These two letters were written by Lewis Coe Bevier (1844-1923) who enlisted at age 18 on 8 August 1862 at Lloyd, New York, to serve three years in Co. G, 120th New York Infantry. He mustered out with the regiment on 3 June 1865 near Washington D. C.
Lewis was the son of Benjamin H. Bevier (1803-Aft1864) and Sarah A. Elmore (1810-Aft1864) of Ulster County, New York. He married in 1869 to Margaret Tompkins (1849-1901). Lewis made his living as a paperhanger and painter.
Lewis mentions his older brother, Isaac Bevier (1842-1931), who served in Co. E (later Co. G), 44th New York Infantry. Isaac was wounded in the hip at the Second Battle of Bull Run in August 1862. At Cold Harbor in June 1864, he was severely wounded in the foot but he survived. Like Lewis, he was also employed as a painter after the war.
These letters were written in the spring of 1864, just prior to the Battle of the Wilderness and a week later as Grant’s army pushed the rebels back to Spotsylvania.
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER ONE
Addressed to Benjamin A. Bevier, New Paltz Landing, Ulster County, New York
Camp of the 120th New York State Volunteers
Near Brandy Station, Va.
April 29, 1864
I received your letter of the 24th and was glad to hear that you was well. I am well and hope these few lines will find you the same.
Our regiment went out on picket this morning but I was on guard last night so that saves me from going on picket but I suppose I will be on camp guard till the regiment comes back. I would rather be on camp guard than go on picket.
About the money matter, I did not say I had two pair of boots. Gillman sent me a pair of boots and I sent him the money for them. He paid ten dollars for to have them made and one dollar for to send them to me. I did not think I had drawed over my account of clothing last year but I did. Next pay we will get paid for our clothing — that is for six months. They meant to settle up every six months for clothing. I have got some ten or twelve dollars coming for six months clothing. If we don’t draw over our amount, they pay it to us so next pay that is for two months I can send you about 35 dollars for two months. Just because I got two months pay and did not send any home, you think I am extravagant. A fellow has got to spend some for writing paper and envelopes and postage stamps and so forth. I will bet I send home as much money as the next one. Does Isaac send home anymore money than I do?
I can’t think of anything else to write at present. Give my best respects to all of the folks. So no more at present. Write as soon as you get this. From your affectionate son, — Lewis C. Bevier
Doctor wants to know why you do not write to him.
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER TWO
Addressed to Mr. B. A. Bevier, New Paltz Landing, Ulster County, New York
Camp on the field
May 11, 1864
I now take the pleasure of writing you a few lines to let you know that I am alive and in good health. We have been fighting seven days. We are a chasing the rebs up all the time. I seen Isaac a couple of days ago and was all right.
I have not got much time to write. This is the first time that we have had a chance to write since we left camp. I suppose you are worried about me but I am all right yet. You must write as soon as you get this. We have not had any mail since we left camp the third of May. I will give you all the detail of the battle when we get in camp if I live to get through it. They are a fighting like fun on the right.
From your son, — Lewis C. Bevier
Co. G, 120 N. Y. S. V.
Washington D. C.
The boys from our place are all well. We are near Spotsylvania Court House.