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LT: July 24, 1864 Charles Personius

Editor’s Note: This item is part of a collection of letters from New York engineers written while their units were at the Siege of Petersburg.  Researcher and Engineer enthusiast Dan O’Connell generously donated all of the items in this collection for use at The Siege of Petersburg Online.  These transcriptions are copyrighted by Brett Schulte and may not be used without my express written consent.  I do not have images of these letters so some errors could be from transcription or in the original.

Camp near Petersburg
July 24th, 1864

Dear Parents,

Once more I will try to scratch a few lines to you to inform you that we are all enjoying good health and I hope this may find you the same. We receive a letter from you dated the 18th and were glad to hear from home again. The Capt. Came back to this part of his command yesterday and Taylor went and took the Capt.’s place so your boys are all together again. I saw Squire Crane the other day he says George Reed is dead. Horace Smith of Co A 109th NY Vols. was wounded by a shell day before yesterday, perhaps you knew him for he lived up near Tobytown. Willis Shurter is well tough and hearty ragged and dirty. Ragged and dirty will apply to nearly all soldiers alike down here at the front and is not considered any disgrace by the way but we all try to keep clean as possible for as the saying is “cleanliness next unto Godliness”. The siege of Petersburg is progressing slowly. There is no frequent firing except between the Rebs and the 9th and 18th Corps. The Fifth and Tenth Corps boys made an agreement with the Rebs not to fire at each other while on picket and the Second Corps is acting as reserve and are in rear of Fifth Corps.

See by the NY Herald that Massa Greely has become disgusted with peace affairs at the Clifton House, Niagara Falls, and has gone home. I reckon he might better have stayed there in the first place. He is always troubling himself with affairs that don’t concern him and more than this the South is not ready yet to offer us suitable terms of peace. Old Abe did right in refusing those gentlemen Sanders, Thompson, Holcombe, and “Colorado” Jewitt admittance to our capitol and the administration for they had not authority to negotiate terms of peace. When Jeff Davis sees fit to send men to Old Abe to offer terms of peace they will be received as Abe gave them to understand and not before.

Daniel is on guard and I am smoking and trying to write. This puts me in mind of the journal which you sent us with tobacco in. It came in camp about 9 o’clock p.m. so Daniel and I each had to take a smoke of York state tobacco before going to bed. In the paper I noticed the arrests of Wm. Carnes and G.B. Landon. There seems to be some mystery about their cases not explained. I also received six postage stamps a part of them I will return to you unmarred if the post master don’t scratch or blot them. Pretty good fellow haint I. No more at present.

This from your affectionate son,

Charles W.1


Other Letters Written  By Charles Personius at the Siege of Petersburg:


  1. Personius, Charles. (1864, July 24). (Letter to his parents). Personius Brothers Letters (CL 105, Box B, Folder 37). Booth Library, Chemung Valley (NY) Historical Society, Elmira, NY.
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