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LT: September 2, 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!

Camp 7th Wis Vet Vols
Near Yellow Tavern on the Weldon R Road
Sept 2 1864

Dear Delia

I have received no letter from you Since your letter from Annamosa(?) hope you are all well. We have had Some severe fighting here for this [Weldon Rail]road the Rebs Seem determined to have it Grant is equally determined to hold it. We are Strongly fortified and expect more fighting So far I have not lost a Man in these fights.1

The Men of our [7th Wisconsin] Regt who did not reenlist were discharged yesterday and Started home under Command of Lt Col [Mark] Finnicum. You will probably See Some of them. If Lincoln Sends in his 500000 or all he can get of them Soon we will Soon finish up the Rebellion but if he does not enforce the draft he is polittically dead with the Soldiers in the field.2 I would like to quit and go home three years is long enough to Serve but I feel as though I would not be doing right to leave now when My Services are most needed, and when So many are trying to Shuffle out “Ass backwards” and every other way. This has been a trying Campaign sometimes almost disturbing to the best Soldiers, but things are looking brighter now there is a runour in Camp that McClellan has received the nomination at Chicago if So and Old Abe dont enforce the draft Mc will get a large Soldier vote. The fact is the policy of the President in calling out 100 Days Men and Militia for Short Seasons Men who do us no good has become very obnoxious to the Soldiers at the front. I will Support the Administration myself and always have done So but it is not so with others. I put in an application to go home with the Soldiers, but Col Finnicum got the Privilige, his wife was sick and in that case I did not press My claim but I will come home after the Campaign is ended if I live to See it ended.

Give my love to Jared Laura & May

Ever Yours

Henry [F. Young]3


Letters of Henry W. Young:


  1. SOPO Editor’s Note: Young is writing about the Union Fifth Corps’ movement to the Weldon Railroad near Globe Tavern on August 18, 1864 and the ensuing fighting from August 18-21, 1864 at the Battle of Globe Tavern.  In addition, the Confederates tried to drive off the Union Second Corps further south on the Weldon Railroad at Ream’s Station on August 25, 1864, in that case successfully.  In the end, Grant won out.  The Union would never relinquish its hold on the Weldon Railroad after August 18, 1864.
  2. SOPO Editor’s Note: Lincoln had recently issued a call for 500,000 more men to put down the rebellion. As you can get a sense here, it was a hot topic with the soldiers currently fighting in the field, many of whom felt they had done more than their fair share and wanted new men to take up the fight.
  3. Young, Henry F. “Camp 7th Wis Vet Vols.” Received by Dear Delia, Near Yellow Tavern on the Weldon R Road, 2 September 1864, Petersburg, VA.
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