Letter – Frederick Doten, 13 September 1864

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Letter written by Lieutenant Frederick B. Doten of Company F, 14th CT Infantry, to his fiancée Georgie Welles, from the headquarters of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division. Doten describes his two horses, and requests that Welles choose the name for his favorite one. Doten expresses his love for his fiancée, and reminisces about when they first met. He inquires about friends and family from home, and writes that he is sending Welles a portion of cotton picked near the camp.


-Page 1-

Head Qrs 3d Brigade

                          2d Div. Sept. 13th 1864

My own loved Georgie

      I have just come in from a ride. I have such a nice horse that I take every opportunity for riding him, and every time I ride I think “how Georgie would enjoy a horse- back ride with me today, and how I would enjoy to have her with me.” The weather is cool and pleasant, just right for riding. I have two good saddle horses; one of these, my favorite and just what you would like to ride. I keep him very carefully, and never ride him under fire, for fear he will get shot. I don’t care so much about

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the other one, though he is a good horse and has carried me well through many hard places. I have no name for my favorite. Will you not name him? I hope I can carry him home with me, then you shall ride all you wish. I received you letter last night, written the 8th. I was feeling just a little low spirited when it came, but it changed the appearance of everything and I was happy again. This may sound exaggerated, but, my darling, your letters are very precious to me, and the words of love they contain are of untold value to one who loves you as dearly as I do. Georgie, my own darling, I did not think I could love you any more

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than I did when I left you. But each day seems to make me love you more deeply, truly than ever. I can never be sufficiently grateful to God for bringing you and me together. Do you remember the first time I ever saw you? It was at Mrs. Goodnow’s tea table. Mrs. Skinner had been telling me of a young lady that was coming to visit us. But how little I thought then that we were destined to be all in all to each other for life. Oh, how I long to see you; each day brings the day nearer when I can hold you to my heart. Georgie, dear, you won’t be afraid to kiss me then will you?

     Mrs. Emily has not sent

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me that letter yet. I am obliged for her interest in us, and shall be pleased to hear from her. Please remember me to her. Mr. Harlon had forgotten me I expect. Well, never mind. I care only for you  my darling. If I have letters from you I am quite satisfied. Thank you for your promise to write often. I will write as often as possible; generally every other day, some-times oftener. I enclose a bit of cotton picked near our camp.

     If there is anything that I want, I will gladly send to you for it, instead of Nellie, for who has a better right, or who can do for me more lovingly than my darling. Please give my very kind regards to your father & mother. With my best love and many kisses for you, my dearest Georgie,

                                Lovingly,      Fred

-Page 1, Crosswritten-

I could not get that cotton blossom in with this; I send it by mail separate    Fred


Frederick B. Doten, was born in Sheffield, MA in 1840. He worked as a clerk in New York City then enlisted at age 22 as a corporal in Co. A, 14th CT Infantry, August 1, 1862. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant of Co. F, March 3, 1863, adjutant of the regiment, April 14, 1863, and captain of Co. F, Oct. 20, 1863. He was present at “Pickett’s Charge” at Gettysburg, helping defend the Angle on July 3rd and was cited for receiving many captured swords from surrendering C.S. officers. He was captured at Morton’s Ford, VA on February 6, 1864, but after being imprisoned at Libby Prison, was exchanged and returned to duty as a staff officer for Brigadier General William Hays. He was mustered out May 1, 1865, and became a cashier of the 1st National Bank of Chicopee, MA. He married Georgie L. Welles in 1866, and died Apr. 9, 1903.

Another 3 of Doten’s letters to Georgie, dating from 19 June 1864, 13 October 1864, and 10 April 1865, can be found at Spared Shared. An inquiry into his Prisoner of War status in February, 1864 is available in Ohio State University’s records Be sure to check them out as well!

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