The air is impregnated with the sweet perfume of the apple blossoms and early spring flowers, and the trees seems to inhale with the song of birds.

A few weeks ago, I spent the day to [sic] Miss Emily—she inqiures about you, and the shellframe. While there I took one lesson in painting, when I am at home at some future time, I shall send you some specimens of my skip in drawing. I don’t know, Woodward, as I ought to have written you. I am afraid you will grow old too fast. Even now a silver thread may be shining in your raven hair, caused by attending to so many lady correspondents. But don’t despair. This morning as I took up the paper, I noticed nearly a whole column occupied in recommending Clark’s Hair Restoration, and I beg of you, if bad comes to worse to resort to it, and perhaps it will restore your hair to its former beauty.

The other evening Mrs. Sarah Dikeman came up here and after sitting a few moments, drew from her pocket an ambrotype, and handing to Aunt Betsy asked her if she knew who that man was. She rolled up her eyes and said, ‘Why it’s Woodward.’ Words cannot express how much your picture is thought of by the owners.

My hand trembles so that I cannot write fit to be seen. Henry made a very short visit here the other day. I was so pleased to see him that I ran to the door and k------ [kissed] him. Well I don’t like to tell what I did do to him. Yours and so forth…Annie Curley"

The letters are dated May 20 and October 23, respectively. The year is not referenced, but I believe they are circa 1864 or 1865.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

J. H. Emory 1877

A letter written by a young man named J. H. Emory who traveled to Britain to apply for a position of Tutor with one of Britain’s Royals, Princess Helena.

The letter is a lengthy 12-pages and is dated June 5, 1877 which constitutes three 9" x 7" sheets folded.

The letter does not identify the Duchess by name. However, although I'm not positive, I believe the letter is referring to Princess Helena (known also as "Lenchen"), daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The letter gives a physical description of the Duchess—and I believe it is, Helena, to which the writer is referring. In any event, the letter is an interesting, and fascinating description of a young man’s first visit with Victorian era Royalty.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's fifth child and third daughter, was born on May 25, 1846 at Buckingham Palace, one day after Queen Victoria’s 27th birthday. She was named Helena, but for all her life she would be called Lenchen. Helena grew up as a shineless, dutiful and reserved girl. She had a tendency towards fat (which was severely criticized by Queen Victoria although she herself was fat) and was a bit of a tomboy, showing abilities for the less feminine activities like swimming or racing. As Helena grew into womanhood, Queen Victoria began to worry about her future.

Helena’s rather full-figure was compensated by wavy brown hair, a little straight nose and lovely amber eyes. She played the piano, had a distinct gift for drawing and painting in watercolors and had a clear, though not strong soprano voice. She was loyal to her friends. In 1866, Duchess Helena paid a visit to Germany with the Queen. There Helena met for the first time the man who would be her husband, Prince Christian of Schleswig Holstein Sonderburg Augustenburg.

Princess Helena married the Prince and together they had two sons, Christian Victor and Albert, and two daughters, Helena Victoria, and Marie Louise.


"Kensington—June 5, 1877

My Dearest Mother—

I am sure you will be anxious to hear about my interview with the Duchess. I was told to be at Mr. Bullock’s at 4:45 yesterday afternoon. And I was very glad to get a cup of tea then, and to cool a little for it was a humid day. I also wanted to learn how to address the Duchess and how to comport myself in her presence. Mr. Bullock told me that I must call her ‘Your Royal Highness’ or ‘Madame’. I was not to sit in her presence without invitation. I was not to offer any remark or start any subject without being addressed.

I found that saved me the difficulty of taking a prominent part in the proceedings. When we got to the ‘Teck’ apartments, we found the Duchess was out, so we were shown into the Council Room. Here was a large print of Queen Victoria holding her first council…and we were in the very room in which it happened. Probably such an important ceremony has not taken place since.

There were large windows opening into the gardens and here we saw some of the children playing. We went out and I was introduced to one of the three governesses and the younger boy who is only 7, though he looks 10, and the little Princess who is the eldest. I think she is 10. In a few minutes the footman came out to say that the Duchess had returned. She is a ponderous woman with light wavy hair and a pleasant, good-humored expression. In spite of her enormous fat, she was full of life and activity. She shook hands with Mr. Bullock and bowed to me and motioned us each to a chair. She began at once by saying she believed Mr. Bullock had explained to me what was required, but that she understood that I could not give quite so much as three afternoons in the week. I then explained that I could be at liberty, thanks to Ackland’s kindness. On Monday’s at 3, on Wednesdays at 4, and on Saturdays at 3. This she seemed to think would do.

She asked me if my father was a clergyman. She asked about the school, and how long I had been there and how many masters and how many boys there were. She told me that she wished her boys to begin Latin and to read aloud, and I was to take them in these and any other subjects, I thought fit. She thought it desirable that they should work from 3 to 3 to 5 with me and then I was to play or walk with them for a couple of hours and have tea, leaving at 7.
Then she told me a good deal about them—that the eldest had been very ill during the Winter and therefore he was not to be pressed, and the younger was rather the sharpest of the two and she gave me a long anecdote about this recollecting the circumstances of the madness of Charles VI.

All this conversation she conducted with a good deal of Royal dignity, but with a great deal of life and a little action. I sat with my hat on my knees trying to make up little speeches with ‘your royal highness’ in them, but I never got the chance. She ended by deciding that I was to come unless I heard to the contrary, on Monday next.

When we got up, I found that I had to get out of the room without turning my back, as I had secreted my umbrella behind the door and wished to regain possession of it, I was much exercised in this operation. We had not mentioned a word about terms, but when I got back to Bullock’s he told me that he thought Ackland’s suggestion of 3 guineas a week would not be thought too much.

Everything else I suppose I may considered settled….closing….
Your very loving son, J. H. Emory.

Monday, September 27, 2004

W. L. Huffman, Indiana to James Dixon, Indiana, 1837

This stampless letter has a circular date stamp for PERU, Ind., a handwritten 5 cent rate, and is addressed to James P. Dixon, Esq., Attica, Ind., and is a one page letter written by W.L. Huffman.

The headline is Peru, Ind. April 25, 1837.

Some abstracts:

"We are all well at this moment, and the object of writing this short letter is to inform ou that I now have an opportunity of selling one lot of your land near Huntington, the man offers three dollars pr. acre, for the fractional eighty, cash all paid down in hand."

"The man that wants this lot will wait until I get an answer from you and then I will get on a horse and go up to Huntington and see the land, and give him a final answer."



Alexander Hamilton, born on November 15, 1815, was the son of Colonel John Church Hamilton, and was the great grandson of the zealous Patriot, Alexander Hamilton, who served as Captain of the New York Artillery Company during the Revolutionary War in 1776. He was also the Colonel and aide de camp to George Washington from 1777-1781, and he commanded the Infantry Brigade at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781. Colonel Hamilton died on July 12, 1804, in New York City after being fatally wounded in a duel with Aaron Burr.

Major Hamilton was educated by private tutors and attended lectures at Columbia University. He also attended special studies at the United States Military Academy. He served with General Philip Kearny in the 1840s out West and later returned to New York to serve in the Civil War. He was also Aide de Camp to Major General Sandford. Major Hamilton died in 1907 in Tarrytown, New York.

Apparently Major Hamilton was an accomplished playwright for in this letter, Major Hamilton writes to Fitz-Greene Halleck about a play he has written and plans to produce. Fitz-Green Halleck was hailed in the mid-nineteenth century as the most important American poet of the period. Interestingly, he was also one of America’s earliest homosexual poets. Fitz-Greene Halleck was a close friend of William C. Bryant, an associate of Charles Dickens and Washington Irving, and a celebrity sought out by John Jacob Astor and American presidents. Halleck, was an attractive man of wit and charm, was dubbed "the American Byron" because he both employed similar poetic strategies and challenged the most sacred institutions of his day. A large general readership enjoyed his verse, though it was infused with homosexual themes. Halleck's love for another man would be fictionalized in Bayard Taylor's novel Joseph and His Friend a century before the Stonewall riots.


"New York, May 27, 1864
Fitz-Greene Halleck, Esq.

Dear Sir
When a boy, you did me the favor to peruse a MSS play of mine—to give it your approval—urge me to have it put upon the stage and to go on.

That play, entitled "Urban" – I could not induce the actors to take hold of—but following your advice, wrote others and among them one entitled "Thomas A. Becket." This I have had printed and today have the honor of sending you a copy. It was published anonymously—but is received with so much favor. My father, your old friend, John C. Hamilton (among many other hearty approvals)—saying ‘it does you very great honor’ that I am now emboldened to acknowledge it. Father told me he had the pleasure of seeing you a few days since in good health, which I trust may long be vouchsafed to you.

This play will be produced in the Fall when I hope to have the honor of sending you tickets.

I am very respectfully,
Truly yours,
Alexander Hamilton,
Major & A.D.C. to Major General Sandford, 17 West 28th Street, New York."

Monday, September 20, 2004

Civil War Letter from John Howell re Gettysburg


In addition to his description of the Battle of the Gettysburg and the pivotal battle for the Little Round Top, Howell references the death of his Uncle William Sloan at Spotsylvania Court House.
William Sloan enlisted as Sergeant and mustered into Company "K", 148th PA Infantry on October 2, 1862. The 148th PA was one of the three hundred fighting regiments enumerated in Fox's "Regimental Losses," and participated in the following engagements: Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Po river, Spotsylvania, Totopotomy, Cold Harbor, Prison Guard Salisbury, N. C., first assaults on Petersburg, siege of Petersburg, Jerusalem plank road, Deep Bottom, Reams' station, Hatcher's run, White Oak road and Farmville. For three months after its organization it was engaged in guarding a section of the Northern Central railroad in Maryland, with headquarters at Cockeysville, and joined the Army of the Potomac at Falmouth immediately af-ter the battle of Fredericksburg.

Sgt. Sloan was killed on May 12, 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House. Howell recalls his dear Uncle in his writing.


The letter is quoted in part below. For reading ease, some spelling and grammar has been corrected:

"Mr. John Howell—

Gettysburg, PA is not only the greates battlefield of the Civil War, but is America’s Greatest Battlefield and was the decisive Battle of the war between the North and the South. It fought on the 1 & 2 & 3 days of July 1863, between the Federal Army of the Potomac commanded by General G. Meade and the Confederate Army of the Northern Virginia, commanded by Gen. R.E. Lee….

The key to the battlefield was Little Round Top. There was no road up to the little round top and our men pulled the cannons up by rope tied to the cannon or about 40 men, pulling at the rope and, men at the wheels run one wheel up and hold it there until the other side would push their wheel up and run this cannon up by hand and finally go it up in time to save the Hill. The Rebs were bound to take the Hill and the Hill is nothing but rocks and stones. There was lots of boys lost their lives on that Hill….

May 12, 1864—General Hancock commanding the 2nd Corps. Captured the most of Johnson Division, 20 pieces of artillery and Rebel Johnson and General Stewart and 30 Collars (Colored) and 4000 prisoners and a lot of small armies and ammunition at Spotsylvania…. May 12, 1864…my Uncle, Sergt. W. C. Sloan was killed in this battle…."

General Hunt says he used 81 pieces of artillery at Petersburg and throwed 3833 shells and solid shot and canister in four hours and it was equal 15 tons of metal on the morning of July 30, 1864 at the Battle of the Crater. This fort our men blew up July 20, 1864--had eight tons of powder under this fort and touched off between daylight and sun up and killed 200. Tore a hole 30 feet deep and sixty feet wide and 170 long. I can just see it going up now and that night when our boys were on picket, called over to our boys—‘that was nothing but a damn dirty trick….’"

Here is part of my uncle W. C. Sloan’s letter he wrote home just before he was killed. ‘The mail is just going out. We have had seven days fighting and no telling when it [will] end. We had 5 men killed out of our Co. and 12 wounded yesterday. Our Captain is wounded, Jacob Mast, Ben Thompson and Wansetter and John Balorf and Ben Carl are all killed and the rest are in good hurt and all bound for Richmond, Va.’ Uncle Sloan was killed that day, May 12, 1864 and as nice a boy so ever lived."

Saturday, September 18, 2004




"It is not half so bad being in a battle as one would suppose. The most is going in and seeing the dead lying about and the wounded being brought out...." Arthur Wyman--Wilderness Battle--May 13, 1864

Material relating to the service of POW Corporal Arthur B. Wyman of the 59th Massachusetts Infantry. Official records reflect that Corporal Wyman enlisted on March 1, 1864 and mustered into Company "K", 59th Massachusetts Infantry on April 21, 1864. In June 1865, his regiment was consolidated with Company "K", 57th Massachusetts Infantry.

Corporal Wyman’s Regiment was an active Regiment. It was engaged at the Wilderness battle and Corporal Wyman and his Regiment were also heavily engaged at the Battle of the Crater, near Petersburg. Here, on July 30, 1864, Corporal Wyman, along with 22 others from his Regiment, was Wounded in Action and, along with 43 others from his Regiment, he was taken Prisoner.

The Crater was a bloody battle. The Confederate defenses at Petersburg were shattered by a huge explosion of a mine planted by Union engineers. However, Union assault troops failed to exploit the mine attack and were brutally and mercilessly shot while in the crater left by the explosion. Wyman was captured and taken to Danville, North Carolina, where he spent six months in a deplorable environment and as an unwelcome guest of the Confederates. Corporal Wyman, along with other Union men, were confined in seven Danville Tobacco Warehouses, not far from the National cemetery that currently holds the remains of many Union men that died there. Those who died at the Danville prison were primarily privates, corporals and sergeants. Many suffered from pneumonia, chronic dysentery, and scorbutus (similar to scurvy).

Ultimately, over the course of the war, Danville prison would be host to more than 7,000 Union soldiers. Corporal Wyman was finally exchanged on February 22, 1865.

Corporal Wyman and his Regiment, attached to the Ninth Army Corps., were also a part of the Union Forces engaged in the Appomattox Campaign on April 9, 1865.

Nine Manuscript Letters

The first seven letters are written by Corporal Wyman. The last two are written by Corporal Wyman’s mother and cousin. In all, 42 pages of tightly written, quality content, manuscript. Only one letter has a canceled cover.

April 29, 1864—4 pages—Wilderness Battle
One Week Post Wilderness battle--May 13, 1864—4 pages (Partial Letter)
April 17, 1865—10 pages
May 2, 1865—4 pages
May 10, 1865—4 pages
May 24, 1865-4 pages
May 26, 1865—4 pages
June 1, 1865—4 pages
June 22, 1865—4pages


The companies of the 59th Mass. were mustered on various dates between Dec. 5, 1863, and April. 21,1864. On May 6, only ten days after the regiment left Massachusetts, it was engaged in the battle of the Wilderness, in the vicinity of the Plank road, losing 12 killed, 27 wounded, and five missing. Colonel Gould being seriously ill, Lieut. Colonel Hodges now took command of the regiment. At Cold Harbor, near Bethesda Church, June 3, the 59th lost two killed, 15 wounded, and about the same number captured or missing. Crossing the James River, June 15, and advancing to the front on the 17th, on the afternoon of that day the regiment joined in the assault made by the 1st Division, losing 13 killed, 49 wounded, and eight missing. Among the mortally wounded was Capt. Samuel A. Bean.

Six weeks later, July 30, 1864, the 59th was engaged in the "Crater" fight, near Petersburg, losing eight killed, 25 wounded, and 47 prisoners. Here Lieut. Colonel Hodges and 1st Lieut. Dunlap were killed. After this disastrous experience the regiment remained in the trenches until the movement to the Weldon Railroad in August. Here, on the l9th, an action took place in which only a portion of the regiment was engaged, but a serious loss was incurred in the death of Adjutant Warren who was mortally wounded and died of his injuries the same day. A few days after this engagement, Colonel Gould was mortally wounded while in command of a brigade.
The 59th remained in camp near the Weldon Railroad until the last of September when it joined in the movement to Poplar Grove Church. Here, on Sept. 30, the regiment lost one killed, eight wounded, and two missing. Not far from this field the 59th went into winter quarters, but was soon ordered to the right of the Petersburg lines near Forts Haskell and Stedman. In February, Lieut. Colonel Colburn, who had Commanded the regiment since August, resigned, and after that time Major Ezra P. Gould was senior officer of the command. In the battle at Fort Stedman, March 25, 1865, the 59th was engaged near Battery XI on the left of the fort and narrowly escaped capture. From this time until the evacuation of Petersburg the regiment lay between Battery XI and Fort Stedman. On April 3, it entered the city of Petersburg, then did duty for over a fortnight guarding the Southside Railroad. About May 1, the 59th was ordered to Washington, and was stationed first at Alexandria and later at Tenallytown. Here, June 20, 1865, the remnant of the 59th was transferred to the 57th, the transfer to be effective as of June 1, and the officers and men were mustered out as a part of that regiment, July 30, 1865. At Readville, Mass., August 9, 1865, the men were paid off and discharged.


The following are excerpts from all nine of the letters.

Letter Number #1
The following is an excerpt only. There is considerably more content. There is no month referenced on this letter, but there is no question they are on their way to Petersburg—The Battle of the Crater. The letter mentions Lt. Dunlap, who would be killed at Petersburg which puts this letter right at April 29, 1864—a Friday.

"Soldier’s Relief-Alexandria, Virginia Friday April, 29th 1864

My Dear Mother--

I will describe the whole passage, We have marched a great ways today (or it seems so to me), probably not ore than eight or ten miles and I find that I can stand it much better than I thought at first. Our knapsacks are rather heavy and we all have got a good deal of stuff that we shall throw away. Our Lieut. improves every day. He has just told me that he thought he could find room in the officer’s boxes for some of my things. That will be first rate as I have not many things that I wish to throw away. We have also got a first rate 1st Lieut. (Dunlap is 2ND ) I like him and our Captain almost as well as Dunlap, but I am not so well acquainted with the. . [Wyman refers here to Lt. James Dunlap who would be killed in action at the Battle of the Wilderness.] It’s a rather queer way to do business I think, to send a Regiment ahead and no one knowing where we are going, but we shall find out soon enough, I’ll warrant.

We are rushing the troops ahead double quick, veterans, troops and all, and you may be pretty sure that there is work ahead. If I do not write before, you may expect a letter from me, dated Richmond about the 4th of July. I will just give you an outline of our journey, so if you do not receive another letter for a month or two, you may know the states and cities that I have seen with my own eyes…."

Letter Number #2

I have quoted it below in its entirety. It is written exactly one week post Battle of the Wilderness. I assume it is written to his mother.

On or about May 13, 1864

"How little you or I thought when you fixed my things so nicely that they were destined to cloth and comfort the Rebels instead of myself. Probably by this time, some ‘Johnni’ has my shirt and stockings—another my overcoat. One is making a letter with my pen and ink upon my paper. Another is mending my coat with my pretty little needle—uses that $500 would not have bought.

I will tell you how I lost them. On the morning of the ‘Battle of the Wilderness’, a week ago, last Friday. We were marched for some distance in order to give us the pleasure of assisting in the fight. By the time we reached the [Wilderness] Battle field or rather woods, that’s the Rebel’s style—sneaking behind trees, we were rather tired and my knapsack weighed down. Well they marched us ahead until the bullets began to fly a little, then halted. I know that I could not do anything with my knapsack on, so I dropped it. I took out all the little things I wished to have and put them in my overcoat pocket, intending to take it with me. The order came to forward so I had to leave it. Some ‘Johnni’ is rejoicing and I’m mourning. The way the Rebs got it was driving us back about a mile. Pretty story to tell, isn’t it?

The 59th did not break first, but a Regiment of Regulars. The other Regiments fell in one by one—making a retreat very much like Bull Run of old. It did no harm, however, as we recovered all our lost ground and more, too! Our Company was complimented highly in the last fight (last Thursday). Our Captain told us, he was proud of us. He said that he had been in ‘crack’ Regiments, but never saw one stand up to the mark like the old 59th! He said we beat the Veterans all out! I tell you that there is not much run in the Union Army. They make no more of bullets than as if they were rotten apples.

There is a very good prospect that they may look at it for us to get Richmond in a short time and if we do get it, then the war is played out. There has been a report that it has been taken, but it is not generally credited. However, Old Butler is pretty near it and they say that there is an army man, Hooker between the Rebs in front of us and Richmond. If so, they have to look sharp.

There is another report about camp today viz., that we are to back to Fredricksburg tomorrow to rest and get ready for another start. I don’t believe it honored. I think they will shove us right ahead. I don’t care if we don’t get hit when we go. It is not half so bad being in a battle, as one would suppose. The most is going in and seeing the dead lying about and the wounded being brought out. After we are in, ‘Everything is Lovely’. I actually caught myself laughing once or twice to see our men perform. I suppose we are all old veterans now.

I shall be perfectly satisfied to rest a while now after seeing two good fights, but if I am not mistaken, we shall see two more before long. A little while ago, I should have thought is hard to march 3 ½ miles and back. After being in a fight, through the rain and mud, after dark for my supper… Some twenty of us did not get any [supper], so we went to bed without any. Yesterday, we went about four miles and brought in some hardtack. My knapsack (I have bought another) was stuffed full. We have fresh beef and coffee, so the danger of starving is over.

I hope that you have received my letters. I have written five to Woburn, four home and one not home. I have not received any since we left Readville and do not expect to until this campaign is over as it is difficult—almost impossible to get letters to a Regiment when they are on the move everyday or two. However, by and by, I shall get them all in a heap. I know of no way to send this letter, but I thought I would write it and wait my opportunity of sending it sometime. I rather anxious about you receiving the other letters as one of them contained thirty dollars. Try and read this letter somehow, it is written very badly. Give my love to all and have no fears about me as I shall come out all right.
Yours affectionately…Arthur Wyman"

Letter Number #3
"Parole Camp—Annapolis—April 17, 1865

Dear Mother--

…We arrived in New York about six and crossed over to Jersey City, where we took the half-past seven train for Philadelphia. At New York, we first heard the report of the Assassination of President Lincoln. Terrible, ain’t it? It almost spoils all the good news we’ve had. However, I don’t think that the condition of the Rebels will be improved by the event as they will have a harder man to deal with on Vice President Johnson than ever they had before….

We arrived at Baltimore about six o’clock. Here we heard that the trains between Washington and principle cities had been stopped on account of the assassination—that it would be impossible for us to go further than Annapolis. The ticket master, however, said that we could go right through to Parole Camp—so we started.

There are very few [soldiers] here now and it is very lonesome. I shall be homesick if I remain here long. They are sending them off every week for the front and I shall try to go with the next lot. All the soldiers here are anxious to go to the front now that the fight is over and see that they have started recruiting and hear that they are going to discharge everything excepting what is absolutely necessary so it looks as if the war is nearly over…."

Letter Number #4

"Camp Near Georgetown—May 2nd 1865

My Dear Sister--
…When I wrote you the other day, I was detailed at the brigade commissary. I was to be a permanent officer and was a very easy place. Yesterday, however, Sergt. C. wanted clerk and so with the permission of the Lieutenant in charge of the Co., he detailed another man in my place and at present I am company clerk….Charles Richardson wrote me that I was down on the rolls as a Private and sure enough, when we came to be mustered in on Sunday, it was so. But they changed it, and it is alright now….

I have not seen Battery 11 since I have been here. I guess that it is not in the region…. We have plenty of music here. There is scarcely a moment during the day but what some band is playing. I like to hear it, however…"

Letter Number #5

"Division 9th Army Corps--May 9, 1865

My Dear Mother--
…We are having the same kind of weather that we had a year ago at Spotsylvania, only we are in a little different situation. We had a hard time of it last Summer, but it is pleasant to look back upon now. I would not sell my experience for anything!

I wrote Ceclia to ask Father to send some money. I don’t want much—two or three dollars will do. I want a little occasionally to buy something of the Commissary. We have a Subtler here, but he charges enormous prices for his things and I had rather not buy much of him….

We still keep hearing reports every day as to where we are going. One day we are going home, the next we are to Texas*** and again we are to remain where we are. I place no confidence in any of their reports, but let it go in one ear and out the other. Nothing would please me better than to go home…."

***Note--Between May 12 and 13, 1864, a month after General Lee had surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia, the final major conflict of the Civil War took place at Palmetto Ranch, Texas, also known as Palmetto Hill. Fighting along the Rio Grande River between Union and Confederate forces had halted in March 1865 after a cease-fire agreement had been made. On May 11, 1865, Col. Theodore Barrett decided to break this agreement and sent some 250 men from the 62nd US Colored Regiment and 50 from the 2nd Texas Cavalry to attack the various Confederate outposts and camps. Ironically, the final battle of the Civil War was won by the Confederacy.

Letter Number #6

"May 24, 1865—Waltham

My Dear Arthur--
"I suppose you have been today and yesterday in the midst of the bustle and excitement of the Grand Review in Washington. As I see by the paper, the Fifty-Ninth Regiment is among the others in the big procession.

After having spent a week brushing up and mending your regimentals, scouring your guns and shooting apparatus, till they shown like a new coffee pot, polishing your boots so that you may see your face in them, you cannot look otherwise than perfectly irresistible and a model soldier. I rather expect to see you mentioned in the account of the review as ‘particularly noticeable for noble and soldierly bearing strict conformity to military rule…and never be obliged to hop-skip to get into step and keep up with the company! Also for neatness of dress and accoutrements.’ I am glad to see you as having such a fine day and no mud! (I have heard of the Washington mud)….

Letter Number #7

"Tennallytown May 26, 1865

My Dear Sister--
…There is pretty strong talk of going to Texas, but I hope there is nothing to it. Old Kirby Smith hasn’t surrendered and he may yet make some trouble if he chooses. Allen Barrett and Billy Brown of the 39th were here last evening also Lieut. Conn. [Charles K. Conn was wounded and taken Prisoner at Laurel Hill. He was also wounded on February 6, 1865 at Hatcher’s Run.]

Will finish this letter in the morning, that is if we don’t start for Texas during the night. By the way if they start--as for that place—I think that I shall desert!

Letter Number #8

"Tennallytown--June 1, 1864

My Dear Mother--
…We are to be consolidated with the 57th Regiment in a few days. The order was read on dress parade last evening. So, I suppose that I shall lose my place as Co. Clerk. I suppose that we shall lose two or three officers and possibly some drummers and non-commissioned officers, but most of them will remain and it will not make much difference with us….

The consolidation that I spoke of has taken place this afternoon ad we are now Co. "K", 57th. The old 59th is no more. I do not like the change, but suppose that I must put up with it. We have a good Captain. That is that they all say that he is a first rate man and what I have seen of him, I like him first rate…. Perkins of Co H (perhaps you remember him, he enlisted about the time that I did) has returned from the hospital to the Company for duty. [Uriah Perkins was also a Sharpshooter with Company "G", U.S. Army 2nd]…."

Letter Number #9

"Waltham June 22, 1865--

My Dear Boy--
…I am sorry that the brave fifty-ninth will be known no more except in history, but it has made its mark and gained honor and a reputation in this war. I was in the State House a short time ago, and saw the battle flags which are placed there—relics of so many battlefields and mute witnesses of the terrible struggles they have passed through. Besides the 44th and 45th and 16th Regiments, (the only other ones except yours in which I was particularly interested) I looked for the 59th and found a hard looking flag. It had the appearance of having been badly abused. As you was a color corporal or something of the kind, ought you not to have looked after it a little and not allowed it to get so shabby and soiled!…"

Friday, September 10, 2004

Civil War: George R. Adderton, 1865, Virginia


Dated March 2, 1865 at Camp Near Stoney Creek, Virginia.

Adderton was from Guilford County, North Carolina. He enlisted on March 23, 1863 and mustered into Company "A" NC 5th Cavalry. His regiment was involved in the Sappony Church or Stoney Creek Depot Battle in June 1864. It is unknown whether Adderton survived the war. He was listed on the rolls in October of 1864, but after that, who knows?

Though he didn’t know it at the time, George Adderton wrote this letter when the war was soon to draw to a close. On March 25, 1865, the last offensive for Lee's Army of Northern Virginia began with an attack on the center of Grant's forces at Petersburg. Four hours later the attack was broken. On April 2, 1865, a mere 30 days after Adderton’s letter was written, Grant's forces began a general advance and broke through Lee's lines at Petersburg. Confederate Gen. Ambrose P. Hill was killed. Lee evacuated Petersburg. The Confederate Capital, Richmond, was evacuated. Fires and looting break out. The next day, Union troops enter and raise the Stars and Stripes. On April 9, 1865, Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate Army to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at the village of Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

Adderton writes his family regarding the Yankees and the slaves. The letter states in part (Spelling and Grammer corrected):

"I hear that all you in North Carolina are all scared to death about the Yankees. I don’t think there is much danger. I recon the home guards are scared to death but I think they will hear the eleventh bellow before this war comes to a close.[I believe Adderton is referring to the 11th Battalion North Carolina Home Guard here.] I hear there is a good many ? in Randolph County, but I think they will be caught and punished.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Mary Kempson to Mrs. Seth Alden, Massachusetts, 1848

This stampless letter has a circular date stamp for PHILLIPS, MAINE, a matching boxed 5 cent rate, and is addressed to Mrs. Seth Alden, Fair Haven, Mass., and is a three page letter written by Mary M. Kempson.

The headline is Phillips, Maine, May 1st, 1848.

Some abstracts:

"I was married only two weeks before you. Don't you think it was quite a remarkable coincidence that two of Lucia's Apprentices should enter the state of matrimony so near a time and both go into the country to live, for we are living upon a farm too. George has bought one since we arrived here ..."

"... so you see Keziah I am situated about the same as yurself if we are a good many miles apart." "We left Hudson the 22 of March Tuesday after noon and stayed one night in Boston, an afternoon and night in Portland and one in Augusta and arrived in Phillips the next Saturday at eleven o clock at night."

"I enjoyed myself very much in Hudson, did a lot of sewing and knit me some sidies [?], sister Charlotte was there on a visit but Brother William did not come up from New York after her untill a week after I came away so that I did not see him again after the morning we were married. We left both of our Daguerrotypes there and Brother carried mine back with Him."

"I suppose you did not receive any Valentines for I did not. The beaus soon forget

Saturday, September 04, 2004


THIRTY-EIGHT (38) letters authored by a Zouave—a 44-year old, French Canadian by the name of Francis Aubin.

The letters were written to his daughter, Eliza Aubin. Each letter is authored by Francis Aubin as he struggles to communicate with his family from the front lines. There are a few letters with terrific Patriotic letterheads. One letter is written on official letterhead from "The Headquarters of the 146th Regt. N. York Vols., Col. Garrard," depicting an engraving of the Capitol Building, with the "Dome’s" construction completed.

One of the letters was written on the reverse side of an 1861 Civil War Military broadsidewhich was no doubt given to Francis Aubin just before he enlisted. The broadside’s title reads, "AN ACT, To Provide for the Allotment Certificates Among the Volunteer Forces." Please click on the enlargement below for a more thorough review of the ACT.

Some of the postal marks include cancellations from Reading, PA; Washington; Easton, PA; New York, Lancaster, PA; Fredericksburg, MD; and Rome, NY.


French-Canadians were one of the most fascinating, colorful, and important groups present in the Union forces. The archive offered here is indeed a special one, and it is doubtful that you will run into another like it in a lifetime, especially an archive which includes a Gettysburg/Little Round Top dated letter.

Though thousands of Franco-Americans appear to have served in the conflict, the exact number is largely unclear. There are no truly reliable statistics concerning foreign enlistments in the Union forces. Consequently, only rough estimates can be made. Most scholars tend to claim that anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 Franco-Americans, many of whom would have been born in the United States or had resided there for several years, served in the Union forces.

The uniform of the Garrard’s Tigers is pictured exactly on page 130 of the book, "Echoes of Glory". It consisted of the following:
Headgear - Scarlet fez with yellow tassel, turban worn for dress
Jacket - Sky blue Zouave jacket with yellow trim and tombeaux
Trousers - Sky blue Chasseur trousers
Sash - Scarlet sash with yellow edging
Leggings - Canvas leggings with russet leather jambiƩres

A historian, who has examined all enlistment estimates reported that most of the forty thousand or more ‘Canadians’ who enlisted probably were third and even forth generation French-Canadian Americans. Most nineteenth-century estimates of Franco-American participation in the Civil War tend to be high. In May of 1864, the Catholic Bishop of Montreal, Msgr. Ignace Bourget (1799-1885), warned the priests of his diocese that at least 25,000 French Canadians were taking part in the fighting on the Union side and that unless something was done to stop them from enlisting, more would be headed for the boucherie (slaughterhouse).

It is probably safe to state that anywhere from ten to twenty thousand French Canadians and Franco-Americans served in the Union forces during the Civil War. Twenty thousand represents an ambitious but not impossible maximum. Nonetheless, the true figure would likely be closer to the ten than the twenty thousand enlistments mark. An overwhelming proportion of these men enlisted in the army. Only a very small number of French Canadians seem to have served in the Union navy.

We will never know exactly how many Franco-Americans fought and died in the Civil War. During the first half of the war, no records were kept of the birthplace or parentage of enlisted men. When such information was at last requested, recruiting agents frequently filled in the forms with guesses or falsified information to fill state or town quotas. Moreover, Yankee recruiting officers often saw very little difference between an Acadian, a French Canadian, a Frenchman or a French-speaking Belgian or Swiss recruit. All francophones might thus end up being lumped into a large "French" group.


The 146th was organized at Rome, N.Y., and mustered in on October 10, 1862. The Regiment left the state for Washington, D.C., on October 11, 1862. It was attached to Casey's Division, Defenses of Washington, until November, 1862. From there on until March 1864, it was attached to the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 5th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac. The 146th New York Zouaves was the only Zouave Unit in the 5th Army Corps.

Originally called the "Fifth Oneida" Regiment and the "Halleck Infantry", the 146th NY went off to war in 1862 under Colonel Kenner Garrard, a veteran West Pointer. Garrard expected his volunteers to live up to the standards of the "Old Army", and the regiment was assigned to General Sykes' Division of the Army of the Potomac, a division composed mainly of U.S. Regulars.

Francis Aubin was the ripe old age of 44 years when he enlisted as a private on August 21, 1862. An immigrant of Canada, he mustered into Company "D", 146th New York Infantry on October 10, 1862. Private Aubin was one of the founding recruits of the unit, enlisting in September 1862, one month before his unit was officially mustered into service. At the beginning, Aubin and his Regiment were at Duty in the Defenses of Washington, D.C., until November 1862.
Almost immediately after they were mustered in, the 146th NY, were thrust into battle action, suffering brutal and significant losses at Fredricksburg, Chancellorsville, and the Little Round Top at Gettysburg, where for its performance on the battlefield, its Commander, Colonel Garrard, was promoted to Brigadier General. The last action that Private Aubin saw with the 146th New York Zouaves was in the Regiment’s pursuit of Lee from July 5 through 24, 1863. On September 3, 1863, Aubin was transferred to the Veterans Corps, formerly known as the Invalid Corps.

Francis Aubin’s native language was French. How difficult it must have been for Aubin to communicate with his fellow soldiers and commanding officers. . His letters reflect his lack of command of the English language. He struggles to communicate his thoughts in phonetic English. Many of the letters from him are written in a different hand as he managed to convince a volunteer to write his letters for him.


Ssome of the letters are difficult to read as they are in broken English. But once you have read a few, it does become easier as you decipher the dialect. A few contain a mixture of French and broken English, which only serves as a reminder about how difficult it must have been for this 44-year old man. How brave a man must have been to enlist in the Civil War. But to volunteer as Francis Aubin did--the sheer determination and courage of a man who willingly enlists into a foreign jurisdiction for a Cause he probably did not understand andwithout the basic benefit of speaking the same language as his comrades, must indeed have been a grueling, discouraging, and frustrating experience.

The quotes from the letters follow

"September 11, 1862—Camp Huntington (Rome)

Dear Eliza--
I write to inform you that I have volunteered in the service, and when you write to me, direct as above so that I may know where to direct letter with money in it for you. I am well and hope you are the same. I shall have not far short of $200. I shall want you to keep the check for me until I come back from the war…."

The following penciled letter is written in Aubin’s hand on the Reverse of the 1861 Broadside which is pictured above--the "Act to Provide for Allotment Certificates". I have transcribed portions of this letter to the best of my ability. For reading ease, I corrected grammar and spelling. With a little time and patience, this letter could be completely transcribed.

"October 13, 1862—Camp Washington

Today is Monday—My Dear Daughter--

It is with these few lines to make you know I am well for the time…. Dear daughter am here with Regiment and I do not like the place at all. I don’t have a gun ready. The Rebel come last night…. 4000 Rebels be only miles from here…. Eliza…now Frank he got killed, last month on the 17th…."

"October 17, 1862—Headquarters of 146th New York

Company D, Capt. GrindleyDear Eliza--

…I am well and do not feel lonesome at all, hoping these few lines will find you well. I wish to send you my money and want you to take good care of it. I want you to take it and put it in a bank until I come home. I will send it by express soon as I can. I signed a Rule to have you sent $8.00 per month. You take the check that is sent you, and sign your name on the back and go to any bank and get cashed…."

"January 10, 1863—Reading, Pa.

Dear Daughter…In this letter, Aubin writes about money and worthless paper money and someone with a million dollars, and I’m sure much more.

"Camp Near Fredericksburg on Potomac Creek in Virginia

March 24, 1863

Dear Daughter & Son-in-law
…I was pleased that you were ever ready to comfort and encourage me in my troubles, and I know that the confidence which I have placed in you is just…where I selected you among my other children, not that I think any less of them, but because you were the oldest and more experienced…you would not see your father in trouble…I hope that…by the faith of the great redeemer, my daughter and myself will forget our past troubles and work future happiness as the only as the only safeguard against all miseries and troubles…. While resting a couple of the boys from the 97th N.Y. came up to visit. Some of their friends in our Regiment. They report that John is well and all the boys there in general.I always like to hear form absent friends and relatives and don’t think it any trouble to inform them of my situation…."

"Camp Near Fredericksburg on Potomac Creek in Virginia
April 16, 1863
Dear Daughter
…We had orders to march last Tuesday, but they were countermanded as we are here yet, not knowing when, nor where, we shall go. We had 8 days rations ready th enight before [a sure sign that a long Campaign was in the works] and have them yet, waiting for further orders…. They won’t give passes, only for one day…we have just received today four months pay…. See that my money is all safe and let no one have any without my orders as long as I am alive and well… I wish this war would be ended some way, I want to see you all very much."


"July 5, 1863—Pa.
Dear Daughter--
I sit down to give you a few lines, for I want you to know that I am here and all well at the present. I hope the few lines will find you the same. I be here on a mountain. We got battle last Thursday and Friday. Sgt. Taylor, for day and today, he get more battle on the 6th. I got shot.

[edited out content on battle and Regiment. The reverse of the letter is dated July 10, 1863 and continues on with more content here about the battle.]


Friday, August 27, 2004

Henry Howes, Indiana to Joseph Howes, Vermont, 1847

This stampless letter has a circular date stamp for PERU Ind., a match PAID, a handwritten 10 cent rate, and is addressed to Joseph Howes, Montpelier, Vermont, and is a one paragraph letter written by Henry Howes.

The headline is Monday Nov 8, 1847.

The letter reads: "Dear Brother, I now inform you that I have received your kind letter containing A draught of Six hundred dollars and feel very thankful for the same and I think that if my life is spared I shal make you a visit next season. My self and famaly are all well, give my respects your famaly and all enquiring friends, please to write as often as you think proper, so Adieu for the present."

Diary of Tully Crosby Brewster on board Ship Charlotte of Boston, 1848-1850 Massachusetts

This leather covered diary is hardbound and is a bit over 100 pages, or a total of 200 pages front and back

The diary is identified clearly in manuscript on the back fly page-- Tully Crosby Brewster [Massachusetts]

The diary entries begin with October 13, 1848 and end with June 19, 1850. Also included with the diary is a beautifully written, 4-page tipped in letter dated January 10, 1843,by the hand of Captain Crosby, addressed from London to his brother and sister, in Brewster, Massachusetts.

The following are just few of the highlights of the entries in this diary. The excerpts were chosen at random. You will learn from this brief list of entries that Captain Crosby was a brave man, sailing the treacherous mighty deep time after time, experiencing utter despair and frustration. He was a devoutly religious man so much so he heaps guilt upon himself for repairing masts on the Sabbath. But at the same time he and his crew wage utter brutality against the poor sea creatures, the whale and the porpoise.

October 13, 1848

I left my home at a late hour of the night to go forth and seek bread for the wife and little ones, whom God hath given me, to follow the profession which in my youth I so unwisely chose. I am one of those people who do business upon the might waters, who go down to the deep in ships, and there behold the wonders of the Lord & . I go because my duty calls me, yet my soul will dwell with you [my wife and children]. On the 14th, arrived in Boston, passed the day there. But in the evening I take cars for New York, and after a pleasant passage through the sound in the Empire State, I arrive safe &

Wednesday, January 27th, 1849
Ship Monterey of Boston
a high rolling sea at 6 p.m. It commences to blow again. Took in said as required and & we had to take all off but close reefed main top said and fore topmost stay sail. Midnight, a tremendous gale of wind & and the sea was terrific. May god have mercy on us... A heavy sea & filled the decks fore and aft and came nigh washing the whole watch off deck. On e many was swept from the bows of the ship, under the spars and was some bruised, passengers necessary was washed away & . It is indeed a very heavy gale, and the sea seems frightful .

Monday, January 31st, 1849
Ship Monterey of Boston

we passed close along side of a squid, a laying on the top of the water. I should think him 20 to 25 feet long and as large as a house the larges I ever saw, though I have heard of them much larger .

Sunday, February the 4th, 1849
Ship Monterey of Boston

we feel at times as if there was no one so unfortunate as we are, but we know when we exercise our better judgment that there is many worse off, by far, yet we feel bad, we are making a very long passage, and our freight is of the loveliest kind. The heavy winds which are continually so spitefully against us is a striping us of all our sails, or rather is straining and tearing them to pieces. We fear that our employees will get tired of our hard luck, but we must do our best and have [left] the result to God .

Sunday, February the 11th, 1849
Ship Monterey of Boston

we find by looking back in this our Journal that this is the twelfth gale of wind that we have experienced since we left port, that has caused us to have our ship too under close reefed main top sail and I think we have been laid too, about 13 days & Midnight calm. It is truly strange how sudden these N gales die down to a calm. In one or two hours from a gale to a perfect calm, all the latter part it is calm and clear and we are obliged to turn all of the watch onto work to repair sails, although it is a Sabbath day, we feel that it is our duty, yet we hate to work, or set men to work on the Lords day, but we have had a dreadful time, and our sails have all got split and strained to pieces and if we don t take the advantage of the good weather, we fear we shall lose them. Our Father, who art in heaven, again we are permitted through thy mercy to behold another Sabbath day. Although we have been at work all the day, upon our sail & c., we felt that it was our duty, and if we have sinned in thy sight, we pray that we may be forgiven, surely we have not meant it for sin, nor have we done it thinking light of thy Command, which requires of us not to work, neither ourselves or our servants, but we have looked upon it as work of necessity. And, our Master and Savior taught us that if we have an ass & that falls in the ditch, it is lawful to pull them out on the Sabbath day. True, such was not our state, but our sails have fallen in to very rough weather, and we feel that we are acting upon the same principle by taking advantage of a moderate day to repair them. Since this is only the third or fourth moderate day we have had out of 44 days, yet Father we do not wish to justify ourselves before thee, for we know that we have often done things that are forbidden in thy sacred work and left undone things that we are commanded to do.

Thursday, February the 15th, 1849
Ship Monterey of Boston & standing to the South to get clear of the Gulf where we find we have been for the last two days, although we have been from 60 to 120 miles south of where we ever knew the gulf to be before in this longitude, but everything has undergone a change apparently since we passed these parts before.

Midnight - a tremendous gale with lightning, thunder, and much rain. Oh God, have mercy on us, for surely we fear our good little ship will not be able to stand it much longer. We have now washed away our head sails, and started our head and main rail, and we fear our head will go altogether as the knees are gone, and if it does, we fear it will start a leak .

Saturday, February the 17th, 1849
Ship Monterey of Boston

Wonderful to relate we have not had to close reef our top sails for 24 hours. May god be praised for this blessing. At 10 a.m., we passed as bale of Cotton floating close along side of the ship, and some pieces of ship s bull works, the Cotton had not been long in the water. Some poor fellow no doubt had his decks swept about here during the late heavy gales. We still pray for a fair wind and may God her our prayers at last, and save us .

Thursday, February 22, 1849

Ship Monterey of Boston
Washington s Birthday.

when it blows, it always blows against us, and when it is calm, of course, we can do nothing, and we are almost ready to despair & surely there must be some cause for all this detention, and for so many, many disappointments, for when our hears are for the moment encouraged with the appearance of a fair wind, lo, and behold it is only for a moment for soon it is all withdrawn from us .

March 15th, 1849
In Baltimore
Ship Monterey of Boston

All of this 24 hours we have a thick rainy, foggy weather, but in the after part of the day, we commence discharging some of our cargo crates, and we hope and pray that tomorrow we may have a better day. Saw Mr. Paul Leans just from [here] from Boston and had a long talk with him about Boston friends there. Nothing new occurring this day & . Saturday, March the 20th, 1849Still in BaltimoreShip Monterey of Boston & Tolerable pleasant, but on Monday, the 20th, much rain which continues for two or three days, but we chartered the Ship for Liverpool to William Mankin. On the 25th had a letter from my wife and she was sick. Complains of weakness, cough, & c. and writes very discouraging. Oh, my Father in Heaven, what can this be, my fears are great, but in thee I put my trust. I immediately sent on for another Master for the ship for not for worlds would I go to sea and leave her sick. On the 29th had a letter saying Capt. George Dunbar is to take the ship, which I am glad to hear. He is a good fellow. On the 2nd of April, Capt Dunbar got on, expected to find the ship ready, but we had not began to load. I have trouble to get my fright as the rates have declined. I fear that Mr. Mankin will lose money by the ship. On the 11th we got her loaded and on the morning of the 12th started her off, and at the same time I started for home. Passed the evening and night in Philadelphia with Mr. Freeman, left next morning and arrived at New York. Left same evening, and the next day I got safe home with my dearly beloved family. Found my wife feeble indeed. But in a few days we start off for a town down east which proves a great benefit to her & . All the month of July and June, I was employed with Carpenters at work making alteration in my house. On the 10th of August, the Monterey arrived in Boston. I went up and took charge, got her Cargo out and I was taken down sick with bowel complaint. Was one week sick in Charlestown. Got a little better, went home and was taken with relapse. Found I should not be able to go in the ship, she being ready for Rio de Janeiro, sent up my old friend and neighbor Thacker, who I was glad to hear got the ship. She sailed on the 3rd of September. On the 20th of September, my health having been recovered, had letter from Mr. Lincoln to come to Boston. Went up on the 22nd, made an agreement to take the old ship Charlotte for a voyage to California.

Saturday, December 29th, 1849
Towards the Pacific
Ship Charlotte of Boston

At 4 p.m. we spoke to the Bark, Leonoria. Off and from Liverpool, England, 23 days for Demerana (?), he complains with us that we are so far south and no trade winds. He wishes us a pleasant passage, a plenty of Gold & c., for which we are much obliged and wish him the same with all of our heart & [Barque (or Bark) A barque is square-rigged at fore and main masts, and differs from a ship in having no top, and carrying only fore-and-aft sails at her mizzenmast. She has at least three masts. All of them are rigged with at least three square sails each, except for the stern most one, which is rigged with fore-and-aft sails. The wooden three-masted barque was a common sight in the port of san Francisco in the middle of the 19th century. Barques were important in California's early development. Until the fast, elegant clippers and huge steamers began arriving in 1850-1851, barques, ships and brigs carried huge cargo loads from around the world. ]

Tuesday, January the 1st, 1850
Towards the Pacific
Ship Charlotte of Boston

All hail Happy New Year! We greet you with the warmth and sincerity of an old friend. Yet we acknowledge that we are perfect strangers. But then we have been expecting you, and knew in reason that you would come about this time, January 1st. Well, you find poor Pill Garlick here on board of the old Charlotte, bobbing off for California, all down upon one side with the NE trade winds all from the SW. We hope friend fifty that we shall be good friends, and that we shall prosper much better under your administration than we did under the reign of your elder sister Queen 49. Yet we know that we even then was permitted to live, and sometimes took much comfort, but our gains in a Worldly sense was small .

Friday, January the 4th, 1850
Towards the Pacific
Ship Charlotte of Boston

At 5 p.m., spoke [with] the schooner S.D. Bailey, & bound for San Francisco, all well, intended to touch at St. Cruz, Cape Verd, passengers on board of her all in high glee. They gave us three cheers as they passed across our stern. We wish them good luck and hope God will prosper them and give them abundance of Gold, and return all those who desire it in safety to their fatherland, again in safety .

Wednesday, January the 15th, 1850
Towards the Pacific
Ship Charlotte of Boston

There is an American Hermaphrodite Brig within a main top sail & a coming up with us as they all do. We have only seen one vessel yet but what passed us, and this one will soon no doubt. But we are dragging along slowly all down upon our side. We have crossed the equator & . [Hermaphrodite Brigantine--If a ship has two masts, the foremast square rigged and the main mast fore-and-aft rigged, it can be called a hermaphrodite brig or a brigantine. Calling it a brigantine is a bit wrong, because the true brigantine should also have square sails on her main topmast. The brigantine must not, however, have a main course, because then it is called a brig and does not belong to the family of schooners since its main sail is not a fore-and-aft sail.]

Thursday, January the 17th, 1850
Towards the Pacific
Ship Charlotte of Boston

The Brig Crocas of and for Gardner Mc Cane up and spoke with us. 39 days out for California . He says he has spoke with two or three vessels before and he was to the east of them all

Wednesday, January the 23rd, 1850
Towards the Pacific
Ship Charlotte of Boston

It is dreadful hot weather, and I am troubled with one of my bilious starts (bowel complaint?), but hope by the mercy of God soon to be well again. Have taken some of the wonderful Brandwiths pills .

Thursday, January the 16th, 1850
Towards the Pacific
Ship Charlotte of Boston

spoke to the ship Em? & from New Bedford, 80 days out on a whaling cruise. Had 400 bbls oil and three noble, large whales then turned up which the boats was then trying to get along side. Two of them already fast to the ship. Monstrous looking they are. And it is wonderful to think of the power of man to subdue all other creatures unto himself. But all under God must it be done.
Thursday, July the 20th , 1850

Towards the Pacific
Ship Charlotte of Boston

There is an American ship and Brig in Company. I expect they are bound to the Gold Regions, and I wish them much success .

Sunday, July the 24th, 1850
Towards the Pacific
Ship Charlotte of Boston

The Bark Emma, camp up and spoke and passed us. Reported 67 days from Bath for the Gold Regions. Full of passengers, and the little Bark sailed like a witch, while our good old Charlotte moves slow and graceful, as well the Charlotte should .

Wednesday, March the 6th, 1850
Towards the Pacific
Ship Charlotte of Boston

Wonderful events have this morning transpired. Mr. Lincoln our second officer has been all the voyage a trying to catch a porpoise. Was fortunate enough to hit one and draw blood. And although he did not save him, yet he is wonderfully elated, and is sharpening up his iron, and woe to the porpoises that now come nigh us, for blood is now drawn and the battle is fairly begun

Wednesday, March the 13th, 1850
Towards the Pacific
Ship Charlotte of Boston

thank our heavenly Father for every little that we gain on our course helps to carry us from this Cape Horn of which we have had enough for one cruise.

Sunday, March the 24th, 1850
Towards the Pacific
Ship Charlotte of Boston

ship laying and laboring in a tremendous sea, within 50 miles of the western entrance to the Straights of Magellan

Wednesday, March the 31st, 1850
Towards the Pacific
Ship Charlotte of Boston

yet we feel thankful indeed that we can say that we have got clear of the Cape Horn without any material accident, though we have had a rough and long time of it, yet we flatter ourselves that we have got clear with as little damage and most any of the California craft, and we pray that we may be as fortunate the rest of the voyage.

Monday, April the 8th, 1850
Towards the Pacific
Ship Charlotte of Boston

this voyage we had a strong hope that we should have reached Valparaiso before this time, and as the first part of our passage was so prosperous, that hope was strengthened, but since we got up with Cape Horn, we have indeed had a hard time of it, although through the mercy of a kind providence, we have been preserved alive, and have not met with any serious accident, and we are now only 400 miles from Valparaiso .

Monday, April the 14th, 1850
Ship Charlotte of Boston

Monday morning went on shore and found to my great regret that there is no letters for me to be found here from any part, and I further find that there is no prospect of my selling the cargo on any part of it h ere to advantage so that I have no course to pursue but to continue on the San Francisco and the prospect does not look very flattering even there, but we must go

Friday, April the 26th, 1850
Ship Charlotte of Boston

at midday there was a large whale one of the largest species came along side of the ship so near as to rub his sides against the bottom of the ship and continued to pass under the bottom from one side to the other, occasionally blowing close beside us and throwing his flukes about to our no great satisfaction, until we shot a Rifle Ball into his head when he left us in double quick time

Wednesday, March the 6th, 1850
Ship Charlotte of Boston

hand variously employed in ship s duty & myself reading Doctor Allcot s novel, Reformer, but think as I ever have that the said Doctor Allcot is an ass, and I don t believe he thinks half what he writes true. Still he says some good things as who many not who writes so much

Wednesday, May the 8th, 1850
Ship Charlotte of Boston

O how time flies away. It seems all most impossible, but such is the fact. We had hopes of being a little nearer to California when this day came around, but we had such a cruel hard, and long time off of Cape Horn which causes us to be no further on now

Thursday, May the 9th, 1850
Ship Charlotte of Boston

hands employed in painting ship, cleaning iron work & . The weather is getting very hot, and we feel somewhat the effects of it operating upon our digestive organs. We have a craving appetite, and have not strengths of mind enough to curb its desires, when we know it hurts us to eat so much. Well, of people will dance, they ought to pay the fiddler

Monday, May the 12th, 1850
Ship Charlotte of Boston

Clear, pleasant weather all sail out low and aloft, and our good ole ship is a doing the best she can towards reaching California

Monday, May the 13th, 1850
Ship Charlotte of Boston

all hands employed scrubbing and scraping ship outside making ready for painting myself and Mr. Gould, passenger, practicing pistol and rifle shooting, the weather is very warm. Indeed the heat is very oppressive. We have one man sick threatened with fever

Tuesday, May 14th, 1850
Ship Charlotte of Boston

hands employed painting ship outside, I had some high words with my mate Mr. Gillson. He provokes me all the passage, I suppose he wants to aggravate me to discharge him when the ship arrives, and heaven knows he may go for it. If I can t have an officer who will pay a little respect towards me as master of the ship, I don t want any. And I am quite sure that he does not, and he boasts of not caring a d**** whether he gives me satisfaction or not. I am sure of one thing and that is; that I never tried to treat a mate better than I have him, and I never had one who took such improper advantage of good treatment before, and I am sure I never had such improper advantage of good treatment before and I am sure I never had such abusive language from any one before. I could put him off duty, but this would be just what he would like, besides I am not disposed to do his duty for him, and as our voyage cannot be more than 20 or 50 days longer, I pray that God may give me patience. I hope to treat him in a proper manner, and deport myself toward him as becomes a gentleman and Christian. God knows I wish him no harm, but I pray that he may possess a better disposition. I am sure he will one day regret the abusive language that he has used toward me. But he has many things to repent of. He boast of having taken many Negroes from their native land to the West Indies and sold them, and swears he will do it again, one day. This will rise up in judgment again him

Sunday, May the 26th, 1850
Ship Charlotte of Boston

we are now within 1200 miles of San Francisco

Monday, June the 4th, 1850
Ship Charlotte of Boston

a high rolling sea, all of which continues all the 24 hours, just as it has for the last nine days & but I expect it is fair for some people, and we ought to be content. But our philosophy has got pretty much used up into fiddle strings, and we wish to Heaven we could get on fair wind to take us to San Francisco for we want to see the Elephant, and satisfy ourselves whether that animal has got horns or not. Cause folks says he has

Tuesday, June the 18th, 1850
Ship Charlotte of Boston

at 9 a.m., the Baltimore schooner called C.A. Slicer came up and spoke to us she left Valparaiso eight days after us, and she came up and passed us like a bird

Wednesday, June the 19th, 1850
Ship Charlotte of Boston

the Schooner that passed us yesterday is still in sight. We came up with some in the night, we begin to get some of the California weather, and our hope soon to get a fair breeze t take us in for we are truly sick of this long passage.

Tuesday, June the 20th, 1850
Ship Charlotte of Boston

Commenced with a light air from WNW, nearly calm. All sails set low and aloft. Our ship a moving on her course about 4 knots an hour, which continues all the 24 hours nearly the same. The Schooner that we spoke to on the 18th is still in sight. She gets way ahead of us in the day time, but at night, we come up with her, and find her near us in the morning. We hope soon to reach our port, and as we now are a drawing nigh, we pray God to give us clear weather and direct our courses right and keep us in safety & Amen

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