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LT: October 13, 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 Fort Howard Va
Oct 13 1864

Dear Delia

I received your welcome letter glad to hear you were all well this is a cold windy day real fall weather it begins to feel like overcoats and Mittens would be comfortable. I feel very lonesome today, this morning the 19th Indiana Regt went to the 2d Corps; they being consolidated with the 20th Indiana Regt. They have been Along Side of us every day for over Three years their history and our own have been identical. We have ever formed a part of the Old Iron Brigade between us there were warm friendships. The friendships that are formed in camp and on the field of danger are Stronger than they are in civil life. I Seen Officers and Men of the gallant Old 19th Shed tears this Morning in parting with us, and I have Seen these Same Men Stand firm and Swing their hats and cheer when charging on the enemy amidst a perfect Storm of bullets

Thus they go there will Soon be nothing of our once Splendid Brigade left together. The three or four old officers left of the 7th look at each other and feel almost as if we could not Stand it much longer.

I wrote to Furman in refference to his house, while I am in the Service I cant buy it. There has been no fighting in our front Since My last except the usual Picket firing in which the casualities have been light. There has been none in our Regt. Birney has been fighting on the right near Richmond with Some Success.1 Our line is now 44 Miles long all the way well fortified; The Rebs have a corresponding line in our front, in fact a greate deal of both lines are doubled. Grant will take Richmond this fall of that I have no doubts at all, then we will elect Old Abe President and then you May look upon the Rebellion as played out. What a Gloriously happy day that will be for the Soldiers And their families.

Give My love to Susan and all the little pets! and the Same for yourself.

Ever Yours


Letters of Henry W. Young:

  1. SOPO Editor’s Note: Young had no doubt heard of the Battle of Chaffin’s Farm, fought on September 29-30, 1864, where the Army of the James had taken Fort Harrison, as well as the Battle of Darbytown and New Market Roads on October 7, where that army consolidated its gains and held the lines they had taken from a Confederate counterattack.
  2. Young, Henry F. “Camp 7th Wis Vet Vols.” Received by Dear Delia, Near Fort Howard Va, 13 October 1864, Petersburg, VA.
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