Letters of  Lt. Thomas F. Welden

Thomas F. Welden, age 23, enrolled October 21, 1861, at Richfield Springs, to serve three years; mustered in as sergeant, Co. K, 76th New York Volunteer Infantry, October 28, 1861; promoted first sergeant, prior to April 1863; captured in action August 29, 1862 at Bull Run, Va.; paroled and sent to Columbia, Ohio; wounded in action July 1, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa.; mustered in as second lieutenant, September 1, 1863; as first lieutenant, Co. C, November 8, 1863; killed in action, August 21, 1864, at Yellow House, Weldon Rail Road, Va. while placing his men on the picket line. His body was sent to Cooperstown, NY where he was buried August 28, 1864. Commissioned second lieutenant, June 29, 1863, with rank from May 1, 1863, vice N.G. Bartholomew promoted; first lieutenant, February 17, 1864, with rank from November 9, 1863, vice J.C. Hatch promoted.

Margaret A. and Patrick Weldon parents of Thomas, James K., William, Maria, and Rosalie Welden lived in Richfield Springs, NY.

Fe 3rd 62

Dear Brother Jimie

I suppose you began to think you would never hear from me well I will tell you how things went with no we left albany five O'clock the next friday after I wrote home arived in the city the next morning then stoped at the Park Baricks three days each day expecting our pay we than went up the East river to Rikers Island 

I waited for my pay before I would write so as to send it home the paymaster finely come and paid us off I drew 36 Dollars we were all paid to the first of January the day before I left the island I had writen a leter to Send you but that night the Col came from the city with news that the next morning, last friday , we had to Start for Washington So that I had no chance to mail my leter 

well the morning we started all was hury an bustle in camp emptying ticks Boxing Blankets and etc. so that by ten oclock we were in line redy for to march well we marched down to the pier got abord the boat went forty miles up the east river to amboy we took the cars thare for the land of Dixie got to Philadelphia about twelve Oclock at night the ladies of the city had Supper all redy for us at the Cooper Shop hospital the Hospital is sustained by the laides and citezins of the city for Benefit of the Sick and wounded Soldiers to and from the seat of war well our regt went on to Washington and as I had a Bad cold my Capt told me to Stay to the Hospital while I got beter I have got over my cold now as I have been here 3 days and I think that by the after tomorrow I will Join my Regt 

the night Before last thare were twenty of the Wounded Prisoners from Richmond the Dr came in the Same night and dressed there wounds Some had their limbs crushed By shells others a rifle ball through one of his lungs out in his back but still he lived and was geting along well

   I think tomorrow I will go to Join my Regt So you ned not answer this untill you hear from me again I am going up this afternoon to Sharps Rifle Shop and to the Navy yard they are to work night and day casting canon and Balls Shells etc the wether is warm and pleasant i bout as it is with us in the State first of april the city is a Beautiful one the streets are as regular Just like a checker board well I have not time to Write eney more at present Enclosed you will find thirty Dolars which is all I can Spare at present as we Only drew pay to the first of Jan So that in a few days pay Day will come around again no more at present

                     Yours truly                      Thomas Welden


               July 17th 61 (actually 62)
        Camp Opposite Fredericksburg

Dear Brother 

It is so long sins I have heard from you that I begin to get impatient to hear from you and to hear from Dick have you heard from him sins the Battles of richmond if so Write and let me know if he Escaped uninjured and how he is I received a letter some time ago and have sins writen to you But i have Received no answer 

the Harris Cavelry is encamped but few rods from us so that I see Ed Cary everyday He is looking as tough and harty as any of us Murl Coe is here also Cary and myself were to the city the other day and Had a good time Sins the new Call for Volunteers I understand that thare is to be a Camp of instruction Established at Richford I suppose thare are Plenty Recruiting Officers about all redy

The weather has been very warm for the last week but the men Seem to Stand it well I am well never enjoyed beter health in my life we are in a very pleasant Spot it is a Beautiful pace along the valley of the Rappahonok but it is quite probable that we will not stay here very long we may move to day or tomorrow and we may Stay here a week or so but we have every thing to move ten Days rations abord the wagons so that in one hour we could be in the money 

does father work for Derthick this Summer and how does this house and lot look I suppose the farmers are paying now how does the Old man stand it I am going to Send home $100.00 Dollars as Soon as our next pay day Which will be in a week when so Does Dick send home any money Due you get the pictures I sent you if so do you think look any like the Subscriber we had a Shower last night and this morning it is cool and pleasant 

Co. A have been doing Brigade guard duty at the Hed Qrts of Genl. Doubleday we had to be very particular to have our Boots strapes blacked and our guns as bright as a Dollar the Major a Brother of the Genl inspects us and if thar is a spot on the gun it has to be cleand and the owner perhaps goes to the Guard House do you see Horace Sliter often if he give him my Respects also Mr & Mrs Slytus and family now Jimmie write as soon as you get this and write me a good long letter write me all the news of the day and how things are at Home no more at Present I remain your

     Affectinate Brother

      Thos. F. Welden

PS Direct Your leters 76 Regt   Co. K, Washington D.C.

 Camp Near Pratts Point, Va.
March 5th/63

Dear Brother

I (sent) You a letter about the 10 of Feb and a Short time before Sent by Express $6.00 from which I have not Yet heard from I wish You Would write me imediately and inform me if the money reached home or not I also wrote for a Box Giving the nessary directions for Sending it if my letter did not reach you you may tell the Old folks that they need not send it at present as we may move from here Soon 

in your last letter you wished to know if I had lost my Office as Segt. I have not lost it but now have been promoted Orderly Sergt in my Co the Weather has been Cold and wet for the last month but it is now Clear agin My health is good as ever at nos - if it is so that I Can get a furlough for  30 days I will try and come home for a while I wish you would Send me Some thing to read once and as it is pretty hard to get papers here 

Our Col went home last Sunday on leave of absence for 10 days and we are all glad of it because he is very Strict and makes us drill every day I learned a Short time sins that E Carey been discharged from the Service and gone home 

Now Jimmie write me a long letter and tell me all the news I suppose dick does not care to come in the service agin how is the Health of the Old folks dies father Stand it well as is his Health poor we have not been paid our last Six months pay yet So thare is a good deal due the regt now thare is vary little of interest to write at present So I will close do not fail to write me as soon as you receive this as I am anxious to hear from the many I sent home if you read this you will do well as it is write with a poor pen and in a hurry

     Give my respects to all Yours Kindley

      Thos F Welden

      1st Sergt Co K


Camp Near Pratts Point Va.
          March 9th 1863

Dear Brother

Your letters of the 2nd and 3rd arrive to hand to night I hasten to reply not hearing from you I wrote a few days sins thinking perhaps you did not receive the leter I wrote sending for the Box and I thought had beter not Send it as it would take Some time to get the Boots made but as it is all redy it will be in time I was glad to hear that the package of money reached Home in Safety as My no hearing from you did not know but it ought not have reached you 

I Should Judge from your letter Wages must be high and that Bill is among the best of them to be able to Command $18 per month the weather to day has been warm and the air so soft and Balmey as if were the Middle of may 

I believe I have never Given you a discription of your house it is about 10 feet Square and built of logs Split with an ax so to resemble boards as much as posable well the logs are up about 6 feet high then Covered with Shelter tents and ruber Blankets so that it is secure against any storm then at one Side we have a good large fire place made of poles cut about four feet long and lane up high enough to make a chimney then our Bunk is made of poles and Covered with fine Ceder Boughs for feathers and I have 3 Army Blankets and my tent Chum 2 making 5 so I would not ask to Sleep beter than we do 

Our Rations are much beter then they were we are now furnished with good Soft-bread fresh from the ovens and we get Potatoes & onions three times per Week plenty of Cofee and Sugar lots of pork and beef we have as much as 30 lbs of pork in the Shanty and we have to throw it away then we get beans rice Hominey & upon the whole the rations are very good while in Camp but tough on the march I never enjoyed beter Health in my life then I do at the present time I think I never was so fleshey 

the fifes and drums have Just struck up Yankee Doodle for revelee and I must go and Call the roll and as it is about nine Oclock I must bid you good night untill Some Other time           

Thos F. Welden 

             Camp Doubleday 
May 5th 62

Dear Brother   

I received your kind letter some time sins and would have written to you before this but have been waiting for my pay so as to send Some Money home but we have not yet received one cent I received a letter from Dick the other day he was then but a Short distence from Yorktown he wrote me that they had seen some big times But never expecting a long battle soon we got news last night that the rebels had Evacuated the place 

our Col went to Washington Early this morning by order of Gen Doublly (Doubleday) it is thought to make Some rangements about it we think we will not Stay here very long we may have to go to yorktown to take possess of the place while the army that have been thare will folow them on their retreat I have just got a paper confurming the report of the evacuation of Yorktown such Spreads joy and animation among the Boys here 

one of the boys in our Co died last night in the Hospital Adelbert Fowler was his name he was a good Boy and quite a favorate with the company 

the weather is warm here and every thing begins to look blooming peach trees have been in blossom some time there is as great deal of the land that has been cut up and is entirely Bare there is hardly an open field in the vicinity of Washington and there are to be Seen the remains of Barracks and tent whare our immense army have been this past fall and winter There are Some of the Handsomest residences Here I ever saw I went last Sunday about half a mile to whare Blair lives he got a Splended place our camp is in a Beautiful Spot not more than 3 miles from the city 

thare was a fals alarm the other day the long roll was beat we Slung on our Cartridge Boxes Siezed our rifles and was in line of battle in a Short time I can till you we took double quick up to the fort rushed inside the parapet and it Soon was Brisling with Bayonets ready for any imergency but the enemy did not make his appearence So we went back to camp satisfied with the Sport for one day 

I recev a paper almost ever day from Philadelphia So that i get the news Thanks to the good people of that City I espect a leter from Dick Soon and as the rebels have left that place the battle we have Been expecting will not take place we will probably know more about it by the time this reaches you I do not know as thare is my thing more I would Say that my health is good i weight 184 pounds which is not very Bad 

I think we will be gone in less then Six months if things progress as favorable as they have for the last 2 months my Quarters are comfortable as Can be have plenty of bed clothing I never Slept better then I do here I was Sergeant of the guard last friday it was a Devlish dard night and rained most of the time I have to come in once on about 20 days So that is not very Bad tell Father and mother that I will Send them Some money as Soon as I get my pay This paper is so greasy that I am Hardly write on it no more

 from your brother Thomas

Camp 76th NY Vols Near Falmouth, Va.
June 5, 1863

   Dear Brother

 Your note of the 31st Came to hand last night I was glad to hear that your health and that of the use of the family was good I have to day sent By Adams Express $100.00 in a package sent for the Co by Capt Young you will please write and let me know if you have Received it as Soon as you receive this 

it is quite probable that before this Reaches you we will have Crossed the Rapphanock again the 6th Corps Crossed this afternoon and we have just Received orders to have our Revelle at 2 1/2 Oclock and be redy to March at half past three tomorrow morning we will probably Cross the river at about the Same place we Crossed before and I hope that this time at least it may prove Successful and will not have to Recross it as we have every time before 

the 6th Corpse Captured 180 prisoners as they advanced driving them from these first lines of rifle pits I have not time to write much as 2 1/2 Oclock is an early hour to rise and it is now after 9 PM I will write the first opportunity I have and if you do not Receive my leters while we are on the move you must write and let me know it I must Close for to night you may expect to hear Sturing news Soon I do not think of any thing more to night So I will Close by wishing you good night By the way I wish you would Send me by a pair of gloves of Some kind Something light but that will ware good Remember a large Size I think we will have a wet day of it tomorrow as has already Comensed raining

              But I must Close

              So good night from

              Your Brother T F W

P.S. Five Oclock PM June 6th we are yet in our old Camp and have Just Received orders to put up our tents we were up at three Oclock this morning and Expecting to move every moment but here we are Still and may Remain here for Some time Yet Thare has been a very little artilery firing along this line to day Everything is no quiet Write as soon as you can. 

 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.

August 28, 1864.

 CAPTAIN: In accordance with circular of last evening, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this regiment in the operations of the corps since the 17th instant:


As the enemy retired skirmishers were sent forward, and soon after the line was ordered to be doubled, when First Lieut. Thomas F. Weldon, of Company C, was sent out to take charge of the men from this regiment. Soon after, while on the line, he was shot by a sharpshooter and instantly killed. His death is a severe loss to the regiment, as he was one of the most courageous and efficient officers in the command. ...

Hoping this report may prove satisfactory, I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieut. Col., Comdg. Seventy-sixth New York Volunteers.

(for full report, see page for Col. Cook)

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- Last Updated May 12, 2001