Letter written by Captain Frederick B. Doten of Company F, 14th CTInfantry, to his future wife Georgie S. Welles, from the headquarters of the 2nd Division. Doten is writing to his fiancée, and he expresses how much he loves her and misses her. He writes that he would like for them to be married within a year, and hopes that she will forgive their long engagement due to his time in the army.
Head Qrs. 2d Div.
Jany 7 1865
My own dear Georgie
It is very late, but I can not let the day pass without a little talk with my pet, and to thank you for your dear letter which I received last night – of the 2d. Georgia, darling, I like to have you write like that. Such a letter will do me good, make me stronger, and better because I love you and every word from you, darling, is very precious. I shall be better, more manly, for
your love for me, and darling your influence with me is very great. God knows my heart that I almost idolize you, and if it is wrong, may he forgive me. Only one month ago and I was with you. How much longer it seems! One month tomorrow and we were going to New York together. If I could only see you tonight. I suppose you are asleep now, and may the angels guard your slumber, darling, and sleeping or waking, keep you from all harm.
Nellie says she is having a very pleasant
time with you, and wishes she could stay longer. I suppose you do not keep her awake now by coming late to bed. Was that headache a slight one, my darling? I am afraid not. Your kind of headaches and mine are not apt to be slight. Poor little head. I wish I could kiss the pain away, and bear it for you. I wonder, my pet, what our situation will be one year from now. I wish I could hope that we would be married and in our own home. We have
been engaged nearly a year. You said once that you did not like long engagements.
I don’t like them either. But darling, as I am in the army you will excuse it, won’t you? For if I had been at home during these last three years, I too might have made a home for my love, as well as some other people.
I must go to bed. I am afraid this letter has not been very connected, but accept it dear for love’s sake.
Affectionately Your Own
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!