This letter was written by Tunis Upham (1843-1901), the son of David Upham (1817-aft1865) and Frances [ ] (1824-Aft1865) of Butler, Wayne county, New York. “Tune” was born at Port Byron, New York. By 1855, the Upham family had settled in Mentz, Cayuga county, New York.
In 1861, Tune enlisted as a private in Co. B, 3rd New York Light Artillery. He was discharged as a corporal in May 1863. Afterwards, he accepted a commission as 2d Lieutenant in Co. L, 16th New York Heavy Artillery (June 1864). He subsequently transferred to Co. E and mustered out of the service in late August 1865. Miraculously, it appears that Tune’s father, David Upham, also served in the 16th New York Heavy Artillery though he was nearing 50 years of age when he enlisted.
After the war, Upham relocated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He never married. He was buried in Wood National Cemetery after his death in January 1901.
Tune wrote the letter to Lucinda M. Shoemaker (1846-1931), the daughter of John Shoemaker (1811-1895) and Charity Goodmote (1813-1879) of Conquest, Cayuga county, New York. Lucinda married Edwin B. Abrams (1845-1894) in the late 1860s.
Addressed to Miss Lucinda M. Shoemaker, Conquest, Cayuga county, New York
Postmarked Washington D. C.
June 15th 1865
I take this pleasant opportunity of writing a few lines to you as I have nothing else to do and I am very glad that I have nothing to do — only to write to you as it is something that is a pleasure to me.
You told me in your last letter that camp meeting commenced today the 15th. I should like to be there very much indeed. I think I could enjoy a camp meeting very well as I have got used to camp life and one thing more that I am afraid of is that some of them good looking soldiers that has been mustered out of the service will draw your attention more than mine does so far away.
I am a having a splendid time now away out in the country where there is lots of vegetables and farmers daughters but the vegetables interest me more than the daughters do.
When you write, tell me all about camp meeting — who got converted and everything. If one sheet won’t hold it, put it on two. I can sit and read as much as you can write in a week.
Please tell me if your parents read my letters. I have no objection to it and I think that if they are like mine, they would want to. I don’t mean my own letters but letters that my sisters receive.
I am camped in a very pleasant grove but have got to leave it tomorrow morning and go ten miles from here to take care of a barn full of confederate artillery harness and leather that General Sheridan captured in Lee’s army. It is so hot here now that we can’t hardly walk a mile in the middle of the day.
Please tell me if Sergt. Miller has got home yet. He interests my mind a considerable for some reason or other and I don’t know why it is. Probably you might guess if you can. I wish that you would tell me the first time you write to me. Tell Ette and Eva that I send them my kindest regards and I would like a kiss if you would not get out of patience with me. I have no more to write that will interest you and I guess this won’t that I have already wrote goodbye. Please accept my kind regards and best wishes. I am very respectfully, — Tune Upham
Lieut., Co. E, 16th New York Artillery, Boydton, Mecklenburg county, Va.