Letter – C. Alexander Thompson, 27 January 1863

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Letter written by C. Alexander Thompson, a civilian arms worker, to his friend in Bridesburg, PA, from New Haven, CT. Thompson is requesting a job with his friend, as a U.S. Inspector recently visited his own workplace and said that their work was done incorrectly. As they will need to alter their tools, Thompson will not be able to do any work for quite a while.


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New Haven Jan 27th 1863

Friend Dodge

You will probably be surprised at my writing to you for a job i was foolish that i did not come when you wrote for me but they promised to give me a good thing here but last week there was a US Inspector here and he said the work was all wrong so they have got to make an alteration in there tools and it will be some time before i will have

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anything to do so if you have not got all the men you want i will come immediately on receiving a letter from you i wish you would write so i can get a letter by Saturday if you dont want me i wish you would ask Tupper if he wants anybody give my respects to all and be sure and write and oblige

Yours Muchly

C Alexander Thompson


It is believed that Thompson worked for the New Haven Arms, Co., which manufactured the Henry Repeating Rifle. He is possibly writing to the manager of the Jenks and Son plant in Bridesburg, PA.

L. Dodge is believed to have been an employee and possibly a manager at Alfred Jenks & Son in Bridesburg, PA. They made contract US arms and various patented arms such as the Jenks carbine.

Letter – Frederick Doten, 30 September 1866

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Letter written by former Captain Frederick B. Doten, of the 14th CT Infantry, to his fiancée Georgie S. Welles, from Bridgeport, CT. This is the last Sunday he and his fiancée will have to write to each other before they get married. Doten writes of the preparations he has made to leave his office for the wedding and of getting new furniture for their house. He also describes the hilariously awkward experience he had trying to purchase “French Safes” (condoms) from the local drug store, then even more awkwardly inquires after Georgie’s menstrual cycle.


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Bridgeport, Sept 30th

My own darling Georgie

This is the last Sunday letter we have to write and the last letter you will have to write to me. I shall write tomorrow night but I suppose you had batter not as I shall probably see you tuesday night. Shall you have a very loving welcome for your husband darling and can I come with out feeling that I am a “thief & robber”? Only two days now before I can see you darling

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as the time approaches I love you dear more than ever my own blessed Wife. All mine aren’t you dear? a devoted loving Wife. But she don’t want to promise to obey “before all those people” Well she need’nt, dear little child. and she had better not. It wouldn’t be safe to place herself so entirely in the hand of such a fellow. you migh want to go home some time you know, and if I said “No” why you could go any hour. I have no

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doubt my darling but what I shall be pleased with the Service we are to have. I did not know before that the word obey was ever left out that was one objection I had. I should not want our wedding to be so unregular & conspicuous, but I am satisfied now dear. that I can feel that you love me as I want you to and dont object to the word from any feeling of pride or distrust, And I am also perfectly satisfied about

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thursday as a wedding day. So you need have no fears but what I shall be satisfied with any arrangement you are pleased to make. I suppose there is no use of my asking you any questions in this letter as you cant answer it before seeing me, but when I see you I want to know which route you wish to take so I can drop a line to Parson at once letting him whether he can expect us or not.

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I had a splendid letter from him yesterday inviting us to stay with them at least one night. Such an invitation is evidently genuine. I have never rec’d a more warm hearted one. He is married and has been for some time, he sent us Cards twice and wrote me two or three times and I have never recd one. I want you to read his letter it may have some influence on your decision – The cards came from New York yesterday

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afternoon. We have not enought yet I fear. I have only just got off my first list and shall mail the Sheffner cards tomorrow. I may think of a great many more whom I have omitted. in fact I think of some one every day, but it is too late they must go without. I send by Express half of the cards or nearly half. there a few more cards but no Envellopes. I would have sent more dear but

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got too many of my own directed before I thought I might be half through the pack. I hope there will be enough for you darling, I cant tell whether any one besides the family will go up or not. No one has intimated that they were going. I presume none will. Father & Mother think that you will probably have as many friends or more than you can accomodate so they will go to Springfield Wednesday and stop there

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They can probably get over to the wedding in time next day cant they dear? I believe I am about ready though none of my clother have come from the Tailor. My office is in good shape or will be tomorrow night. Yesterday I did about three days work in one. I wrote up the whole months sales and got partly posted. shall try & get off a Balance Sheet by tomorrow night. I have more money in the Bank that they

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can possibly use before I get back. So if they will ship good and get thru all charges I think they can get along for a week or two without me. They cant write in any of the books except the Sales Book, none understanding my method of Book keeping. So they will keep the daily [???] on a piece of paper for me to write up when I get home. You see that will iv me enough to do when I get back. Are you very happy

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darling at the prospect of being so soon a Wife? Am I more dear to you than two weeks ago my darling? Do you love me as dearly as fresh and strong as you did when i was in the army? Has not my conduct or something abut my character lessened in any way your respect? All these questions I want you to answer with your arms about my neck tuesday night. I know what

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the answer will be of course but still I want to hear from your own sweet lips an answer. Will you darling? I am very glad I[??] is with you. I shall always be grateful to her for her love and kind ness to you my darling. I have seen nothing of the furniture yet. I would like to see it before I go away otherwise would prefer not to have it arrive before the middle of the week. Mother

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and Nellie will have the room arranged. Father will see to the moving the furniture. If it comes too soon he says he can store it at his place for a few days. The weather is warm & Summer like here to day. but the wind is East I hope it will get through storming before we are married. I have mailed cards to the different people you wrote about also one to Mr Newcomb New York. I did that yesterday afternoon the moment the cards

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arrived. I am all out of paper, but fortunately remembered this so you will excuse looks wont you dear. only only think of the writer and the felling of his heart towards you. I do love you so dearly my pet. You are my darling, all my hopes of happiness this side of heaven are [???] in you. I have given my whole heart to you and trsut you to love me and make me happy, And your heart is mine

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isnt it darling. You want me to love you dont you dear? Am I very precious to you? I shall be very very glad when these wedding preparations are over, and we can devote our thoughts & words to each other. I am hungry for expressions of love. I know darling your thought have been very loving and I know that it was impossible to write about the

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necessary preperations and write love letters too, but we can make up for that bye and bye cant we dear? Will you be all the more loving and tender when we are married? I obtained yesterday at a Drug Store the article necessary to render us safe I dont like the idea of wearing it, but for your sake dear I will. The first time, it wont be necessary to use it, for I understand

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that do our best we can not produce any result, but after that I suppose we must be careful. I got three of those things, “French Safes” they are called. i dont want to have to go too often for them It is not an agreeable kind of shopping, There was a Lady in the store when I went in. The man that asked me what I wanted when I told him, asked me to walk [into] the back room and he brought them in there

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I seized them with out stopping for examination and payed for them and bolted as fast as I could. They are in my pocket Book now. How about your monthly sickness dear? Has it come on yet? It would be bad to have it next thursday. I hope you will be through by that time or rather by this time, for it is more dangerous just after that [period?]

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I dont suppose it sounds well to talk about such things, but as they always occur, it is necessary to understand what we are about. Dont you think so darling? Now I better engage rooms at the Massasoit before [???] do you think? or haven’t you decided to stop there yet? I have no choice darling for my self. only I fear a ride

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on the cars 5 or 6 hours will be too tiresome for you after such a tiresome day. I asked Ned to be one of the Ushers. I am glad that Smith will act too. It will be better for one at least of the Ushers to be acquainted with the people. I wonder if you are writing to me to day a good long letter the last letter too. I hope so and a very loving one. I hope you are well

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Enough to write. What makes you have Neuralgia dear? Is that a sick head ache too? I am quite well again darling how my mouth is a little tenders, but comfortable only my headaches to day It seems to, every Sunday lately. not much but one of those kind when one likes to be petted and if I could only cuddle down in your neck and feel your kisses I should forget the ache at once

[MISSING PAGE(S)]

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the Town Clerk” so I could not keep it any way, but I will get two of them and we can keep one. Good night my darling Wife God bless you Kiss me darling

Lovingly

Your Husband


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!

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!

Letter – Frederick Doten, 31 August 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 writes lovingly about a photograph he has of Welles. He mentions they have recently moved camp and established a headquarters, which he hopes will remain in place for some time. He has been disheartened by the loss of so many comrades, and describes how he has been feeling “blue.” He describes the sound of the drums and bugles throughout the camp, as well as the sound of the battery sending fire to the Confederate lines.


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Head Quarters 3d Brigade

                               2d Div. Aug. 31st, 1864

My own darling Georgie

     I have just been looking at that pretty little picture of yourself until I feel as if I could not wait for the time when I can see what is more lovely to my eyes than any picture in the world. Who do you think that is? I have not had a letter for two or three days from you, and that is a long time to wait for one who longs for a word from the loved one as much as I do. Tonight I hope to get a letter. I wish it was night now.

     Yesterday we moved again from where I wrote you last

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and have again camped, and got our Hd. Qrs. nicely established where I can write letters to my loved Georgie to my heart’s content unless disturbed. If they are sometimes short, I will make up by writing often. Frequently when I am writing, from one to a dozen people disturb me and I have to write at least very disconnected letters. I hope we may be allowed to remain here for some time. I have no heart for another fight at present. It is very hard to lose so many comrades. I won’t begin to talk of our losses, or I shall write a “blue” letter. Don’t think, Georgie dear, that I am not in good spirits. I am feeling very well. Only let me hear from you often and that

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you are well and happy, for I love you so dearly to know that you are happy and make me so, darling. If I could only see you, how happy we might be together. How much more satisfactory we could talk now that we know that we are for each other for life. Did you have a pleasant visit in Bridgeport? What did you do, and how did you like the place? You must have heard of the death of Capt. Hambry while there. I almost dread to hear the effect on his friends. I hope it did not have the effect of making your visit unpleasant. It is just sunset, and everything looks beautifully, reminding me of the last day that I was with you – the day we took that ride, except that drums and

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bugles are sounding “retreat roll call” through the camps, and a battery of 32 [pounder cannon] are sending their compliments over to the Rebel lines. You may not be able to see anything in all that to remind me of that peaceful, happy day. Indeed, there is not much except in the appearance of nature. Even that requires some little imagination, and to be seen through tobacco smoke. The band of the 14th is about to play. I wish you could hear it. I shall think of you my own darling all the time that it is playing.

Please remember me to your father and mother.

    With a great deal of love and many kisses,

                              Affectionately, 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!