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LT: November 23, 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 R[ail]R[oad] Va
Nov 23/64

Dear Delia

It is a week Since I received yours & Fathers letters with the Sad news of Lauras death and you dont no how anxious I am to hear from home it has rained for the last five days & last night it cleared up cold freezing hard during the night.

We were under marching Orders but the rain Stoped the contemplated Move. And it is well we did not get Started for we would have suffered terribly during the Storm, but in our Cabins we have got along verry well. I have a Severe cold otherwise I am all right. We hear of a terrible Storm in the North. I am anxious about you and the Children during the cold weather with no person to get your wood and build your fires. I will try and start to Washington about the 1st of dec so you need not answer this letter unless you hear from me again for unless Something unlooked for happens your letter would not arrive in time to find me here.

There is great anxiety in the Army to hear from Sherman, the Rebs dont publish a word about him for if they did we would get it. They are bad off in our front and desertions these dark nights are frequent. All tell the Same Story of want and destitution, if Sherman Succeeds in getting through to Savanna or Charleston the Georgia & South Carolina troops wont Stay in the Reb Army So that I think the end is at hand. I would like verry Much to take My Thanksgiving dinner with you tomorrow.

I have lost yours & Lauras pictures-I am verry Sorry for it especially Lauras. I had them in a book and Some person carried off the book With them in. I am in hopes it was Sloat as the book belonged to him and I missed it just after he left, if So I will get them. I dont know what arrangements I can make about the Mill and will Make none till I get home, but the way times are I cant afford to be long idle and I will do what is best toward getting along comfortably. I will write you as Soon as I get to Washington as it will take me perhaps a week to Settle up with the Govt as I have been a long time in command and every thing has to be done through the red tape System.

My love to Jared & May and for yourself the Same

Ever Yours


Letters of Henry W. Young:

  1. Young, Henry F. “Camp 7th Wis Vet Vols.” Received by Dear Delia, Weldon RR Va, 23 November 1864, Petersburg, VA.
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