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LT: September 15, 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[consin] Vet[eran] Vol[unteers]s
Sept 15th 1864

Dear Delia

I received your very welcome letter Several days ago Glad indeed to hear you were all well. I have been very busy for the last week I have had 450 Men under My command building Corduroy Roads. We have built Miles here of  the best Roads here you ever Seen we have also got the R[ail] Road through from City Point.1 The Rebs wont know this country when they See it. There are a number of our Officers going home by being Mustered out it makes me very home Sick I can tell you.

Capt F[red] L Warner got his discharge this Morning I was laying on my bunk of poles thinking of you and the dear ones at home when he came in with it, and I tell You it was quite a Struggle in My own Mind which I should do Ask my discharge on my three years Service or write you a letter. I concluded at length to Stand by the old flag during the present campaign for I Still believe if we get plenty of Men this war will end with the reelection of Old Abe. I think McClellans chances are Slim, the drag of having Pendleton on the Ticket would kill the most popular man in the Union.

If Father cant rent the Mill to Suit him let Furman run it till I get home which in that case will be early in the winter for I am to(o) near used up to Stand another Winter Campaign. We are fighting Some every day but have got So used to it we dont mind it much. I sent Laura a picture Pleasant dreams it is a lovely picture tell her that was for remembering papa with her letter.

I Suppose Some of our discharged Men have got home by this time Al Kidd is discharged and has gone home I tell you it is beginning to be real lonesome here, I expect Sloat will go out next.

Have you moved yet and how do you like your Shanty. You talk of high Prices they are high we Sometimes indulge in Potatoes at $9 per bushel Butter $1 per pound and other things in proportion. Give My love to Laura Jared & May tell them I would like to Kiss them all and then Stay with them.

Ever Yours


Letters of Henry W. Young:

  1. SOPO Editor’s Note: The United States Military Railroad led from Grant”s headquarters and main supply depot at City Point on the James River all the way behind the Union front lines, making supplying his army much easier.
  2. Young, Henry F. “Camp 7th Wis Vet Vols.” Received by Dear Delia, Camp 7th Wis Vet Vols, 15 September 1864, Petersburg, VA.
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