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LT: December 4, 1864 Justus G. Matteson (10th New York Cavalry)

Editor’s Note: The Soldier Studies web site (http://www.soldierstudies.org) collects and publishes letters written during the Civil War. Owner/editor Chris Wehner was kind enough to grant me written permission to publish a selection of letters from his site which focus on the Siege of Petersburg.  Look for letters to appear here during the 150th anniversary of the Siege of Petersburg and beyond. These letters may not be reused without the express written consent of Chris Wehner.  All rights reserved.

Hd. Qrs. 10th N. Y. Cav.

Friend Mary,

I recieved your welcome letter in due time, and I think that I need not say that I was happy to hear from you, for surely I allways am.

I am enjoying myself firs best this winter, allthough it does not look much like winter here at present. for the last week it has been pleasant weather and it bids fair to be so for som time to come. It is a beautiful night and Oh, how I wish you wer here to hear the music. there ar several brass bands playing close by, and it is delightfull to hear them.

All of last week we wer on picket. Nov 8th we wer drawn in and Dec 1st our division went on a requinoisance to Stoney Creek. we started at 4 in the A. M. drove in the reb pickets about day light. we struck the RR at Duvals station, destroyed the station, a steem saw mill, barell factory, stone houses, one train of cars, tore up some distance of the track, got 7 or 8 wagons and trains. allso took 4 pieces of artillery, spiked them, and rolled some of them into a pond. could not get them off for the want of teams. took 187 prisoners in the scrape. our reg’t had one man killed, one mortaly wounded, and eight severly. two of the latter wer of our co. one Corporeal John G. Hicks of Cortland. they wer both wounded in the arm. Daniel Ansinger of our Co had his hat shot off. I had a hole through my sleeve.1

You wanted to know how I spent Thanksgiving. well I worked all day hard making us a tent. of those good things that wer sent to us, we recieved but little of. I got 1 1/2 apples and half of a turkeys leg. the officers had the first handling of them and took the lions share.

Mary pleas excuse me from writing more for the candle is a most out and I have no more.

Yours truly
J. G. Matteson

P. S. pleas write as soon as convenient.
Mr. J. G. Matteson
Co. L, 10th Regt N. Y. S. Cav
Washington D. C.2


  1. SOPO Editor’s Note: Matteson’s 10th New York Cavalry participated in the raid on and destruction of Stony Creek Station on December 1, 1864.  David McM. Gregg’s entire Second Cavalry Division, Army of the Potomac took part in this successful affair for the Federals.  This raid paved the way for Gouverneur Warren’s even larger Stony Creek Raid from December 7-12, 1864.
  2. Matteson, Justus G. “Hd. Qrs. 10th N. Y. Cav.” Letter to “Friend Mary” 4 Dec. 1864. MS. Stoney Creek, Va. This letter appears here due to the express written consent of Chris Wehner, owner of SoldierStudies.org and may not be used without his permission.  All rights reserved.
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