1 December 1861: “Old letters and old newspapers are not worth much so I will write again”

Item description: Letter written by Jeremiah Stetson, from Annapolis, Maryland, to his wife Abbie F. “Happy” Stetson, in Hanson, Massachusetts (1 December 1861).

Item citation: From the Jeremiah Stetson Papers #5028-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Anapolis  Dec 1st/61


Well my Dear Wife & children I have written you 3 letters since I left home and hope you have got them but old letters and old newspapers are not worth much so I will write again  we are well and hope you are the same  I have gained five pounds since I left home.  well I have nothing to write but war news and hardly that however I can think of more than I can git time to write  they keep me prity buzy firing cook tents & c. gest enough to keep me helthy and brake up all the time Sundays & all  we expect our battery today from __ of Six field ___ expect to be of from here in a __ few days So you must write quick

When we came here we came from N.Y. to Perryvile by land which gave us a fine chance to see the Country  when we came into the slave territory the slaves would cheer us swing their hats handkerchieves old rags or any thing they could git I think some of them must be half a wit of  I expect to be paid of every Day now as our pay role is being made out then I shall write again

Tell Aunt MelinDy I am well and hope she is the same as my paper is giting small ile sign to you my name

J Stetson

Dec 2d. E gits up rather unwell this morning with back door trot went to the Dr. & excused from Duty. I have raped him up warm & c and if if the Doctor cures him as quick as he Does other folks he will be right Shortly  we have a first rate D.r. and as it is no use to him to keep any one along he cures them up quick as possible to git them out of the way  I thought E would wright but he Dont feel like writing so I write again my respects to old tunk(?) in general  git Geo. Bonney to cut your wood if you can give him a Doller a Day or one Doller and fifty cents a cord to cut wood at the Door

The bugle sounds and oficers shout fall in every man so ile pull my equipment out and follow the command

Ciss my little Daughter ruth and little marshal to __ and when I come ile ciss them both ___ and ___ for you

Direct your letters

Jeremiah Stetson

Co. E. 23. Regt

in care of Capt. W. __



More about this item:

Jeremiah Stetson was born in Pembroke, Mass., on 27 June 1810. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Stetson and his oldest son, Edwin Leforrest Stetson (b. 1842), enlisted in Company E of the 23rd Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. In the absence of her husband and grown son, Jeremiah Stetson’s wife, Abbie F. Stetson (d. 1901), called “Happy” by her husband, maintained the family’s farm in Hanson, Mass., tending chickens, fruit trees, and strawberries. At home, there were three other children: Melvina Louise Stetson (b. 1844), called “Melly”; Marshall Stetson (b. 1856); and Edith Ruth Stetson (b. 1859).

Jeremiah Stetson saw action in North Carolina and South Carolina, particularly during the capture of New Bern, N.C., but his increasingly bad health apparently prevented him from taking part in most of the later fighting. When able, Jeremiah Stetson performed duties as a carpenter, building barracks for the Army. He died in Hanson, Mass., on 24 February 1869. Edwin Leforrest Stetson participated in the taking of Kinston, N.C., and in various expeditions to destroy railroads near New Bern and try to take Goldsboro, N.C.

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