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LT: October 6, 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] Road Va
Oct 6th 1864

Dear Delia

Here am I in the Same place I was when I wrote My last letter but we have not been here all the time we have been over west of the R[ail] Road for the last week. We were not engaged with the enemy So that luckily I have no casualities to report in our Regt but our advance on the West Side was quite Successful but not So Much as it would have been had it not rained continually for two days and nights Making it almost impossible to move Artillery in level clayey country. We Still hold the position we gained at Poplar Grove church which commands the South Side R[ail] Road.1

I am glad to hear Eva has been Making you a visit and that you have had a good time. You talk of your poor pen that you are in, that gives me more uneasiness than anything else for it wont do for you to winter in Such a place as that, you and the children would catch your death of colds.

But I Still think we will finish this Rebellion as Soon as the Presidential Election is over. At all events I dont think you will object to my Staying till that time to See what will turn up.

I sent Pa $200 the other day but I dont want you to Spend Much on the house you are in for you must not Stay there this Winter. I am verry Sorry to hear Jared is Such a naughty boy to run away from home in the way you Speak of tell him there are thousands of little boys like him in this Southren country that have no homes nor nothing to eat and if he dont be a good boy his papa wont care about Seeing him.

I see that the Majorship Still Sticks in the Mind of the little Woman I tell you I wont except a promotion that will fasten me for another three years without your consent dont that Satisfy you for the present. There is Some talk of consolidation again if they do consolidate I will Make tracks for Wisconsin in a hurry for there then will be a Surplus of officers. Every one speaks of dull hard times in Wis I am Sorry to hear it and yet I expected it. I look for a crash Soon that will carry most of the Speculators with it. I have come to the conclusion that After I leave the Service I will always raise two or three acres of potatoes for My own use for it appears we cant get enough of them here, we had a mess for dinner at the round rate of $4 per gine.

My love to Jared Laura & May and accept the Same for your own dear Self.

Ever Yours


Letters of Henry W. Young:

  1. SOPO Editor’s Note: Henry is writing about the Battle of Peeble’s Church, aka the Battle of Poplar Grove Church and seemingly about half a dozen other names as well. This second advance, this time on the left, was part of Grant;s one-two punch during the Fifth Offensive in late September and early October 1864.
  2. Young, Henry F. “Camp 7th Wis Vet Vols.” Received by Dear Delia, Near Weldon R Road Va, 6 October 1864, Petersburg, VA.
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