1861-2: William Dwyer to Bridget Dwyer

Imagine the surprise of the descendants of William Dwyer, 8th Alabama Infantry, when they found the following letters in a metal box tucked away in the attic of a deceased relative’s home. Before discovering the letters, they knew very little of William beyond the fact that he had been among the Irish emigrants who banded…

1862-1865: Thomas H. Wentworth to Abbie E. Wheeler

These letters were written by Thomas H. Wentworth, 15th Maine Infantry. Wentworth (b.1837) of Corinth, Penobscot county, Maine, enlisted as a Sergeant in Co. H of the 15th on December 17, 1861, and served for most of the rest of the war, being discharged as a 1st Lieutenant in March 1865. All letters are addressed…

1863: William H. Cross to Joseph Cutler Pollock

This letter was written by William H. Cross (1841-1930) who enlisted at the age of 20 on 21 October 1861 at New York City to serve three years in Co. I, 61st New York Infantry. William transferred into Co. F. in September 1862. Months later — after Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville —  William was one of…

1864: Joseph Cutler Pollock to John R. Pollock

This letter was written by Joseph Cutler Pollock (1844-1933), the son of Irish-born parents, John Pollock (1800-1875) and Elizabeth (“Betsey”) Cameron (1798-1881) of Pompey, Onondaga county, New York. “Cutler” wrote the letter to his older brother, John R. Pollock (1834-1893) who served in Co. E, 149th New York Infantry. TRANSCRIPTION Pompey, Onondaga county, New York Sunday,…

1862-3: John R. Pollock to Family

These letters were written by John R. Pollock, Jr. (1834-1893) — a first generation American — the son of Irish-born parents, John Pollock (1800-1875) and Elizabeth (“Betsey”) Cameron (1798-1881). The Pollock’s resided in Pompey, Onondaga county, New York, where they were early settlers — possibly as early as the 1820’s. A history of Onondaga by…

1862: Wallace McGrath to George Doan Freeman

This letter was written by Wallace McGrath (1844-1909) of Co. K, 15th Ohio Infantry. McGrath enlisted as a private in September 1861 but later rose to the rank of 1st Lieutenant in Co. C. William was the son of Rev. Thomas S. McGrath (1817-1844) and Rebecca Culbertson Wallace (1826-1885). After the war, Wallace relocated to…

1865: James Peters Elliott

These notes appear to have been kept by James Peters Elliott (1835-1909) while serving with Co. I, 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery. The notes pertain to the time Elliott was posted with other members of Co I at Battery No. 5 and No. 10 before Petersburg, Virginia, in late March and early April 1865, including a…

1864: James Greig to Laura Page

This letter was written by Sgt. James N. Greig (1841-1864) of Co. C, 3rd Vermont Infantry. James was the son of Robert Greig, Jr. (1815-1879) and Helen Arthur (1815-1881) of Dunshalt, Fife, Scotland, where James was born. By 1860, James had emigrated to the United States where he was enumerated in the 1860 US Census…

1863: Hiram T. Smith to his Mother

This letter was written by Hiram T. Smith (1823-Aft1880) of Elmira who enlisted in Co. E, 23rd New York Infantry, in May 1861. He mustered in as a quartermaster sergeant and mustered out as a 2d Lieutenant after two years of service. In May 1863, he received the commission of 1st Lieutenant when Hugh Jenkins…