Edwin L. Wood age 21, a blacksmith, enlisted at Auburn, NY, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. I, 76th New York Volunteer Infantry, July 23, 1863; died of typhoid fever, September 6, 1864, at Whitehall Army Hospital, near Bristol, Pa.
Edwin's parents, Jesse Y. and Harriet Teed Wood were married May 24, 1825, by Elder Spoore a minister of the Gospel, at Cairo, Green County, New York. Edwin lived with his parents in Genoa, Cayuga County, New York. They were very poor, with Jesse working as a blacksmith. They owned no property and had only some blacksmithing tools and a cow as personal property.
I take this oportunity to pen you a few lines in return for your kind letter which I just rec this evening with great pleasure you cannot immagine what pleasure it gives me to hear from home I rec the letters you and William wrote with 8 postage stamps in it that and the one I rec this evening is all I have had from home since I left I also rec one from Alfred and 2 papers he was well and expected to go back to his Regiment he went over to Rickers Island to see me and I guess he dident find me there he said he dident find me I have got to go to bed now I will finish this in the morning so good night happy dreams to you and all
Sunday Nov 1st 1863
I have just eat my diner and I thought I would finish my letter I had a good diner it made me think of home it was Oisters the best meal I have had in the armey yesterday I came off from guard and it rained very hard I caught cold and felt rather hard so wet and nasty I thought a dish of oisters would not go bad so I bought a can we was musterd for our pay yesterday when we get our pay I am a going to Send William Some so eh need not Stop writing to me on that account
In camp Near the rapahanock
November 17, 1863
I thought i would finished this letter that commenced the same knight that i received yours i havent had eny chance to wright since then for we have been on the march i have been in the hospital since we started on our last march at Kellie Ford i was not able to keep up with my Company so i had to fall out and i lost my Corps and was sick and had to go in the hospitol but i have got back to my company again Andrew Tarr saw H Vantassel in the same Company that Alfred is in he sead that they expected him back to his company evry day for he had his letters mailed to his Company this is all at present Write Soon
From Your Son
Direct to Edwin L. Wood Washington, D.C.
76 Reg Co I N.Y.S.V.
Feb 3rd 1864
I take this oportunity to pen a few lines to you Alfred was over here last Saturday he told me you had sprained you rist which I was Sorry to here the next day after he went away I rec a letter from him that he had Sent Some time ago which had Luthers letter and Williams into it he wanted me to write to him where I was but he got here before the letter did he wrote before to have me write to him but I could not get time to write he brought to me the contents of the box that belonged to me we had a nice visit but he did not Stay long enough
that is one thing I dont like the army for a man has got to be So Stircked to be around at the hour or he will go into the guard house and that is a place I dont want to get into it want but a man only it give him a bad name I have got a good name and I want to keep it that is what a man wants here to get along with the world I hope this letter will find you well again or a great deel better
I Shall think I am one of the lucky ones by and by far I was lucky enough to have a big Boil on my knee when the Reg was ordered to the Front and Stayed in Camp there was Some pretty loud fiering out there was a great many left in camp and we expected every minnit to see the rebs coming in on us and take us all prisoners but they did not the Regiment was gon 2 days I expected to See them out up but they was lucky enough to get out of it and glad enough to get into campaign they came in holling as hard as they could yell all Safe and sound I must close my letter for I have got to write one to Alfred yet to night you may write or get William to write for you Write as Soon as you get this
From Your Son
Edwin L Wood
1st Division 1st Brigade Co I, 76th N.Y. Vol 1st Army Corps
Dear Brother I thought I must write a few lines to you in this letter about those boots they are to small for me I can get 10 Dollars for them and wait until pay day and that will be about the middle of March and then we will get 4 months pay 52 Dollars the Lieutenant wants my boots and wait on him untill pay day I guess I will let him have them he is good for them Lieu Ed B Cochrane is his now Commands our Company I will Send you Some money as quick as we do get paid off this is all Write Soon
From Your Brother E L Wood
March 4th 1864
Camp of the 76th N.Y.S.Vol. Virginia
I take this oportunity to pen you a few lines in Return to the one I just Received to night I was glad to hear from you and very muched plesed to hear that you was well enough to Write to me I received a letter from Alferd and one from Luther Vane from Charls Davis Luther thought he would Start for Chatanoga in about a week I presume he is there by this time Alfred Sent me Fathers Letter I was glad to have a letter from him
This is a fine Country down here we havent had more than an inch of snow this winter I have laid out in that Flo Balls that wasent nothing I can Stand all of it but marching there I am played out There is no danger of Williams being Drafted because There is 3 of us in the field now so I guess the 4th one is clear I must bring my letter to a Close Write Soon
From Your Son My Respects to all
E. L. Wood
Washington D.C. Co. I 76th N.Y.Vols 1st Corps 1st Division 1st Brigade
I will send some money home as soon as we get paid off
Luther wrote that Maries Photograph Album wasent full
This is all good night
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 March 27, 2001