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LT: September 27, 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[unteer]s
Near Weldon R[ail]R[oad] Va
Sept 27th 1864

Dear Father

I received yours of Sept 12th glad to find you are Sound & Strong for the Administration, for now is the time for every man to Stand firm. A few more Such rattification Meetings Such as Sherriden has given them in the Valley will entirely destroy McClellans prospects with the Soldiers.1 Our Army is in motion and fighting has been going on for 48 hours but we have no news as the fighting is on the right and we are on the extreme left. We have been Sending troops to the right for two days. We are in the front line now, and we are Strung out till we aint more than a good Skirmish line, but we have good Strong Works with Abbetees in front rumours of Success come from the right but I can get nothing reliable but you will get the news good or bad by telegram before you get this.2 Enclosed I Send$200 draft. We have just our pay up to Aug 31st. I hope you have Succeeded in Selling the Mill either all of it or your half of it.

My idea for your Selling your half to Scott & Furman is this first if you can Sell to them for $4000 I look upon it as just Saving that much from the wreck(?) Furman says Scott wont turn out his old homestead if he wont do that he would not be able to buy more than half the Mill. In the 2d place you will not Spend any More Money on it and I would not feel like Spending 1200/500 Dolls. Myself to put the Mill and race in condition but I will do it as partners if for no other purpose I will do it for the purpose of getting rid of it to the best Advantage and I think I can manage Furman So that we can get the custom(ers?) back that he has lost.

The Mill is a bad bargain for us and if we can turn half the bad bargain over to Some others we will be gainers and it is not necessary to let the question of ownership Stand in the way of what is for the best. If you can trade off My half instead of yours do So and I will be Obliged not that I want to get away from you as My partner, but that the one half of that Mill is enough for one Family.

Col [Mark] Finnicum has returned to his post. Capt Monteith of Co H has gone out the Service, it is getting lonesome here there are So many of the old officers going out. The Chaplain goes home on a leave this day.

Yours truly
H F Young3


Letters of Henry W. Young:

  1. SOPO Editor’s Note: Young is referring to the string of Union victories by Phil Sheridan’s Union Army in the Shenandoah Valley in August 1864.
  2. SOPO Editor’s Note: Ulysses S. Grant’s Fifth Offensive against Richmond and Petersburg was beginning.  A Union attack on the right flank by Benjamin Butler’s Army of the James nearly broke through to Richmond just two days after Henry wrote this letter, and his own Army of the Potomac would begin a multi-day battle on the left on September 30, 1864, three days after this letter.
  3. Young, Henry F. “Camp 7th Wis Vet Vols.” Received by Dear Father, Near Weldon RR Va, 27 September 1864, Petersburg, VA.
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