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LT: June 20, 1864 Henry F. Young (7th Wisconsin)

SOPO Editor’s Note: Captain Henry F. Young of the 7th Wisconsin wrote twenty letters while at the Siege of Petersburg from June to December 1864. Researcher Roy Gustrowsky transcribed this letter from the original at the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison, Wisconsin.  He is currently in the process of writing a regimental history of the 7th Wisconsin. “Delia” was Henry F. Young’s wife, and “Father” was his Father-in-Law Jared Warner, a prominent businessman of Grant County, Wisconsin. Gustrowsky has magnanimously made these transcriptions available to the Siege of Petersburg Online for publication, and we thank him for his generosity.

UPDATE: I recently learned that a new book has been published by the University of Wisconsin Press, entitled Dear Delia: The Civil War Letters of Captain Henry F. Young, Seventh Wisconsin Infantry, and edited by Micheal Larson and John David Smith. If you want to read all of Henry’s letters throughout the war, purchase the book!

Behind Breast Works in line of Battle south of Petersburg Va
June 20/64

Dear Delia

You will See by the heading of this where we are, it is about 1 1/2 miles to Petersburg the Spires of which are in sight. Two hundred yards in front of us is fortifications bristling with cannons. On the 18th [of June, 1864] we drove them out of two lines that are now in our rear and charged on those in front but were repulsed. Our Regt suffered severe loss.1 My casualties were as follows.

Sergeant C Giles Parker was carrying the colours and fell we supposed he was killed and went out at night to get him and he had been removed and some of the Regt Said he had been carried off the field and was only wounded. I hope it is So and I will find out as Soon as possible and let his folks know. We through out a line of battle after night within 50 yds of the Reb works So as to get off our Wounded & Killed. We were in the line and the orders were to carry all back without regard to Co or Regt and bury the dead and take the wounded to hospital. So that we can’t tell where our men are yet as we are Still under heavy fire and a man can’t lift his (head?) above the works in daylight.

Corpl John D Runion was killed

Wm B Pauley killed

Wounded Sergt F A Boynton

Do  ” Geo Eustice

”  ” Private Jos Stonehouse

”  ” M Calvert

”  ” A Morse  Slight

”  ” O Weymouth

”  ” H P Green  Severe

Edward Whitney  Missing

Tell Mrs J L Taylor her husband is in a rebble hospital left foot Amputated doing well.

About one more Charge on Rebble fortifications and our Regt will be out of Service entirely.2


Letters of Henry W. Young:


  1. SOPO Editor’s Note: The 7th Wisconsin participated in the last day of fighting at the Second Battle of Petersburg on June 18, 1864.
  2. Young, Henry F. “Behind Breast Works in Line of Battle South of Petersburg Va.” Received by Dear Delia, Behind Breast Works, 20 June 1864, Petersburg, VA.
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