Letters of  Corporal Henry D. Weaver, Co. C

- transcribed by B. Conrad Bush.

Henry D. Weaver, age 24, enlisted October 25, 1861, at Etna, NY to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. C, 76th New York Volunteer Infantry, November 26, 1861; promoted corporal, April 10, 1863; killed, by being shot through the head, in action July 1, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa.

Sarah F. and Edward G. Weaver were the parents of whose names and ages in 1863 were: Henry 25, Fayette D, 19, Diana and Ev. Edward was a wagon maker in a shop he owned and they lived in a small house at Etna, Town of Dryden, Tompkins County, NY during the 1860s.

 PS write Soon all of you Diana with the colt Good By all

                 March 20, (1862)
St Elizabeth           Thursday

I am agoing to write a good long letter this is for the whole Family or ought to I think and maybe may be I can Save three cents it Stands me in hand to be Saving of my money for I have not got But four dollars left and they say we will not draw our pay until the first of May Well when it comes it will be four months pay and all in a lump slap Dad which I Shall Send home for you to Salt down for me if I Stay in the Hospital a Great while I have $4 will last I Spent about four dollars for Whiskey while I was coming from Rikers Island to Washington and I hope it will be the last cent I Shall Ever Spend for liquor and By the Eternal I mean it Shall be the last Liquor I drink without it is forced down me 

Emory has been to washington I heard but He did not come to See me as he agreed to do well I can Stand it if He can When I get home if I ever do I hope that you will See me instead of a poor whiskey drinker a Sober and an upright Straight forward man with good health and Strength to help you in your old age and I dont think you have a child that would not help you if you were in want if it was in their power so to do 

if you Stand in want of any money to carry on your Buisness you can use What It is has to pay and all that I Shall Send Home I mean you E G all I want is good Security you know that my Buisness was left in mothers care and She will do as She pleases with my money week ago Sunday I wrote a letter to you but have not got any answer yet but I am bound to write whether you do on not

PS When you Direct your letters to me Direct to H.D. Weaver St. Elizebeth Hospital Washington D.C.

Omit the Company and Rgment and the letters will come Here without going to the Regment 

Dal How I would like to be with you all and play with you in the old Bassvidl in the corner I think I could make it all To Him 

Mother I guess you are mistaken about my beating them all on the old bassvidl in the corner for Dal I think is as good as myself on the bassvidl I know if I was at home I could make fathers head go as much as it used to when he played with us on the flute You wished you had my clothes to wash the other Monday morning I have not had on my own Shirts & Drawers Since I have been Here they find Shirts & Drawers for the Sick it is a Saving clothes for me an like rest of the Sick I must Close 

your son and Brother       H. D. Weaver

Letterhead shows a picture of the Head Quarters, 76th Regt. N.Y.S.V. Camp Doubleday, Washington, D.C.

             (April 1862)
 Fort Slocum * Washington * District of Columbia

Dear Parents 

I Sit down to write you an another Short letter and to let you know how things go on in camp, yesterday the pay master came and paid us $26 and to day he came and paid us $26 more which amounts to $52 I gave Norman $45, of it for him to Send to George Houtz for him to give to you, what money I have left I calculate will have to last me until next pay day, now dont you think that I am doing prety well, I think that you no any one else cant find any fault about my Spending my wages what do you Say to that eh I want you to do with my money the best you can, if you want to use it, why you are welcom to it but if you dont want it you may put it out on interest, to Some responsible person, payable one day after date, I want it So that I can get it when I want it, 

Henry Howe our orderly Sargeant and a private named Miler Started for home on a furlow this morning, Howe lives at Groton Village I Sent my Likeness by Howe to mail at Groton to you, I dont know as I would give much to go home on a furlow, it would cost at least $25 to go home and back here again, that is most to much pork for 12 1/2 cts, it wont be a great while at the longest before we will be Discharged, I gave 15cts for this Sheet of paper and envelop, 

I wanted you to see the picture of Fort Massachusetts and camp Doubleday and Fort Slocum and our camp, you will please take notice of a man that Stands prety near to one of the Sentinel on the right, who you will precieve is Watering his horse or rather Sprang a leak Just at the time the picture was taken you can See our Fort and Camp in the Distance, they are exact likeness, 

Mike Cramer is agoing to Send $35 to Ogden Hart, Wm Stubbs is agoing to Send $45 home John White $40 Norm will have about $170 to Send home of His Wages and tobacco money you ought to be here to See the Peddlers flock in around Camp Since the boys have got their pay the Officers will not let them come in past the lines, but the Boys manage to git where the Peddlars are and the Pedlars are Just robing the Boys, they cant come in on this Chap no how they cant fix em, as the old darkey Said, I have made up my mind what little money I have got will not go to buy old Watches or old pistols, 

a man can get rid of his money here Just as fast as he is a mind to, I have not gambled or played cards for money, Since I left home that is played out with me Some of the boys play card for money, they cant get me to play for money, if I knew that I could win the boys money I would not play, and as for drinking liquor they might as well try to get me to eat hot Soap as to try to get me to touch it, I have made up my mind to let it alone and by ______ I will, I know that I can let it alone if I try and I know that it will make you feel better and myself two. 

My hair Still keeps coming out, that is it dont come out as bad as it did one Spell new hair is coming in where my head was bald it is from a quarter of an inch to a half an inch long now, the back part of my hair dont come out much now but there is not more than one half the hair on my head that I used to have, night before last I was taken with Direah which came from eating to much of Fresh beef, It kept me running all the night and all day yesterday, but to day I am bound up as tight as a drum I took fords Cordial that is first rate for diareah, 

PS tell Ev that I would like to hear from him I dont think that he has got any claims on me for a letter 

Diana Dont never write a word to me I think that She dont much of her brother Hank but I dont want her to take any pride in what I say, diana and I have always been good friends and I hope we Shall always remain So 

PS dont you think that this is a nice Scenery in this picture, it is as natural as life, that house inside of the fort is an old brick meeting house, they use it now for magazine, they have got the nices camp ground I ever saw, the Streets are all laid out So nice and Straight, those little trees in the Street is pitch pine, fort Slocum is a great deal the Strongest fort of the two, they have got fort most done, the forts are only one mile apart, 

PS now write as long a letter as I have and I wont find any fault 


        Fort Slocum May 14th (1862)

Dear Parents 

I Recd your letter of the 11th this Evening with much pleasure, it found me in prety good health and Still gaining, I am Sorry to learn that Capt Brown was killed in battle but I dont regret that our men are giving the rebles all they want and more to, on every sided they cant Stand under our Fireing and Bayonet Charges, they flee from us as Sheep would from a wolf, well I think they will Soon have to give up for they cant do ashes, 

we have Glorious news every day from every quarter of the South I suppose you get about all of the news from the Tribune and So I will not waste paper to write them, you wanted to know how I enjoy myself ect. well I begin to feel almost as good as new, if I was at home I would not be Satisfied you know that when I was at home I want contented, and when I was away it was the Same, I am like a great many others when they are doing prety well they want to be doing better, by the Eternals I think that my Joining the army was the best thing that ever I done for if I had Stayed in Etna I think that I Should have been a poor miserable drunkard, another thing I think my getting drunk while we were on our way from New York to Washington was the means of my illness and making me See where I was, oh god forbid of my ever being a poor Drunkard

Father I Calculate if I Stay in the army one year, it will Save two hundred dollars or more, that will be more than any man can do at home if he gets 12 Shillings pr day if board himself for he has got to cloth Himself, and board and clothes costs Something you know Ps tell Ev that I have answered every letter that I have recd from him, Mother I have not had any letters or papers but what I answered, Dal why dont you write on the Space that Mother and Father leaves, they leave one Side of half a Sheet which you could write on Just as well as not, does you and Ev fiddle any of our old tunes yet, I would like to be there to play on the old cuss that L Waite wanted me to put in the corner I guess that I will have to fill out another Sheet in the morning So good night

I havent drank any liquor Since, only as they gave it to me as medicine while I was at the Hospital, I tell the Boys that all that made me Sick was whiskey and that I calculate to let the dam Stuff alone and the best thing they can do is to let it be, they all agree with me Say that I am right in what I tell them but Still Some of them cant let the dam Stuff alone, lst Saturday night - norm 

Wm Stubb John White Lute Davis and myself walked down to the City went to the Theator and walk back to Camp eight mile only, that is not a very Great ways to Walk especialy when there is any Show to be Seen, I Stood the walk first rate, I dont know but I Shall have to try it over again before long, the play was first rate, it well Paid me to walk eight miles and pay ten Shillings to See it, 

yesterday I went in the Afternoon I as on drill, the Capt. Says he dont want me to drill, any more than I can Stand, but he is of my opinion, that to drill a little every day will be good for me, to day we did not drill on account of its raining- Tomorrow we will draw our pay So the news Came in to camp to night, I Shall Send forty or forty five dollars home

               H.D. Weaver (not signed)

Camp Near Pratts Point, Va.             
Wednesday Feb 1st 63 

Dear Parents 

I recd your letters of the 11th yesterday and was very glad to learn that you were all well & I am well with the exception of a lame Side which I hurt this morning the way that it happened was this. I got up this morning took the camp kettle went down to the brook to get it full of water. I got the Kettle full and had got within five paces of the tent there being Several inches of snow on the ground made it quite Slippery and I Steped on the Side of a Small ditch and both feet went out from under me and down I went Striking the edge of the Kettle with my left Side, it made me Hump like a coon Sending bones for a few minutes and my Side is quite lame yet, but I guess it will not hender me from doing duty, 

tomorrow is the day for our Brigade to go out on picket, it happends to come just right every time to bring me on picket, it will make the eighth time that I have been on picket Since we retreated after the Battle of Fredricksburg our Regt has to go on Picket every eight days So you can keep track and you will know when we are on Picket duty we will go on tomorrow that will be Thursday and off Saturday then the next week Friday we will go out again off Sunday and So on 

ther is not any news of thing new of any importance only that we have caught and got in the guard House 14 or 15 deserters that belong to the 76th, I am glad that I am not among them I would not wonder if they treated Some of them pretty rough 

you Spoke about my coming home on furlow. I would like to go home first rate, but there is So many ahead of me that I will Stand no chance of getting a furlow Father Suppose you take that fifty dollars that I Sent you and come down here and See your Son Henry it Shant cost you any thing only your time, now come I would like to have you all come but I know that is out of the question Now Father pluck up a little courage and come down here and Stay a couple of weeks it will well pay you for your time, Dall is doing a big thing playing for dances 

I wish that I was at old Etna free and out of the army I think that I could enjoy myself and behave myself a little better than I used to mother I will answer your question why I dont get Such a birth as John Hacket and Charley Price the read on is this that there are always Some one ready to Step in when ahead when there is any Such chance opened, if a man only has money and influential friends he can get a good Situation in the army or out of the army, whether he has a great deal of brain or not it makes no difference, you know one thing is certain that I never was one that wanted to crowd myself in where I was nor wanted, nor never could beg for any Situation, 

Hank Freese and Whkeoff have gone down to the Post Comissary after a bush of Potatoes, we get orders from our Capt or Lieut for on the Post Comisary for Potatoes or any Such things that we want and then we get the at Government Prices, the government Price for Potatoes is 75 cts per bushel the Sutlers charge from 3 t o 4 dol pr bush for Potatoes and ever thing else in proportion I will have to take another sheet -           

unsigned H. D. Weaver 

 May 27th 1863          
Fredricksburg Virginia

Dear parents 

I take this opportunity to let you know of my whereabouts we left Fort Slocum last Thursday and with a tedious march we got to Washington there we took about for Aquia Creek there we encamped for the night under one of the rebles old Forts which our men had destroyed a few weeks ago and the next morning we Started on our march for Fredricksburgh we went about 8 miles where we encamped near the railroad that runs between Aquia Creek and Fredricksburgh the boys say the place is called bellsplain, 

the night was rainy and the next morning found us in a prety wet condition we had nothing to keep the rain off of us but our Blankets we did not pitch our tents until night before last and then you better believe we thought we were in a parlor bedroom and we Slept as Sound as a pig 

we have encamped on three different grounds Since we have been at as near Fredricksburgh, the army have is no good condition and are moving toward Richmond Shields division Started for Richmond and on ther on Sunday and this morning it is reported that he had a brush with the enemy yesterday and took 300 prisoners and put the enemy to flight we have got orders to march this morning but we dont know where we will go 

Sunday a magazine was blown up in Frdericksburgh which killed one of the men of the 23rd new york regt we were encamped half a mile out of the vilage and so we heard the explosion which was very loud, 

I have Stood the march first rate Sunday I weighed 166 1/2 lbs that is not very bad, I wish I could know where we were agoin this morning then I could write and let you know, the boys are all in good Spirits and are ready to fight and I am willing to fight when we are ordered to 

this war cant last a great while in my opinion, I have got to be brief with my writing for we have got to fall in line for to march in a few minuts I dont know as your letters come that you write, but I guess this will go home so dont be alarmed if you dont hear from me in several days, I will write as often as I can and you must write to 

So Good by From your Son Henry D Weaver 

PS Some of the boys say we are only going to the City of Fredricksburg Write Soon and oblige yours and Pleas have you recd 45 dollars from me if you have write and let me know we have all the hard Crackers we can eat that is what will make us tough - hurrah for Dixie  

Good By tell Eve that I recd his letter and was glad to get it tell him that this will have to answer his letter for I have not got time to write eny more 

PS Mike Cramer run away the night before we left Fort Slocum with 4 or five other Boys Hank Knettles and Dun Dimond and Everett Laraby all left us

 Men mentioned in above letters:

Norman G Bartholomew, age 24, enrolled at Etna, to serve three years, and mustered in as private, Co. C, 76th NY Volunteer Infantry, November 8, 1861; transferred to Co. E, September 2, 1862; promoted sergeant, same date; mustered in as second lieutenant, Co. K, September 9, 1863; killed in action, May 5, 1864, at the Wilderness.    Commissioned second Lieutenant, October 14, 1862, with rank from September 9, 1862, vice C.M. Gaylord discharged; first lieutenant, February 6, 1863, with rank from December 26, 1862, vice W.H. Chase discharged; captain, October 17, 1863, with rank from July 1, 1863, vice R.B. Everett killed in action.

Captain Brown - not member of 76th NY Volunteer Infantry

Michael Cramer age 22, enlisted at Etna, to serve three year, and mustered in as private, Co. C, 76th NY Volunteer Infantry, November 8, 1861; discharged for disability, October 20, 1862, at Washington, D.C.

Lucius Davis, age 25, enrolled September 16, 1861, at McLean, to serve three years; mustered in s private, Co. C, 76th NY Volunteer Infantry, October 25, 1861; promoted first sergeant, November 11, 1862; mustered in as second lieutenant, same date; wounded in action July 1, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa.; mustered in as first lieutenant, Co. D, to date May 19, 1863; discharged for disability, caused by wounds, November 9, 1863.    Commissioned second lieutenant, February 6, 1863, with rank from November 11, 1862, vice J.C. Hatch promoted; first lieutenant, July 31, 1863, with rank from May 19, 1863, vice U.A. Burnham promoted.

Daniel Dimon, age 26, enlisted at Groton, to serve three years, and mustered in as private, Co. C, 76th NY Volunteer Infantry, November 25, 1861; transferred to Co. D, November 8, 1864; discharged, November 24, 1864, near Petersburg, Va.

Henry J. Freese, age 23, enlisted December 3, 1861, at Lansing, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. C, 76th NY Volunteer Infantry, December 4, 1861; promoted corporal, April 10, 1863; transferred to Co. D, November 8, 1864; discharged, December 3, 1864, in the field, Virginia.

John Hacket - not member of the 76th NY Volunteer Infantry.

James Church Hatch, age 21, enrolled September 12, 1861, at Groton, to serve three years; mustered in as sergeant, Co. C, 76th NY Volunteer Infantry, October 25, 1861; as second lieutenant, September 26, 1862; as first lieutenant, November 29, 1862; as captain, Co. G, February 13, 1864; mustered out with company, October 20, 1864.    Commissioned second lieutenant, October 14, 1862, with rank from September 20, 1862, vice G.I. Foster promoted; first lieutenant, February 6, 1863, with rank from November 11, 1862, vice G.I. Foster not mustered; captain, January 27, 1864, with rank from March 12, 1863, vice A. Sager discharged.

Henry H. Howe, age 30, enlisted September 16, 1861, at Groton, NY to serve three years; mustered in as first sergeant, Co. C, 76th NY Volunteer Infantry, October 5, 1861; discharged, January 31, 1863.

Henry Knettles, age 28, enlisted September 30, 1861, at South Lansing, to serve three years; mustered in as corporal, Co. C, 76th NY Volunteer Infantry, October 31, 1861; died of disease, January 22, 1864, at hospital.

Nelson B. Larabee, age 21, enlisted at Portville, to serve three years, and mustered in as private, Co. C, 76th NY Volunteer Infantry, December 4, 1861; deserted, May 22, 1862, at Fort Slocum, D.C.

Albert W. Miller, age 33, enlisted at McLean, to serve three years, and mustered in as private Co. C, 76th NY Volunteer Infantry, November 18, 1861; transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps, March 25, 1864.

Charles Price not a member of the 76th NY Volunteer Infantry.

William A. Stubbs, age 25, enlisted November 8, 1861, at Etna, to serve three years; mustered in as corporal Co. C, 76th NY Volunteer Infantry, November 21, 1861; transferred to Co. B, November 8, 1864; to Co. D, One Hundred and Forty- seventh Infantry, January 28, 1865.

Elias R. Weaver, age 32, enrolled, September 16, 1861, at Groton, to server three years; mustered in as first lieutenant, Co. C, 76th NY Volunteer Infantry, November 25, 1861; discharged for disability, September 20, 1862.    Commissioned first lieutenant, January 17, 1862, with rank from November 25, 1861, original.

John A. White age 24, enlisted October 15, 1861, at Groton, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. C, 76th NY Volunteer Infantry, November 7, 1861; died of disease, August 27, 1862, at Falls Church, Va.

Alvin Wycokoff age 19, enlisted, October 2, 1861, at Lansing, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. C, 76th NY Volunteer Infantry, October 26, 1861; wounded in action, July 1, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa., and May 8, 1864, at Spottsylvania, Va.; mustered out with company, November 8, 1864.

These letters were transcribed by B. Conrad Bush, 1940 Reading Road, West Falls, NY, 14170; e-mail Bushresear@aol.com; from original letters found at the National Archive, Washington, DC.

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- Last Updated May 12, 2001