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.
CAMP CITY POINT VA NOV 20 1864
I take this present time to write a few lines to you to let you know how we get along. We are both of us well at present and hope this letter will find you the same. It has rained all day today and last night too. We have had good weather and not much rain, but it looks as if we will have some rain now. We haint seen no snow yet. Here the weather has been dry for this time of year. I have wrote to you every few days, but I don’t get no letters from you now what the reasons is whether you get my letters or not. I should like to have you write and let me know what the matter is. We had a gay old time Friday night [November 18, 1864]. We was called out and they said the rebels was near us. They wanted us to be ready at a moment’s warning if the rebels should attack us, but they were more scared. Then heard the rebels was not anywhere near us we had to lay on our arms all night so if we was called out to be ready. I want you to send me $5 in every letter you send to me for I am out of money and have borrowed some of the boys. I don’t expect to get my pay till next year. They think we will go from here this week. I think that we shall go to Washington to winter. We shall not stay here. We shall go somewhere but that don’t make no odds to me for I am gay and happy. Still if you don’t send me no money I can’t write for I haint got no stamp nor no money to get any paper. I would be glad to hear from you often. It does me us much good to hear from you.
I got a letter from Katie. She wrote that she had not been very well. I got the letter Friday night. There is a good many sick in the company. It has been a hard time for us. We have had to get used to the climate and the living that we have. I can get along when I am well, but it is a hard place for anyone to be sick. If I should be sick then I had rather be home. I have learned what it is to soldier. In one year I shall learn enough for to last me. There is a good deal of stir in the army and some fighting. The rebels are hard fellows to conquer. They will some of them fight the last inch, but I guess they will have to give up at last. There is rebels deserters coming into our lines every day. They say the rebel soldiers are scared to find them in the——. They have got most all they can get. You must seal your letters very good and tight. Hope you write and let us know how they all are getting along at home. Send my love and best to all.
Answer for this time from Luke Ostrye to Father and family.–Directions to write Luke Ostrye 15th NYV Engineer Corps, Washington, DC1
Other Letters Written By Luke and Charles Ostrye at the Siege of Petersburg:
- LT: September 15, 1864 Luke Ostrye
- LT: September 21, 1864 Luke Ostrye
- LT: September 29, 1864 Luke Ostrye
- LT: October 16, 1864 Luke Ostrye
- LT: October 23, 1864 Luke Ostrye
- LT: November 5, 1864 Luke Ostrye
- LT: December 15, 1864 Luke and Charles Ostrye
- LT: December 16-23, 1864 Luke and Charles Ostrye
- Ostrye, Luke. “Camp City Point Va Nov 20 1864.” Letter to Father. 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>. ↩