Editor’s Note: John Bryden, Jr. of the 57th (and later 61st) New York wrote a series of letters from the Siege of Petersburg in 1864/65 to his wife Sarah at home. These letters were placed online in 2009 as a part of the web site My Dearest Sarah, a collection of the letters of John Bryden to his wife prior to and during the Civil War. Bryden’s descendants John (father) and Heather (daughter) Bryden made the appearance of these letters at The Siege of Petersburg Online possible, and I thank them greatly for their cooperation. The transcription of the letter which appears on this page is copyrighted by Heather Bryden as a part of her web site and may not be reproduced without her express written consent. All rights reserved.
October 24, 18641
Written in pencil on lined 8.5” x 10” paper, folded in half along the short axis to form a four-page signature. No watermark.
Front of Petersburg
Oct[ober] 24th 1864
My Dear Wife:
Your letter I received a few days ago and was very happy to hear from you and that you were all well at home as it leaves me at present.
Sarah, I mentioned in my last letter that I had made applications to get to New York Recruiting. It proved good, as I am happy to inform you it has been approved of at Army Headquarters and gone to the War Department to have them do the same. The papers have not yet got back here as yet, but we expect them every day. Now there was only 2 Privates is to go, 2 Corporals, and 2 Sergeants; so I think I done well as I have a great many running against me.
So Sarah you need not answer this ‘til you hear further from me as I do not know how long it will be before the papers will get back. So if I do come to York, you can see me by coming down as I don’t expect to get any further than there.
I have not more news of any importance at this time. But I got Harriet’s letter all right. Tell her I will write to her some more convenient time as I don’t have much.
Along my best love to you and the children and Harry and all inquiring from your most affectionate husband,
Tell my mother that I am well and wishing her the same as this leaves me at present.
Good night my dear.
- My Dearest Sarah. 2009. 15 May 2012 <http://www.bloodandsawdust.com/dearestsarah/My_Dearest_Sarah/Welcome.html>. This letter is used with the permission of My Dearest Sarah’s owner/editor, Heather Bryden, and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of the owner. All rights reserved. ↩