Editor’s Note: George Gove of the 5th New Hampshire wrote a series of letters from the Siege of Petersburg in 1864 to his sister. These letters were placed online in 2012 as: “Parsons Family Papers, Milne Special collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire, N.H.” Gove’s descendant Doug Parsons worked diligently to make these letters available for The Siege of Petersburg Online and we thank him greatly for his effort. The transcriptions of the letters collected on this page are copyrighted by the Milne Special collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of the University of New Hampshire. All rights reserved.
October 16, 18641
Fort Steadman Near Petersburg Va
Sunday Oct 16 1864
I recd your letter two days ago. I am happy to inform you that I am now only a citizen. I was mustered out of the service & ceased to be a soldier on the 13th inst. The officers are mustered out as soon as their time expires but the men have to wait till the last co. is out which is on the 22nd and then all be mustered out together. I have got the mustered out of Co “K” to make properly to [—?] over &c. This will take me two days. But I shall wait and go with the men. I dont think it looks well for an officer to go off and leave his men.
We shall leave City Point one week from today & can get home the next Wednesday
but I think I shall stop in Washington a few days & settle up my accounts with the Government.
But I shall be in Raymond in season to vote for Lincoln & Johnson.
Eight of our officers have gone or are going home. Maj Cross is more in command of the Regt. The men I went serve under[?]. We got 135 more recruits last week making nearly 500 in all. 50 of them have deserted to the enemy within two weeks & many more will go the first opportunity—we are known all through the Army now as the regt that has so many desertions to the enemy, I am glad I didn’t belong to it any more.
We are here in Fort Steadman, nearer the city than any other point in our line, it is not over 100 yds from a rebel fort. It dont do to show a head above the works on account of them [—-?]. The rebs have several batteries
that [—?] on it & Fort Clifton on the other side of the river can give us a raking fire. It is an awful hot place when they get to shelling us they do nearly every night but we have bomb proofs which with the chances make us pretty secure.
I hear that Capt. Tillin & Lieut Cram[?] are on their way out here. I shall go to the 11th before I go home to see them & Capt. Shepard.
We are having beautiful weather now clear cool, excellent for operations and I begin to wonder why the Army dont move us all citizens also.
I must close now probably I shall not write to you again from the Army. I will visit Rye as soon as possible after I get home. All the men I have to go home with [–?] is G.P. [—?] & [—?] of Raymond Clark of Greenland & Cummings of Plaistow
- Parsons Family Papers, Milne Special collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire, N.H. The transcription of the letter on this page is copyrighted by the Milne Special collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of the University of New Hampshire. All rights reserved. ↩
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