Letter – Lewis Bodine, 23 April 1864

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Letter written by 1st Lieutenant Lewis Bodine of Company A, 149th PA Infantry “Bucktails,” to Helen Sofield, from a camp near Culpeper, VA. Bodine writes that he has procrastinated too long in writing to Mrs. Sofield. General Ulysses S. Grant is secretive about his plans, so the army is unsure of what will happen next. Bodine inquires about Mrs. Sofield’s planned trip to Gettysburg, as he would like to accompany her. He expresses his condolences on the death of Mrs. Sofield’s husband, Alfred Sofield, who was killed in action at Gettysburg.


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Camp near Culpeper, Va

April 23d 1864

My Dear Friend                      

     I have been allowing myself to procrastinate quite too long, but trust you will forgive me & I will do better hereafter. It is not because I do not love to hear from you, but only another of my lazy habits which I am sorry to say I abound in. We are having some very fine weather. The roads are becoming quite good & the army getting uneasy about what is to be done. But, thanks to General Grant, he does not let his plans become public, so that none of us can ever surmise what is to be done, but all wonder at our being

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permitted to lie here so long, but patiently await the result. Fish still continues to float about Washington & I think will till he emerges into a citizenship [he received a disability discharge 4-24-1864], which he would like if not permitted to splash about the city. He is in reality a band-box ‘soger’ of the first cut, & I think should be carefully laid away in cotton or snugly packed in brand[y] or he will spoil. Col. Stone has sent up a recommend for his discharge, which I hope he will get, & very soon, as none wish to see him back. I had to laugh at the idea of Calkins being made A.A.G. He has quite all he can attend to where he is. You spoke of making a visit to Gettysburg this

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summer or fall. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be privileged to accompany you, & perhaps kind Providence will deem it proper for me to do so. If you put it off till fall, who knows? You speak of your deep sorrows. I wish I could shoulder a part of them, ‘tis best for every heart to know its own bitterness. But dear friend if I can aid you in any way let me ask you to name it & I will gladly do it. Do it not only for your sake, but for one who I learned to love & respect as a dear brother. Let me be a brother to you as I was to him, I will feel that I am honored. I am really

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glad that you have placed confidence in me, & I hope never to betray it by words, deeds, or actions. I know now that you will not distrust me, & hope you will feel free to ask for any aid I may be able to render you. I have thought many times I would offer you assistance in your business, then thought I, she would not thank me for it, but I will now offer to do it & if you think best to accept of it no one shall know from me that you have had it. I suppose you have heard long ere this of Col. Dwight’s exit from the army, & what pleases me more, is that Major Irvin last night

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received his commission as lt. col., & Capt. Glenn as major. You likely have seen the disposition which has been made of the 1st A[rmy] C[orps]. We are now 3d Brig. 4th Div, 5th Corps & wear a red badge instead of a blue. Stone commands brig, & Wadsworth the div, Warren the corps. I cannot think of more to interest you with, so will bid you a kind good night. Love to the boys, & write as soon as you receive this.

                 Believe, as ever your

                              sincere

                                 friend

                                    Lew


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 – Alfred Sofield, 6 March 1863

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Letter written by Captain Alfred J. Sofield of Company A, 149th PA Volunteer Infantry “Bucktails,” to his wife Helen from camp near Belle Plain, VA. Sofield writes of the impending arrival of a new chaplain, and a rumor that Captain Bryden was appointed provost marshal of the Congressional district. He also mentions the prevalence of disease within the camp. He goes into detail about the politics in the regiment concerning their lack of an acting major. Sofield received the majority of the votes for major, though he is unsure if he will get the position as the promotion would be made by the colonel. He writes that Belle Plain is only used as a government depot, and they are on picket duty for the next several days.


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Camp near Bell Plain, Va

March 6. 1863

8 O clock P.M.

My Dear Wife                          

     I have been waiting anxiously several days for a reply to some one or all of my letters. But the mail is in and again I am sorely disappointed. Yours of the 19th, 22d, & 21st ult. I rec’d at the same time, that is on Tuesday last. You may well believe I had begun to get nervous as I know you generally write to me frequently. And in this case it being so long, and the children being sick when I left, I imagined all manner of things, and of course was very much gratified to hear that you all, if not quite well, were so much better. I rec’d a letter from Capt. Bryden [Co. G] saying that Mr. Calkins’ [chaplain] papers had not reached

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Harrisburg. I went immediately to Col. Dwight and said it was very strange as he saw them mailed. The next morning the adjutant brought me the documents and said they had been mislaid. I took and forwarded them to S. F. Wilson at Harrisburg, and we now expect our chaplain will be with us about the last of next week. Did you see Wilson when he was in Washington, or was you at Alexandria at the time I heard yesterday that Capt. Bryden was appointed provost marshal of our Congressional district. Is it so? I hope it is. When we arrived at this camp we only numbered 530 men, and out of that small number 130 were reported sick this morning. One of Capt. Bryden’s

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men died today. It was a Blissburg man. I do not know his name, but if I can think of it in the morning will find out and let you know. There are quite a number of my men sick, but none of them dangerously so. Among the number is John Wilcox. Colds & diraeah are the prevailing diseases. We have no acting maj. There was a move on foot by which Capt. Osborne was to act in the absence of Maj. Speer. It was a move of Col. Stone’s, at least so says Col. Dwight. But the officers of the regt. just told the lt. col. that that would never answer, and it had the desired effect. The officers had a meeting a few nights ago and took a vote as to who they were in favor of, and I had all but three votes

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Two of those against me were by men voting for themselves and the other by a lt. of one of the other candidates, viz. Capt. McCullough. I cannot tell how the thing will as there has been a regimental order issued saying that promotions would be made by the col. without consulting the wishes of the line officers. But I think the col. will hardly dare to disregard the opinion of so large a majority. If he does, I have the consolation of being almost the unanimous choice of the regiment. Bell Plain is just a government depot. No other buildings there. We are doing picket duty four days out of six. I send out about half my company on that duty. They have to travel about 3 miles before reaching the line. We are doing duty on the outer line close by the Rebels. I think I wrote you of my being wet. After this when I go I have a horse to ride as the captains will only go as field officers, and we take turns at that, so I shall not have to go often. When in camp we drill from 8 to 10 hours a day. I am very impatient to hear how you succeed in your clerkship. I approve your course. I do not want you to return to Wellsboro until you can do so in the right shape, and

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independent of everyone. Now it is getting towards the 1st of April, and I believe the lease of Mrs. Micks house expires on the 16th of April. And if you should conclude to remain at Washington, I think you had better write to Horace Cook and ask him to have our things packed up nicely and stored in some good, safe place. I think we had better let C. S. Wilcox take the piano, and use it (if he will) till we want it. If he does not want Lewis Bodine says he would like to have it taken to their house. You can do as you think best about it. I only suggest what I hope to think of as in case you stay something of the kind must be done. I think of you almost constantly. And it causes me much more

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anxiety than my own situation does. I know your hands are more than full, but I have one thing to console me, and that is if any woman can get along where brains and good judgment is required, you can. Tell Willie that apples sell here for five cents a piece. The Lt. was Benjamin Hughes that died in Bryden’s company. Ma, kiss Willie, Jimmie, & Bennie and Willie, Jimmie & Bennie, kiss Ma, all for me.

     Now Helen, I want you to write immediately and frequently thereafter. I am always anxious to hear from you and particularly so when you are away from home & situated as you now are. And now good by for the present.

                                 Ever yours,

                                   Alfred


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.

General Orders – No. 263, 28 September 1864

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General Orders No. 263, issued from the War Department in Washington D.C., assigning Major General Joseph Hooker to the Northern Department and relieving Major General Heintzelman.


GENERAL ORDERS, WAR DEPARTMENT,

No. 263. ADJUTANT GENERALS OFFICE,

Washington, September 28, 1864

I.. By direction of the President of the United States, Major General JOSEPH HOOKER is assigned to the command of the Northern Department. He will immediately proceed to Columbus, Ohio, and relieve Major General HEINTZELMAN.

II.. Major General HEINTZELMAN, on being relieved in command of the Northern Department, will repair to Wheeling, West Virginia, report thence by letter to the Adjutant General of the Army, and there wait until he receives orders.

BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR:

E. D. Townsend,

Assistant Adjutant General.

OFFICIAL:

Assistant Adjutant General


Samuel P. Heintzelman graduated from the United State Military Academy in 1826. He served in the Seminole War, the Mexican-American War, and the Yuma War before being promoted to Brigadier General in May of 1861. He led the III Corps of the Army of the Potomac during the Peninsula Campaign. He was eventually relieved of command due to his age and waning aggression. He retired in 1869 and passed away in 1880.

Joseph Hooker graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1837. He served in the Seminole War and the Mexican-American War. He resigned from the military in 1853 and moved to California after his reputation was damaged by testifying in the court martial of General Gideon Pillow. At the outbreak of the Civil War he returned east and requested a commission. He commanded the 2nd Division of the III Corps in the Peninsula Campaign, and was appointed to command of the Army of the Potomac in January of 1863. He led the XX Corps in the Atlanta Campaign of 1864 until he was sent to the Northern Department. He was at the head of Lincoln’s funeral procession as it traveled through Springfield, IL on May 4, 1865. He retired from the army in 1866 and passed away in 1874.

General Orders – No. 262, 23 September 1864

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General Orders No. 262, issued from the War Department in Washington D.C., extends a discount to charitable and religious organizations for travel permits between seaports via steam transports.


GENERAL ORDERS, WAR DEPARTMENT,

No. 262. ADJUTANT GENERALS OFFICE,

Washington, September 23, 1864

Benevolent, charitable, religious, and educational aid associations, operating, by permission of proper military authority, within rebel States and districts, may, upon application to the War Department, receive permits for transportation for officers, agents, and employees, to and from seaports between which steam transports ply in the service of the War Department: said permits to secure to the persons named therein, passage at one-half the rates charged to civilians and others traveling not on duty, nor under official orders.

This privilege is not extended to railroads nor steamers on Western waters.

BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR:

E. D. Townsend,

Assistant Adjutant General.

OFFICIAL:

Assistant Adjutant General

General Orders – No. 258, 19 September 1864

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General Orders No. 258, issued from the War Department in Washington D.C., regarding how fines imposed via military courts are to be paid.


GENERAL ORDERS, WAR DEPARTMENT,

No. 258. ADJUTANT GENERALS OFFICE,

Washington, September 19, 1864

Fines imposed by Military Courts.

  1. Whenever fines are imposed by sentence of General Court Martial, or Military Commission, upon officers or citizens, the Judge Advocate of the Court or Commission will make a special report of the fact to the Adjutant General, giving a copy of the sentence in the case. The officer who confirms a sentence imposing a fine will transmit to the Adjutant General a special report thereof, together with a copy of the order promulgating the proceedings.
  2. The fines will be paid to the chief officer of the Quartermaster’s Department at the place where the prisoner may be, and no other person is authorized to receive them. Such fines must not be applied to any purpose, but the officer receiving them will forthwith remit the amounts to the Adjutant General of the Army, at Washington, with the names of prisoners who paid them, and the number of the order promulgating the proceedings.
  3. All officers who have heretofore received fines will forthwith report to the Adjutant General the amounts received, by whom paid, number and date of order promulgating the proceedings, and what disposition was made of the money. The amounts will be forwarded with the reports.

BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR:

E. D. Townsend,

Assistant Adjutant General.

OFFICIAL:

Assistant Adjutant General

General Orders – No. 254, 12 September 1864

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General Orders No. 254, issued from the War Department in Washington D.C., stating all deserters who come into the city are to return to their regiments, if they do not report their regiment they are to be sent to the front to work on the trenches.


GENERAL ORDERS, WAR DEPARTMENT,

No. 254. ADJUTANT GENERALS OFFICE,

Washington, September 12, 1864

Deserters from the United States troops arriving in Washington, who report themselves as belonging to any particular Regiment, and are sent to it, shall be permanently assigned to the Regiment of which they thus report themselves members. Deserters now in the prisons of the District, or who may hereafter arrive, whose Regiments are unknown, shall be sent immediately to the front, with instructions to the Commanding Generals of the Armies to employ them at work upon the trenches.

BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR:

E. D. Townsend,

Assistant Adjutant General.

OFFICIAL:

Assistant Adjutant General

Letter – Emmet Irwin, 30 December 1862

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Letter written by Corporal Emmet Irwin of Company C, 2nd NY State Militia (82nd NY Volunteer Infantry) to his sister, from a camp near Falmouth, VA. In this letter, Irwin condemns General Burnside, and fumes about the events at Fredericksburg. His regiment has just received marching orders. He believes they will be moving towards Washington. Irwin writes of the loss of Island No. 10, New Madrid, and the capture of the Aerial. He writes disparagingly of their commanders, his impressions of them were not helped by the outcome at Fredericksburg. He claims that the newspapers tell only lies about the spirits of the soldiers. He is determined not to see any more “blood and carnage” unless forced.


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Camp near Fal Vir

                        Dec. 30th/62

Dear Sister

I thought I would write you a few lines and tell you not to send the box I sent for if it is not already sent. We have received marching orders to be ready in 4 hours with 3 days rations in haversack, 5 in wagons, and 10 days meat on the hoof. I received a letter from Philip the other day. He is at Acquia Creek, Assistant Superintendent for unloading provisions. I have not see James since Christmas. We received the gloves.

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I think when we move it will be towards Washington. Excuse bad writing as it is written in a hurry.

                                            Emmet

     I received a letter from Nathaniel yesterday. He and his family are well. The namesake of mine, he says, I may be proud of. He begins to walk and talk. As I was to[o] late for the mail this morning, I did not put it in the bag. We have just received the news of the loss of Island No. 10, New Madrid, and the capture of the Aerial. This and the prospects now before us makes most of the men feel very disheartened. I have allowed some ideas to settle in my noodle though the incapacity of our numerous commanders

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that I would have banished at the first thought two months ago. And the Fredericksburg disaster has in no way lessened these ideas. I feel as if I had gone through all these hardships and danger, witnessed scenes to[o] direful for the pen to tell, and all for what – naught! And the papers tell such notorious yarns, such as the army in the best of spirits and anxious to be again led against the enemy’s of their country, and other to[o] numerous to mention. Gen. Sumner is right when he says there is to[o] much croaking and want of confidence. At the present time we have in the field without the least doubt two [soldiers] to their one, and yet they keep us at bay at every point. I have seen all the blood and carnage I

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ever hope to see. In short, I am determined not see much more unless forced to it. If our commanders felt as I feel, I think they would take a hold with more energy. They act to me as if they were satisfied they have a good position; nothing to do, big salary, and live like kings, and the longer it lasts the better for me. The weather at present looks like snow. We have had very warm [weather] for the last two weeks. Three of us have built a log house, and pass our time very comfortably in it. So much so we are loath to leave it. Please send me a package of envelopes and a quire of commercial note, as I am entirely out, and cannot get any here. It can be sent by mail. Enclose also some postage stamps. I will try write

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again the first opportunity. With this I close, remaining with much love,      Your brother, Emmet

    Give my love to all inquiring friends

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Evening still finds us in camp, but every prospect of moving the morrow. It is now raining, and this also bids fair for continuing, which will make very hard traveling. The weather has been extremely favorable for winter campaigning; the roads being as yet quite hard. It was almost impossible for a man to get around last year at this time. Nathaniel’s wife thinks I must be pretty good pluck to get in all the engagements. She says if she was in my place, she would be sick once in a while, at about the time there was to be a fight. I don’t know

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than about it would be a good plan, particular if I thought we were to be led in another Fredericksburg affair. For my part, I don’t see where Gen. Lee’s eyes could have been there, as they had us in a much worse place than we had them at Antietam, as they had their picked position at both places. The best idea that I can give you of their position at Fredericksburg is that of a range of hills, semi-circle in shape, and the city in the hollow and center. Here our troops laid in the streets so thick that it would be more of an accident if there was not some killed or wounded

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at every shot of the enemy’s. Upon the crest of the hills is where their earthworks were thrown. The regt. was never before in such a hot place. For 2 o’clock until 12 P.M. the regt. laid in a ravine, death staring us square in the face. For at the head of the ravine they had a gun, from which every shot would strike in our ranks. That you imagine the pluck that a person must have. I will tell you the effect of a single shot. It struck in the company on our right killed 4, wounded 6, & killed 1 in the 34th N.Y.V., and wounded 3. The gun that these shots came from we could see very plainly, and it is only due to our artillery

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that there were no more of us killed. The shots from our cannon drove the enemy from their gun. I think the correspondent of the N.Y. paper that says the troops have unbounded confidence in Gen.Burnside better not let himself known if he does not want some very unpleasant epithets applied which are now saved for the commanding general. But I have already written more than I intended, and will close hoping that I may meet with the same success as heretofore written, the move be backwards or forwards. 

     Remembrance to all

From Your Affec

Brother,

                                             Emmet


Emmet M. Irwin, aged 19, enlisted in Company C, of the 2nd NY State Militia (82nd NY Volunteer Infantry) on May 21, 1861. He was promoted to corporal in 1862, then assigned to Co. C of the 12th Regiment Veteran Reserve Corps due to disability in 1863. He was discharged from the V.R.C. on May 23, 1864, at the expiration of his three year’s enlistment. He participated in the following battles: 1st Bull Run, Edward’s Ferry, Yorktown, West Point, Fair Oaks, Seven Day’s battles, South Mountain, Antietam, and Fredericksburg.

Letter – Frederick Doten, 2 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 writes that he received the last letter Welles sent and that he will try to be patient in waiting for her next one. The previous day, his regiment received orders to move, and had nearly packed everything up when the order was countermanded. Doten mentions that the 2nd Corps was not “whipped” in a previous fight as some may think. He writes that he is in better spirits, possibly because he has been too busy to dwell on negative thoughts.


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 Head Qrs 3d Brigade

                          2d Div. Sept. 2, 1864

My own dearest Georgie

     Your two letters of Aug. 28th and 29th were received yesterday. Capt. Hawley’s brother came nearly down here, or at least as far as Washington, and finding that the body of his brother had been sent north, went back. Major Howell, adj’t. gen’l. of our division, brought the package to me containing your note and one from Helen. The mail is in tonight, but nothing from home for me. I was selfish to expect it, was I not? I will try and be patient darling until tomorrow night.

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I wrote to Helen yesterday, saying that I hoped we would remain quiet for a little while, but I had hardly closed the letter before an order came to “be ready to move at once.” Upon that, horses were saddled, tents struck, and everything packed up for another fight, when fortunately the order was countermanded, and we subsided into “readiness to move at a moment’s notice.” I hope though that the emergency that called for that has passed, and that we can have our much needed rest. I wonder almost how it would seem to have a fight around here, and the 2d Corps not engaged. I hope people dont

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think that the 2d Corps was not whipped the other day. I assure you we were not. To be sure, we lost heavily, but we killed and wounded more of the enemy than the whole number of our command. We had only two divisions of our corps there, while the Rebels had one whole corps and one division of another. But this is not the kind of letter to write to my dearly loved Georgie. How came I to bring this horrid subject into my letter? I believe I am growing savage. I am feeling in better spirits tonight that usual. I don’t know why, unless that I have been so busy today that I could not think

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of anything unpleasant. And now to keep up this edifying state of mind, I shall, when I finish this letter, take a cigar and lie down flat on my back and think of somebody that I love, and look at a picture of a dear girl away up in my peaceful home, who loves me. I dreamed I was with her last night. I love her very dearly.

     Good night and pleasant dreams, my own darling, with many kisses,                   Yours lovingly, 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 – Jesse Brock, 4 August 1862

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Letter written by Assistant Surgeon Jesse W. Brock of the 66th OH Infantry, to his siblings, from a camp near Washington Court House in Rappahannock County, VA. He describes the apprehension before facing Stonewall Jackson at the Battle of Cedar Mountain. He is unsure of how long they will remain in their current camp, though he expects a battle soon. Jackson is in Gordonsville and Brock expects his regiment will have to meet him before long. He expects that the impending battle will decide the fate of George B. McClellan’s army. Brock expresses the need for more men, and hopes that they will volunteer rather than be drafted. He also writes that the army has lost its “novelty,” and that he has made it “a business now.”


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Camp Near Washington Court House

                   Rappahannock Co., Va.

August 4, 1862

Dear Brother & Sister

I don’t know whether I wrote you the last letter or not. Perhaps not as I am always indebted to everybody in some manner – therefore [I] always feel safe in writing. I am in good health; never had better health in my life. I received a letter from Jim Packer giving me the general news of Flushing & vicinity. I am always glad to   hear from any old home, as I am interested in that direction. I wish you all would write more frequent as I am so situated that I can always

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write when I would wish to. We are in camp; have been since the 1st instant. don’t know how long we may remain here; not so long I presume as we are expecting a battle near this point soon. [Stonewall] Jackson is at Gordonsville with a large force. We will have to meet him & with what success future history alone will tell. We were encamped at Alexandria for about 3 weeks were ordered to Sperrysville, 6 miles from here. We are under Pope’s command. He has 134 regiments in the field. Formerly we were with the 3rd brigade, Gen. Tyler commanding. Yesterday we were ordered to report at Washington for the purpose of organizing another brigade. We are under the command of Gen. Geary, formerly

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Governor of Kansas. We didn’t like the change much, knowing that Tyler was a fighting man. I hope we may find the same kind of a man in Gen. Geary. The weather is very hot here; almost insufferable. But we have to stand it. We are anxious to have the present battle decided as it in a manner decides the fate of McClellan’s army. There is an uneasy sensation manifested in our troops concerning McClellan’s army. We need your 300,000 men immediately hope you will send them along, and that without drafting. I presume you will hate to part with your sons. But recollect others have sacrificed & you will become compelled to do the same. Let your

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young men pitch in & show their grit. Nothing like it when you once get used to it. The thing has lost its novelty to me. I make it a business now. My mate leaves me the 15th of this month; don’t know whether he will return or not. If possible I want you to meet me at Waightstown sometime in October. Perhaps I am too fast, but I shall try & come home for a few days. Don’t allow yourselves to be drafted, but show your hand & volunteer. This rebellion must be put down. I would like to hear from you soon. Tell me all about your affairs. How is George & that sweet little child. Tell him to send me her photograph. My love to your family & all my relatives & tell friends write soon.

                                  Your brother J.W. Brock

                                       

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address

J.W. Brock,

Asst. Surgeon 66th Regt. O.V.I.

Gen. Geary’s Brigade,

via Washington


Jesse W. Brock was mustered in as assistant surgeon on November 5, 1861. He was promoted to surgeon September 13, 1862, and was mustered out July 15, 1865. At Cedar Mountain, VA, August 9, 1862 the 66th OH lost 10 enlisted men killed, 4 officers and 77 enlisted men wounded, and 3 men captured, a total of 94 casualties from a an effective strength of about 250.

Acknowledgement of Resignation – Charles H. Eager, 17 December 1863

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Document of Captain Charles H. Eager of Company B, 15th MA Infantry. This document was sent by George F. Balch, Captain of Ordnance and Assistant to the Chief of Ordnance from the War Department in Washington, D.C. Balch is requesting an Ordnance Return from Eager in view of his pending resignation.


Ordnance Office

                                   War Department

                                Washington, Dec. 17, 1863

Capt. C. H. Eager

Co. B, 15th Mass. Infty.

     Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of Dec. 6th, 1863, notifying this office of your intention of resigning your commission as capt.

     Before giving you a certificate of non-indebtedness to the United States on account of Ordnance, it will be necessary for you to make and transmit to this Office the Ordnance Returns now due from you for the pt 1 quarter, 1862. On their receipt at this Office, they will be examined and referred to the Second Auditor; of which action you will be promptly advised. In your letter transmitting them, refer to this by its date.

     By order of the Chief of Ordnance:

                                      Geo. F. Balch

                                      Captain of Ordnance

                              Assistant to Chief of Ordnance


Charles H. Eager, a hardware dealer from Fitchburg, MA was appointed 2nd lieutenant of Co. B, 15th MA Infantry on August 1, 1861, at the age of 31. He was subsequently promoted to 1st lieutenant, May 11, 1862; and captain, October 15, 1862. He was a regimental quartermaster, and commanded the regiment from November 27, 1863 to January 1864. His resignation was announced February 4, 1864. He served at Ball’s Bluff, Antietam, and Gettysburg, among others.