Milton Historical Society


York Penn
Oct 19th 1864

Dear Mother

Your kind letter was recieved this morning and I will send a few lines in answer. There has been no Order sent to transfer us as I learned this morning & further more the Letter from Surgeon Dale or his clerk will do me no good; such I have been informed as to whether it has been sent or not I do not know.

I see no way but for me to wait the pleasure of the Surgeons here, when in the course of two or three weeks I may be Furloughed unless an Order for transfer comes. If Surgeon Dale should send an Order for my transfer to Readville: it would be perfectly strait, but I think you had better let it rest for the present, however you can do as you please. "Mentzer" is the name of the Surgeon in charge here & I suppose an Order to him for my transfer would receive immediate attention.

I have written to Lute & am in hopes to hear from him since his "time" must be nearly up the exact time I do not remember: I am glad you all intend writing for it seems a little more homier to get Letters once more.

Strange to say I have not heard from the Reg't. yet:1  Well: I never thought I have any great "Friend" there except "Berry" and he dont belong to Co I.2

I was out yesterday, P.M. and had a very good time although I am not able to rush round as I would like: I wonder when I will be O.k. as I used to be. Not very likely before I have two or three Months laying round. One thing, the longer I stay here before I get a Furlough the more time I have.

I'd give something to be at home "Election Day", so I would for I'm right on my "Politics". I shall take it as easy as possible and let things take their courses, for while there's Life there's Hope. Give my Love to all & tell Father & John especially to write.

With much Love & best wishes I'm as ever

Your Aff. Son


1 In the early morning hours of October 19, 1864, the day Henry wrote this letter, the Regiment suffered heavily at the Battle of Cedar Creek, losing 5 killed, 14 wounded and 35 captured or missing. Those from Company I (Henry's Company) included John Lacey from Milton, wounded, and Henry's friend, Elbridge Blackman, who was taken prisoner along with four others from the company. Most of the prisoners were sent to a prison stockade at Salisbury, N.C.  The stockade, originally estimated to handle 1,500 to 2,000 prisoners, had swelled to 10,321 by the end of October 1864, after which prisoners began dying at an alarming rate — sometimes as many as seventy-five a day. Nine from Henry's regiment died and are buried there.

2 John and James Berry, brothers from Scituate, were members of Co. G. It is uncertain which brother was Henry's "great friend" — both survived the war. See also Henry's October 12, 1863 letter where he states; "(of) the Milton Boys who came out with me, only a few are left" and in that letter he considers Blackman "a real sensible fellow & many a good time I have talking with him...."  Elbridge Blackman and J Walter Bradley, Milton residents, fellow soldiers and close acquaintances, would both later submit sworn affidavits in support of Henry's pension application.