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LT: October 22, 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 Road Va
Oct 22 1864

Dear Delia

Here am I the most disappointed man you ever Saw just because I received no letter this Morning; neither have I received any Since my last and I set myself down to bore you with a letter with as little news in it as possible just to pay you for neglecting Me; Now old Girl how do you like that for a commencement. Next in order it is a cold raw Morning and My fire which is in front of My tent Smokes without any considerations for My comfort. Next in order Capt [George S.] Hoyt my bedfellow is on picket and I had to divide our Scant bedding with him so that I Devilish near froze last night. And every time I waked up cold My Mind would wander off to Wisconsin to where I had a good bed and a bedfellow that dont go on picket.

Sherradin has had another PeaceConvention with the Rebs in the Valley in which he has as usual used verry convincing Arguments, he has nearly ruined the Democratic Party1; Little Mc poor fellow puts Me in Mind of the Ladys little dog. She used to take him in her lap and pat him “Oh you are a nice little dog a pretty little dog, but you can never be a big dog.” I Still think that the Election of Lincoln unless our Genls Make Some blunder will crush the Spirit of the South. The other evening on our picket line our boys Hurrahed for Lincoln, the Rebs took it up and cheered for McClellan, and from cheering they got to abusing each other quite lively and from that to Picket firing and from that to Artillery and Morter firing. I heard a Soldier that was out on the line swear that he yet believed Mc a true and Loyal Man, and he had intended to vote for him; but Said he Ill be d–d if I vote for any Man the Rebs will vote for.

Genls Grant and Mead were here Skylarking round yesterday the boys think they can See a fight a head within the next few days, but I dont look for much fighting until Sherradins forces return from the Valley.2 The boys of the Co are in good health and good Spirits.

Chaplain [Samuel W.] Eaton has just returned from a Visit home, Eaton takes a lively interest in Polatics & War and by the way is the Most Popular Chaplain I know of in the Army.

Lieut Col [Mark] Finnicum was Severely bruised by being thrown from his horse, he is in the Hospital and is improving.

I wrote to your Father three weeks ago & Sent him a Draft for $200. I would like to pull his Whiskers untill he answers it.

My love to all

Ever Yours


Letters of Henry W. Young:

  1. SOPO Editor’s Note: Young is, for the second day and second letter in a row, almost certainly referring to Sheridan snatching victory from the jaws of defeat at the Battle of Cedar Creek on October 19, 1864.
  2. SOPO Editor’s Note: The boys were right and Henry was wrong.  Just a few days after this letter, the Battle of Boydton Plank Road and the Second Battle of Fair Oaks would be fought on opposite ends of the line on October 27, 1864.
  3. Young, Henry F. “Camp 7th Wis Vet Vols.” Received by Dear Delia, Near Weldon R Road Va, 22 October 1864, Petersburg, VA.
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