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The Civil War Letters Of
Charles Harvey Hayden
Patriot & Hero
97th New York Volunteer Infantry
Donated and transcribed By Al Grenning

Editor's Note:Again Charles has been uprooted by events and now finds himself in the most curious of locations. He writes from a small island just off the New Jersey shore of New York Harbor. His unsettled state is quite evident and longs for news from h his sister Laura. Of course, he will never know that on the very ground from which his letter was written there would be erected one of civilization’s greatest monuments – the Statue of Liberty.


Bedlows Island
July 14th 1863

Dear Sister,

I have written to you three times and have received no answers. Are you so sick that you cannot write or have you written (or) have they been never answered? Have you got my letters – I expect to come home when I came here but I think it very doubtful whether I shall come home or not. This is not a regular hospital and I cannot get a furlough without I am sent a way from here. If I am rightly informed the weather is so much cooler that I feel better than I did at Baltimore. I am better of my diarrhea which I have had for the last nine months –

Dear Sister if you are able to write I want to hear from you if not get some one to write for you.

Direct Bedlows Island
New York Harbor

If you do not answer this letter I shall think you are not able or do not want to hear from me any more. Either of which is worse than I hope.


These first appeared in the Boonville Herald and Adirondack Tourist, Boonville, New York in 2005. They are posted here with permission.


New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: October 27, 2011

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