Letter – Samuel Keeler, 24 October 1864


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Letter written by Corporal Samuel B. Keeler of Company I, 4th NJ Infantry, to his brother Clifford, from a camp near Strasburg, VA. Keeler writes that he sent a description of the battle from the 19th [Cedar Creek] in a previous letter. The battle was hard, but the Union came out victorious and he was unharmed. Keeler thinks highly of General Sheridan, and writes that he is proud to be in Sheridan’s Army. He is confident that Lincoln will be reelected President, in spite of what the Copperheads have been saying. He comments on friends, including some in the 15th NJ Infantry, and family members back home, including one whom Keeler has just discovered is a Copperhead.

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Camp near Strasburg Va

Oct 24/64

Dear Brother

Your welcome letter came in Company with Annies. I was very glad to here from you. There is not much use of my tilling you about the Battle we had on the 19th as I told Annie all about it in her letter. you would like to know weather I came out safe or no. well I came out all safe, and I am Thankful for it. I don’t see how every one can come out a live in some of the battles we have. the Battle of the 19th was a very hard one for a while. but we soon got the best of the Rebs and run

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them back a gain. we wound up the Fight by a Grand Victory on our side. the last we heard of the Rebs, they was goin up the Valley as fast as they could. I don’t think they will be back again very soon, if they do we will do the same thing to them. we can Whip [Confedederate General Jubal] Early every day his men will not Fight when we get them on the run. that morning they drove us back we fought every step of the way. they drove us about three miles, but just as soon Sheridan came up and said they would have to go back where they came from. we all knew then that things was right. Sheridan had bin to Washington and he we [was] just on his way back that day. if he had of bin he[re] in the morning, Early would not of flanked us

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you say I ought to be Proud I am in Sheridans Army. I am Proud of it. there is no Army that has don as well as this Army here before the Army in the [Shenandoah] Valley has always bin Whipped untill Sheridan took Command. Annie says in her letter that Pap got my Check for 200.00 Dollars, so you are beting all of your money [on] Uncle Abe are you. you had better keep your money in your Pocket. the same time your money is safe. Abe will be elected again just as shure as you live. let the Copperheads say what they Pleas a bout the Administration. and Abe will be re-elected in spite of them. The report is that Abe is down here at Sheridans Head Quarters now. if he is not here I think he is a coming in a day or t[w]o. Ben Peterson better mind

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how he goes about Pemberton [NJ?] some of the Copperheads will get a hold of him and Kill him yet Emma told me in her last letter that there was a flag from our House to Lippencotts I heard a bout that turn out in the city Mag Anne told me about that. Emma told me that Hogat gave you a Revolver. 15.00 dollars is a good price for it. you had better sell it. that will be so much towards buying your new suit of clothes this Winter. I am glad that Charley has got his papers [discharge – Charles Keeler, Co C, 3rd NJ Infantry]. tell him I say that is the tickett to Vote. tell Cheeks I did not know that he was a Copperhead befor. I am very sorry to here it. tell him I say he must vote for Old Abe. how do General

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Taylor vote. – I hope for Honest Old Abe. I saw in the paper how the election went in them states. the Stamps came all right. your letter was mailed on the 13th I received it on the Afternoon of the 21st. I knew that Gaskill was a Copperhead. I never told you that his son George [George Gaskill, enlisted as a substitute in Co. B, 15th NJ Infantry] was down here again. he is in the 15th Regt. in our Brigade. I have not saw him since the Battle. I will go over to the 15th and see if he was wounded or killed, so his folks will know about him. I will go before I send this letter. has Billy Bryan [Co. A, 15th NJ Infantry] got well of his wound yet I guess he is all right for Old -Page 6-

Abe. I have saw them circulars you speak about Clifford, you speak about that Hat I don’t think I gave it to you. I know I told Morris to take it home with him one night to keep you from getting it. you are rather young fer a High Hat I think. I have just bin over to see George Gaskill. He a live and well. he wishes to be remembered to you all. I will bring my letter to a close for the want of some thing to say. give my love to all, and Answer soon.       

From your Affect.

Brother Samuel B Keeler

Samuel B. Keeler, from Mount Holly, NJ, enlisted on August 17, 1861 as a private in Company I of the 4th NJ Infantry. He was promoted to corporal April 1, 1863, and 1st sergeant on March 1, 1865 (transferred to Co. A). He was cited for “bravery and good conduct” by Lt. Colonel Baldwin Hufty, 4th NJ Infantry, in the Battle of Petersburg (attack near Fort Fisher) on April 2, 1865 [see OR’s 1-46-1-930]. He was mustered out in July 1865.

Letter – Daniel Dodge, 14 April 1865


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Letter written by Private Daniel C. Dodge of Company D, 26th MI Infantry, near City Point, VA. Dodge is writing from the hospital, and feels fine though he hates to see his fellow soldiers with amputated limbs. Dodge believes the war is nearly finished, as Robert E. Lee has surrendered. He hopes to return home soon, as he does not wish to remain in the hospital nor return to war. Dodge describes the fine weather conditions, and how the cheerful land is marred by the graves of thousands of soldiers. He also writes of a speech made by Lincoln in which the President asked God to bless the living soldiers.

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Vir.[ginia] April the 4 1865

Sitty Point Well how Do you all Do this fine after noon I hope you air all Well as for me I am fealing first rate to Day though I hate to Se So many of our Boys with their hands and legs cut of But it looks as though it was Pla[y]ed out for old Lee has Sir rendered his hole amry he was not so mutch of a Copperhead Be what he would give up when he was used up So he Could fight no longer So I think the war will Stop Soon I think I Shal Be home Bfore the 4 of July But how mutch

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Soon ner I Cant tel And the Soon ner the Better But I may have to Stay longer than I think But five mont[h]s will Soon

Pas a way I think I Shal not Stay hear mutch longer for I Dont like it mutch hear But I Dont know But I Shal have to go to my regt to get a way from hear I Dont

mean to go to work hear if I can help it for if I Do I Shal have to Stay hear But it is Pleasant hear to Day I went out this morning Before sun rise

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and looked around and I could se the cherry trees in Blossom this looked cheaful But look in an other Direction and you can se the graves of four teen thousand of our Boys laid lo By the Cirsed Rebs and Copperheads But they to have Ben heaped in Piles to Be rememBered as infamos Devels that air not fit to liv or to Dy and they will Be rememBerD with Contempt while

time inDures and all [???] uphold them god Bless the wounded SolDierS and the union old abe came and staed through the hole fight I saw him going

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in to the field after they had taken Petersburg he made a speach to the Boys But he Could not Bring to life the noBle Boys that fel on the field But he cold [called] on god to Bless the liveing

April the 4

well I will stop and send my love to all the friend hopeing to se you all agane Before long it seams a g[r]ate while since I have herd from home and i cant tel you whare to Direct yet may Be I can when I right agane good By for this time Daniel Dodge

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Dont fret a Bout the Bruss [Bruise?] for I am all right

Daniel C. Dodge was from Pine River, MI. He enlisted at age 18 on August 2, 1862 as a private in Company D of the 26th MI Infantry. He mustered in September 15, 1862 for a 3 year term. Dodge was wounded on April 7 at Farmville, VA leading to his discharge in Philadelphia, PA on June 24, 1865. Dodge was not well educated, his spelling mostly phonetic. Though he dates this letter to April 4, 1865 he most likely means the 14th, considering he references Lee’s surrender on April 12.

Letter – Warren Scott, 19 June 1864


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Letter written by Lieutenant Warren L. Scott of Battery H, 1st NY Light Artillery, to his mother, from a camp near Petersburg, VA. He describes the movements of his regiment, and mentions crossing the James River. The battery are near Confederate earthworks, and sharpshooters on both sides are constantly firing. He mentions having a uniform made, and how he may get a chance to go to Washington and travel on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Scott describes the “trails and hardships” endured by the army. He is unsure of the physical loss caused by the war, and recounts the many dead and wounded he has seen being transported on ambulances and baggage wagons. He writes that he can only pray to God that he will escape the war with his health.

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Hd Qrs. Battery “H” 1st N.Y. Arty.

Camp near Petersburgh VA

June 19 1864

Dear Mother

This morning I received a very welcome letter from you, dated June 9th teeming as usual with good advice that a christian mother knows how to give.

At present our army is investing the city of Petersburgh, directly south of Richmond – Since last I wrote you our army has been almost constantly on the move – For the third time since I have been in the army I have been within the vicinity of Baltimore Cross Roads. once more upon the banks of the James – crossed upon a pontoon bridge over 2200 feet in length-

To-day the battery is in position within 400 yards of the rebel earthworks. Sharpshooters upon both sides are continually firing at each other – Since yesterday morning we have had eight or ten horses shot down – One man had his right arm blown off by the premature discharge of the piece. Another his thumb while serving the vent at the same time – No one seriously injured by the enemy.

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Col. Wainwright had a close call yesterday – a shot went between his legs, as he was walking along. viewing the rebel works –

The work is so close and hot that a person is very careful how he exposes his head or body – above the redoubt –

How Mat should understand that I was on my way to Washington, from the time of my letter I don’t see – that I was making efforts to pass is true, but I had not sufficient papers and it is for that that I am now waiting. When i go I can not tell. I hope soon. I am at present with the battery but expect every day to receive orders to join temporarily some battery in this brigade and do duly until my papers come around.

Nothing has been told me respecting the uniform that Louis was to have made for me – Suppose I should be sent through by the Baltimore & Ohio R.R. how could I get them Tell Louis to study out the rout I should be about to take and see if they could be expressed in case I telegraph you as soon as I get in Washington-

Dear Mother you can not conceive the trials hardships, suffering &c now that our army is

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enduring. One thing about it we expect no respet [respite] until this army of Lee’s is routed or Richmond taken – If Richmond falls within two months I shall be very glad but if it holds out for a year, when it does fall I shall be equally rejoiced. For my part I have no hopes of the city being taken this year.

We receive very little news. That Lincoln is nominated I have heard but not read – What has been the estimate thus far of our loss. In every town where we halt for a short time all building are made hospitals of – The stores are cleaned and the counters and floors covered with the wounded – If a church, it is made the depot of hundreds of the suffering – Only those who witness it can form any idea of the suffering – Trains of ambulances and baggage wagons miles & miles long loaded with the wounded – All along the roads are seen the graves of the fallen braves – sadly attesting the innumerable throng who have ceased their warfare – God grant my life be spared in perfect health and body, and that I be restored to you again. If ever we needed the prayers of friends at home it is now.

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We need to pray for ourselves

My love to Judge S’s family and other friends.

God have us in his holy keeping until we meet again –

Yours with love


Direct as usual to “H” Battery and I shall get your letters wherever I am

Warren L. Scott was born in 1838 in Lewis, NY and worked as a teacher. He enlisted at age 23 on September 28, 1861 in Lowville, NY and mustered in as a corporal on October, 12. He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant of Company I on May 2, 1864. He re-enlisted with Company H in Culpeper, VA on December 31, 1864 and was promoted to 1st Lieutenant. He mustered out June 23, 1865 and returned to Lowville where he worked as a postmaster. He died February 12, 1901.

Letter – W.R. Lacy, 30 January 1863


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Letter written by Private W. R. Lacy of the 6th TN Infantry, C.S.A., to his cousin Amarila Lemons, from a camp near Shelbyville, TN, describing his participation at the Battle of Stones River. Lacy writes that he and his comrades are in high spirits, consoled through the war that the Confederacy will one day be an independent government. He mentions Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and that the Governor of Kentucky has ordered troops to keep the proclamation from being enforced. Lacy finds it strange that the Union proclaims the battle as a victory due to their great losses. He has heard reports about General Joseph Wheeler taking boats on the Cumberland River. He concludes by sending his regards to friends and family at home.

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Camp near Shelbyville Tenn

                                Jan 30th/63

 Miss Amarila Lemons

Dear Cousin

  As I have an opportunity of sending you a letter, I concluded to write you a few lines. Well cousin, our country is in a bad situation perhapse in such that we can never redeam it but we are in high spirits yet, and still look forward to the day of her redemption, and think it not far off,  there is one good consolation and that is to know that the Confederacy will be an independent government. Some of the Federal Prisioners say that the majority of there troops has lost all hope of subjugateing the south

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Our president says in his message that the war has entered its third and last stage  Gen. Woolford [probably Col. Frank Wolford, 1st Kentucky Cav., U.S.] the Yankee cavalry fighter disbanded his commands for thirty days and if old Abe dont modify his emancipaon proclimation that he will not call for them agen. It is rumored that the Govener of Ky has call for sity thousan troops to keepe the Presidents procklimation from being enforced in Ky. I think that will piece soon. Cousin I supose you have heard of the Battle of Murfreesburrow or Stone River  I suppose the Yanks claim a great victory I think strang of them for clamering a victory over us when there loss was so hevy and our so small compared with theres  Our loss was 5 or 6 thosand killed wounded and missing

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There loss 25 or 30 thosand besides the thirty pieces of artilery that we captured   It was a heard faught battle  Our Brigade did not get in a general engagement, but were in two hevy skirmishes, we were also uder the fire of there artilery all the time, Lieut. Bisy [Lt. A.J. Bucey] and Jef Gillum [Lt. T.J. Gilliam] were killed by a shell, I hope that we have faught our last battle. It was reported that Gen Wheeler and his cavary took five transports boats on the cumberlan river, and distroyed five cars on the Murfreesborrow and Nashville railroad two days since, I must close  we are all well, Capt Lacy is well and I know he would like to hear from you, give my love to relation and inquiring friends, write the first opportunity and tell Emma Sarah, I remain you cousin   excuse misstakes       W R Lacy  

Letter – Alfred Sofield, 12 April 1863


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Letter written by Captain Alfred J. Sofield of Company A, 149th PA Volunteer Infantry “Bucktails,” to his wife, from a camp near Belle Plain, VA. Sofield describes an army corps review by President Lincoln, where he was able to see the president as well as his wife and children. He writesabout his potential promotion to major, though Sofield received the majority of votes from the officers, it was Captain John Irvine who was elected to the position. Sofield describes a recent ride to Falmouth, and how he stood along the bank of the Rappahannock River and gazed towards Fredericksburg. The Confederate and Union pickets are on opposite sides of the river, within speaking distance. Sofield writes about visiting the Lacy House and White Oak Church.

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Camp near Bell Plain, Va

April 12, 1863

My Dear Wife                          

     I rec’d yours of the 7th inst. by this evening’s mail, and you were right in thinking I was anxious to hear from the boys. I wrote you a short letter on Tuesday last in which I stated that I was not well, or rather that I was lame. I have entirely recovered.

     On the 9th inst. our army corps was reviewed by the president. Our regiment left camp about 8 o’clock in the morning en rout for Bell Plain (about 4 miles distant) arrived about 10 o’clock, were about the first on the ground, which gave us an opportunity of seeing the other regiments as they came in, and I can assure you it was a sight worth seeing. Well, about 12 o’clock the president arrived. I think there was in the neighborhood of fifteen thousand present. Mrs. Lincon and her two sons were on the ground. Mrs. L. was in a carriage and I did not get sight of her. To see him she looked, but the boys were in review and they stopped just in front of our regt., and I being in front of the regt., had a good look at them, and could not discover any particular difference between them and others of their age

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The president was on horseback. He rode along the whole line with his hat off. I think he is looking better than when I last saw him at Washington. I would have given a good deal to have had you and the boys there on the occasion.

     You ask what about the major. Well, there is a considerably about it, and I will tell all about it. Soon after we came here the col. [Stone] was about to appoint Capt. Osborne [Co. F] to act as major until Speer returned. The capts had a meeting and agreed to tell Col. Dwight that that would not answer. We done so, and it blackened the game. A day or two after that we appointed another meeting to take into consideration what was best to do in the premises – as Col. Stone had issued an order saying that promotions should be made by appointment, and not according to seniority. Well, it so happened that I had to go on picket at the time of the second meeting, and my friend Capt. Irvine [Co. B] was also absent, but the other eight officers met and agreed to take a vote, agreeing that the man having the most votes should be declared the unanimous choice, and that they would pledge themselves to go in for his appointment. Well, they took a vote. There was two others nominated. I received six votes, and the others one each. They then drew up a writing according to the agreement and all signed it. Capt. McCullough took charge of the papers and

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says he publish it in his morning report book. That the book was taken to headquarters in the morning, and that was the last that was ever seen of it. Thus the matter rested until Major Speer was discharged. Then Col. Dwight said we must have an election, and appointed it on the 10th instant. I know that Col. Stone, & Col. Dwight were both in favor of Capt. Osborne, and I knew that they thought they could manage to have him elected, or else they would have stuck to their order – that is, have had it given by appointment. And thinking so, I concluded I would not take part in the election, but would do what I could to defeat Osborne. I attended at opening of the meeting, and stated to them that I was not a candidate, and should take no part in the election, but should insist upon my appointment by the governor, by virtue of being the senior captain, and also by virtue of having been declared the choice of the regiment by the former meeting. I then left, but before I went in Capt. Irvin & myself had done what we could to secure his election at the meeting, and we succeeded. Capt. Irvin was elected. Well, now the col. says he will not recommend Capt. Irvin at present, and I am of opinion he will not recommend anyone but Capt. Osborne. I have written to Wilson at Harrisburg a full statement of the case and asked him to attend to it for me. What the result will be remains to be seen.

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Yesterday I took a ride over to Falmouth. Falmouth is about 9 miles from our camp and about a mile up the Rappahannock River from Fredericksburg. I went down the bank of the river opposite Fredericksburg, and stood there about an hour. It was a beautiful day and I had a splendid view of the city and surrounding country. The river at Fredericksburg is about as wide as the Tioga River at Tioga, could hear the Rebels talk quite plainly. Our pickets are on one side of the river and theirs on the other, in speaking distance of each other. They are not, however, permitted to talk to one another. While standing there, about 20 Rebels came down to the river with a fish net and they came out more than half way across. I visited the Lacy house about which you have read a considerable during the war, but what about it I can’t recollect. It is a very large house standing on the bank of the river opposite Fredericksburg. If you remember for which it is noted, tell me in your next. About half way between our camp & Fredericksburg stands the famous White Oak Church, and it is in perfect keeping with everything else in this country. It looks precisely like a moderate farmer’s barn; no steeple, and in fact has no resemblance to a church. I send you a piece of it; the piece I send is not oak, but the frame of the building is of white oak, and from that takes its name. No paymaster yet. expect him every day. I rec’d a letter from Capt. Bryden yesterday. He started for home on Saturday last. Platt Irvin visited me today. He is checking for a battle about one mile this side of Fredericksburg. He is getting $40.00 a month. I must now close, and the next letter I shall direct to Hillsboro. Kiss the boys & have them kiss you for me.

                                    Ever Yours,                                   


Alfred J. Sofield was a clerk/justice of the peace in Wellsboro, PA when he enrolled as a Union Army Officer. He served in the Civil War as Captain and commander of Company A of the 149th PA Volunteer Infantry. During the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, he was stationed along Chambersburg Pike north of the McPherson Farm. His unit under artillery fire from the Confederate batteries on Herr Ridge, and was struck by a round, which killed him as well as Private Edwin D. Dimmick and Corporal Nathan H. Wilcox.

Letter – James Peckham, 23 July 1863


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Letter written by Colonel James Peckham of the 29th Missouri Infantry, to his mother from Jackson, Mississippi. Peckham writes that his regiment will be leaving Jackson the following day to head to Vicksburg. Battle, disease, and desertion have lessened the number of men in the regiment, so Peckham thinks that regiments will soon be consolidated. He describes Jackson as being in ruins, and says that many dwellings were ransacked or even burned. There are exceptions, however: Peckham writes of a splendid mansion run by an African American couple that the soldiers have decided to occupy. The Mississippi River has been opened by the Union troops. Peckham mentions Abraham Lincoln, and rumors of a fight in Pennsylvania.

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Jackson Mississippi July 23, 1863

My Dear Mother,

Kate enclosed your letter to her in one of her own letters to me. I am surprised you do not get letters from me for I write you quite often. I allow no month to pass by without writing to you & when in Camp, write you sometimes weekly. We leave here tomorrow morning, returning to the vicinity of Vicksburg. the summer campaign being ended. I suppose this Army will be re-organized and a general consolidation of Regiments soon take place. My Regt. numbers only about 200 effective men. Battle & disease have made sad havoc among us. In one change last December (29th Dec.) we lost in the charge on Chickasaw Bluffs in the Yazoo River 200 men in about 20 minutes time. In the swamps opposite Vicksburg we lost in January & February about 100 by disease. A number have deserted. I have only six officers left, but a full staff is yet at hand. So unless we are filled up by a draft we must be consolidated. In that case if I get mustered out, all right.

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Jackson is in ruins. Dwelling Houses are left standing but even some of those which were deserted have been burned. Many dwellings of the rich have been deserted by them & our soldiers have carried off everything or destroyed everything in them. There are one or two instances exceptions. One splendidly furnished mansion was entered by my major first. He found two negroes in charge a man & his wife, almost white. When I went in I had a guard put over the House & since we have been here, now five days I have been lying off there. Magnificent furniture – beds – carpets – chairs – ottomans – sofas – crockery – silverware – wines & liquors & cigars in the cellar &c. About five of us have been living there like lords until now when we are under orders to leave at 3 oclock tomorrow morning. The negro man & his wife go with use & they helped themselves to what they wanted. I let them have a wagon & they half filled it. A new & splendid Axminster carpet which has never been in use was boxed up & I told the man Jim to take it along for me. It is large

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enough for a room 35 feet by 25. It is the richest carpet you ever saw. After Jim & his wife left, the guard was withdrawn & in ten minutes thereafter our soldiers had “gutted” the house. This process of “gutting” a house is done up in wonderful style by our men. It is curious to see a house that has undergone it. Everything is turned “topsy turvy”. Beautfiul carpets cut up to make flooring for tents, Pianos smashed so that the Bonnie Blue Flag may never be played upon them again! Marble-top tables & costly mirrors in as many fragments as they can be broken. Bedsteads costing of great value scattered through the spacious yards, with shreds of bedding covering the ground. The secesh of this town wanted war & they have had it. Some of the people are going away with us. Some of the rich who are afraid to stay have opened their houses & told soldiers passing by to come in & take what they wanted as the couldn’t carry it all with them. Mississippi secesh are feeling what war is. As I write the sky is

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illuminated by the light of burning buildings and rebel government property. the Rebs in their revenge upon private citizens & in order that we might not enjoy it have destroyed nearly as much as we have. We have been a short time in this work of opening the Mississippi River, but it is opened. The free north owns it all again, thank God, from the mountains to the Gulf. We are anxious about affairs in Pennsylvania. We have heard nothing from there except that there was a fight & neither party got whipped. This is the very moment Lincoln ought to have 500,000 more men in the field. We are too slow. Give my love to all the folks. Kiss all the children for me, if it don’t take too much of your time, as they are becoming “Legion.” God bless you & all the rest. Good night. I am to be up at 1 oclock.

Affectionately Yours Ever


10 PM July 23/63

James Peckham was a member of the Missouri Legislature before the Civil War and was a strident Unionist when the state was debating to secede or not. He left the legislature and organized the 8th MO Regiment. Peckham served as the 8th MO Regiment’s Lt. Col. and led the regiment at Shiloh and Pittsburg Landing, TN, and at Jackson, MS. He later went on to lead the 29th MO. After the war he published a book on the history of the war in Missouri and General Nathaniel Lyon. He passed away in 1869 and is buried at Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, MO.

Letter – Bainbridge Wadleigh, 10 December 1864


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Letter written by New Hampshire senator Benjamin Wadleigh from Milford, NH. It is addressed to “Charley” and was among a group of letters identified to Charles Wilkins of the 1st US Infantry. However, at this time Charles had been dead for over a year. It is possible the letter was intended for Charles H. Bell instead, Wadleigh’s successor in the senate. In it Wadleigh asks the recipient why he has not responded to any previous letters, blaming a “Mrs. C” for taking up all of Charley’s time. Wadleigh then goes on to discuss politics and the war.

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Milford, NH, Dec. 10, 1864

Dear Charley:

    Why do you not write me? I would like to know what reason you can give for such an unconscionable delay. I have been expecting to hear from you every day but have uniformly been disappointed. I begin to think that the time which you gave to your friends before is now occupied by Mrs. C. That is all right, but drop a line now & then if you can.

    Things are jogging along here in the same old fashion. We are listening intently to hear the shout of Sherman’s men when they reach the coast of the Atlantic. It is now nearly or quite time to hear from him. I do not believe that there is anything to stay his triumphant march, & that the Rebel reports of his disasters are only whistling to keep their courage up. When he does get through I shall expect to see Grant reinforced and Richmond taken.

     Today we are having the first snow storm of the season. There are many indications that it will stay, and that we shall now have sleighing continuously. I don’t care how soon it comes, for we are more comfortable here with snow than without it in cold winter weather. At Washington you can’t have the luxury of sleigh rides.

     I suppose that by the time this reaches you Renel

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Durbee will be in Washington. You must get acquainted with him if you want to know common sense and homely shrewdness incarnate. Renel is the most original man in N.H. today. I should like to be present at the interview between him and Old Abe.

     It now looks as though Fred Smyth would be nominated for governor, and Rollins is absolutely certain of the Congressional nomination. I suspect that we shall have a hard fight next spring in which the main issue will be the financial management of this state, and the general government. They say that the “nuterified” are made to believe that they can carry the state, though such a belief indicates a vast amount of faith and hope. And through an amount of faith equal to a grain of mustard seed might have been sufficient to remove mountains in Christ’s day, the article must have been a good deal purer than any which our McClellanites have now.

     Gen. Marston is to be a candidate for congress in the first district. He could get almost anything he wished if he had not such a violent, ungovernable temper, of which innumerable anecdotes are told. As it is I hardly think that he will get it though it is possible.

     In this town the democrats profess to be well satisfied with the president’s message. Even Dr. Stickney commends it and said yesterday to Fordyce, Hutchinson, & myself,

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that he sees nothing in it which any reasonable man can object to. I think that it is a model state paper for the people. There is no indirectness, evasion, or “high fulutin” about it. But there is an honest manliness which is sublime. God bless old Abe. I say, and so do the people.

     But I have but little time and many letters to write. Let me hear from you. Remember me to Ordway, Ned and “last but not least,” your wife. Tell Tom to write me. Write soon.

                                Yours truly,

B. Wadleigh

Bainbridge Wadleigh was a Republican United States Senator from New Hampshire. He attended Kimball Union Academy, studied law, and began practicing in Milford after he was admitted to the bar in 1850. He served as a member of the NH House of Representatives for several terms before being elected to the US Senate in 1873. He died in 1891.