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43rd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Civil War letters [manuscript], 1863-1864 by George Swarts and James H. Stone.
This Collection is Located at
the University of Virginia Library.

Summary :Nine letters written between Feb. 1863 and July 1864 by George Swarts of Company E, 153rd New York Volunteer Regiment. One letter from James H. Stone of Compnay E, 43rd New York Infantry Regiment, dated Mar. 10, 1864, is also included as is one empty envelope, dated Sept. 28 and addressed to Swarts.

Summary :A Feb. 2, 1863, letter addressed from Alexandria and written to Deal Swarts, discusses rainy weather and snow, being paid, and the behavior of soldiers after payday ("some go in the city get tight others will rob them that is the way it goes"). He asks that Pa take good care of his tools and grease them. He "cant tell [Deal] nothing about war, we are a-picketing around the city."

Summary :An Apr. 9, 1863, letter addressed from Alexandria, reports being in good health, getting new guns for the regiment, and that their cook is going on furlough. He needs a watch because he has "10 or 12 men on gard and have to relieve them every 2 hours to the city and have no time." He expects to be paid off "this week" and has plenty of everything but money and stamps. He concludes the letter by reporting "my weight is now 204 lbs., fat as a hog."

Summary :A June 12, 1863, letter addressed from Alexandria and written to Alonzo Waterman, reports being well at present. They are still at their old campground, a splendid one, with evergreen trees around it, guarding the city. "Two weeks ago there was quiet an excitement here. They expected a raid here, they went in the city got all the counterbands they could and set them digging rifle pitts around the city." He also writes about an incident at nearyby Fort Lyons where exploding powder killed "nearly all the men" [in a magazine]. "This week they burried twenty two and a number mortally wounded." He reports picking up body parts and that the explosion threw pieces of timber 3 to 4 miles. He cannot report much about the war other than what is in the papers, but he likes soldiering very well and gets plenty to eat and wear.

Summary :A Sept. 23, 1863, letter addressed from Wash., D. C., and written to ? Swarts, inquires about money sent home and asks that money be sent to him. Their captain has not got back yet but they expect him soon and their Lieutenant Ward has resigned and is coming home.

Summary :A Nov. 21, 1863, letter addressed from Washington, D.C., reports that he is well and enjoying good health and "that the 153rd are relieved from all duty expecting to leave every hour for some part but don't now at present."

Summary :A Dec. 23, 1863, letter addressed from Washington D.C. to Sister Deal, reports that he is in as good health as can be expected, that the weather is splendid, and "happy hollowdays." A postcript reports "that Miss Winnie has got the Smallpox and two of her children but they are getting along finely" and "a boy in our Co was taken away yesterday, he has got it two, his name is James Graham."

Summary :A Jan. 14, 1864, letter addressed from Washington, D.C., to Adelia Swarts, reports enjoying as good health as ever. Ed Wagoner (Wagner?) has started for home. Miss Winnie and her children are over the smallpox but James Graham died with it. He asks her to "ask Dan if that one thousand dollar bounty ain't tempting, it ain't the wright time of the year, all fish don't bite just yet."

Summary :A Mar. 10, 1864, letter addressed from Brandy Station, to My Dear Mary and written by James H. Stone of Co. E, 43rd New York State Volunteers, reports rainy weather and being lonely, monotony of camp life, and "that the only pleasure we have is talking over the good times that we have had" when his "mind allmost instantly flies back to your company." Their acquaintance, although only a short one, has left her image indelibly stamped in his memory. He finishes the letter by asking Mary to send him a picture and signs the letter "Jimmie."

Summary :A June 26, 1864, letter addressed from Morganza, La., reports beng in good health and fat as a hog. He inquires about a check sent home. They will stay for a while during the hot weather and "quiet a number dies every day around here with some disease of some kind, the general complaint is dierrehea chronick." "News of war flies around like hot-cakes, I think this fall will tell the story or never."

Summary :A July 13, 1864, letter addressed from Washington D.C. mentions an eight-day crossing of the Atlantic and that the Confederates have been trying to make a raid on Washington. They tore the railroad some and a caught a train of cars, the general opinion being it was done to draw Grant from Richmond. He again inquires about money sent home.


New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: June 4, 2008

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