1863: Erastus R. Gregory to Brother

This letter was written by Erastus R. Gregory (1833-1863), the son of Levi Gregory (1799-18xx) and Clarissa Evans (1810-18xx). Erastus was married in 1854 to Maria Amelia Place (1835-1911) and had four young children born prior to 1863.

Erastus enlisted as a private on 24 July 1862 in Co. C, 114th New York Infantry. He was killed in the fighting at Port Hudson on 14 June 1863—some ten weeks after he penned the following letter.

TRANSCRIPTION

New Orleans, [Louisiana]
Saturday, April 5th 1863

Dear Brother and all the rest,

It is with a great deal of pleasure that I seat myself to write to you all to let you know that I never was healthier and fatter in my life than I am at the present time and I hope you [are] all the same.

We are here on the railroad yet but shall leave in a few days perhaps to go farther North. I hope so for there are too many mosquitoes here and then I wish to go towards home every time we move. I dream of being at home almost every night and think our national troubles are over and think that I am a holding my children on my knee but I only wake to find myself in Old Louisiana over two thousand miles from home. But I am in hopes that we shall soon go father north and finally before a great while have the pleasure of getting home and know that we are there—dream or not dream. But I do not want to come until the war is settled up in some shape or other.

I shall not have time to write but a very short letter this time but shall perhaps write more next time. They seem to act here as if they expect to try the rebels a brush soon and I hope they will for I want to be doing something when we can. We have got the advantage of them at present and I think if we do our best we can all soon come home. I do not think of anything more of importance to write but [even] if I did, I have not time to write it before the mail leaves. But give my best respects and love to all. Write as soon as you get this. Write all the news you can think of and write as often as you can. No more at present. This is from the soldier, — Erastus Gregory

Write how Janey is. Has she got well?

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