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 – Frederick Doten, 9 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 expresses his love for Georgie. He writes that the 2nd Corps is a “living illustration of perpetual motion” as they have constantly changed position. A new railroad has been built starting at City Point and ending within range of the Confederates’ guns. Confederate shelling has not stopped the trains, and the army is easily supplied with provisions.

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 Head Qrs 3d Brigade

                          2d Div. Sept. 9, 1864

My own darling

     I received last night your dear letter of the 4th. It was just such a letter as I love to receive from you, my darling; assuring me that you love me, and think of me. I have often told you how dear you are to me, and it is a pleasure to tell you so, with the assurance that you love me in return. Oh, that we might be together in our own home, yours and mine, Georgie dear.

     You speak again of Mr. Harlon. I will be sure and not give him any more

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of my confidence. I have told him nothing now that will do much harm if he does tell of it, or nothing more than I thought his expressed friendship and intent entitled him to. I am very sorry to believe yet that he has abused my confidence. I am not at [all] troubled about it, unless you are annoyed, except that I am sorry to be disappointed in him.

     It was indeed remarkable that you should be in Bridgeport just at this time. But I am very much pleased that you were there to perform for me the last sad act of kindness to my noble friend. Don not be anxious, darling, about my health.

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I am quite well, and happy in possessing the love of the “best little girl” in the world.

     I think the 2d Corps is a living illustration of perpetual motion. We have changed position no less than five times during the last 23 hours. It is very disagreeable; one can’t sit down to write a letter without expecting an order to “move this command at once,” before the letter is finished. The army has built a railroad running from City Point to the extreme left of the army, and right in range of the enemy’s guns. I expect they think the “Yanks” have got a great deal of impudence. Yet with all their shelling they

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cannot stop the trains running. Consequently the army is quickly and easily supplied with provisions.

     The mail boats come and go every day. We have a mail every evening after supper. Each day we look forward to the arrival of the mail, with hope, and if nothing comes, go to sleep disappointed. Last night I received 5 letters. First and best, one from you, my darling, and 4 from home. Did I ever send you that picture you asked for some time ago? If not, forgive my neglect, and you shall have one as soon as possible. Many kisses and very much love.           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!