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LT: November 5, 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
Weldon RR Va
Nov 5th 1864

Dear Delia

As I am on duty to night I will drop you a few lines just to While away the hours till one o clock in the Morning [of November 6, 1864] when I will be releived. You will perhaps wonder why I can write While on duty, well I am on duty and yet I am in My cabin. The Men are in their cabins Setting by their fires talking poletics but are not allowed to go to bed their guns are Stacked in the Co Street So that at the first allarm the picket line our breast work will be bristling with Bayonets. The Johnnys have been Massing troops in our front to day as though they would like to punch a hole through our lines, let them come we are ready for them. The next 48 hours will Settle the great Presidential question of 1864 and will go far toward Settling the Rebellion for I am Sure Old Abe will be reelected for another 4 years and that will dishearten the Rebs more than the winning from them a great Victory would. The Men have built comfortable quarters covered with their Shelter tents and are cheerful good natured & happy and all wishing the Johnnys would buck against our works. The weather for the time of year is warm & pleasant. We have had a remarkable fine fall so far verry little rain or Mud. Our Regt will Vote almost unanimous for Old Abe little Mc [George B. McClellan] is at a great discount in the Army-Pendleton and the Chicago platform is to(o) much of a load for any Man to carry it would break down the best Man in the World.

Oh but I am Sleepy.

I hope to See you and the rest of the dear ones Soon. My love to all good Night dear.

Ever Yours


Letters of Henry W. Young:

  1. Young, Henry F. “Camp 7th Wis Vet Vols.” Received by Dear Delia, Weldon RR Va, 5 November 1864, Petersburg, VA.
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