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LT: July 29, 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!

Near Petersburg Va
July 29/64

Dear Delia

I rec your welcome letter last Night glad to hear from you & to hear you were all well. We are Still in front of Petersburg diging diging diging.

The health of the Regt is good and the casualities are few. There has been none in My Co Since my last. The 2d Corps crossed the James River this Morning and they appear to be doing considerable fighting over there today.1 I dont know what the result is yet we have to be very Vigilant in front in consequence of the 2d Corps withdrawing.2 We are having our usual Amt of Picket Morter & Artillery firing but there has been no demonstrations to Show that they have Missed any of our troops. You would be astonished to See our fortifications we are diging the whole country over.

I told Furman we would buy his house provided we wanted it for A Millers and perhaps I will do so when I return for then I will probably want it but I dont want it now neither do I want any property in Tafton. If I was to buy it I want it where it is. This war will close immediately after the Presidential Election if not before, and if I live to get home I will want all the Money I can raise at the Mill and I would rather have property there than in Tafton.

Look out for a comfortable house and do the best you can if you have to winter in it you had better one thats comfortable if it Should cost double what a poor one would. Give my love to Jared Laura & May and accept the same.

Ever Yours



Letters of Henry W. Young:

  1. SOPO Editor’s Note: Young is referring to the First Battle of Deep Bottom.
  2. SOPO Editor’s Note: The Second Corps had been withdrawan from in front of Petersburg to march across the Appomattox River, cross Bermuda Hundred, and then cross the James River on pontoon bridges to reach Deep Bottom. Naturally, the remaining Union troops in front of Petersburg had to “fill in” the positions of the missing Second Corps, resulting in lighter troop density while they were gone.
  3. Young, Henry F. “Near Petersburg Va.” Received by Dear Delia, Near Petersburg Va, 29 July 1864, Petersburg, VA.
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