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LT: November 20, 1864 Luke and Charles Ostrye

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.

Note: All of the Ostrye brothers’ letters were transcribed by Charlotte Smith.


Dear Sister:

I take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well at present hoping these few lines will find you the same. I got a letter from you the 18th and was glad to hear you was all well. Luke is not very well, but I guess he will get along. Virginia is a pretty cold place. It has rained here for the last two or three days. Luke and myself was on guard night before last to keep the rebels away from the camp. The rebs came and took a lot of our cattle. It rained all night and we go all wet. We haven’t got dry yet and was awful cold this morning. We have built a stove this morning in our house out of brick and the chimney out of wood. John Wagner he told me to not go to war this I thought I would do better if I would go, but I would be glad if I was this now——–??. We get pretty poor eating and living here. We get whiskey 2 in a day when we work. Am glad that you did not send some. Tell me where is John and tell me how he gets along. We thought we would die before we got here, but we have not been in a fight yet and don’t expect to. We have to fight wish a dish(disk). We haven’t got the box yet –is to and let me know when you sent it. Write as soon as you get this.

Charles and Luke to Kate and John Wagner. Tell Tillie Hammon that we are well and going to send you a likeness to her as soon as we get our pay.

Direct to Charles Ostrye Co G 15th NY Vol. Eng. Washington DC1


Other Letters Written  By Luke and Charles Ostrye at the Siege of Petersburg:


  1. Ostrye, Luke & Ostrye, Charles. “Camp City Point Va 20 Nov 1864.” Letter to Sister. 20 Nov. 1864. 15th Engineer Regiment: The Civil War Letters Of Luke And Charles Ostrye. New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center, 28 Sept. 2011. Web. 22 Dec. 2015. <http://dmna.ny.gov/historic/reghist/civil/other/15thEng/15thEng_Letters_Ostrye.htm>.
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