1865: Delos Nelson Abbott to Friend Sanford

I believe this letter was written by Delos Nelson Abbott (1847-1939) of Palatine, Illinois, who enlisted as a recruit in Co. G, 52nd Illinois Infantry on 15 February 1864. According to his muster record, Delos was 18 years old, stood 5′ 4″ tall, and had black hair and blue eyes. He told the recruiter he was a farmer and that he had been born in Oneida county, New York. According to the company records, Delos was not mustered out until 6 July 1865.

Delos was the son of Ethan B. Abbott (1822-1855) and Laura Ann Abbott of Albion, Oswego county, New York.

After the war, Delos moved to Dakota Territory for awhile and then later settled in LeRoy, Coffey county, Kansas, and his gravestone in the town’s cemetery proclaims proudly, “Marched with Sherman to the Sea.”


Alexandria, Va.
May 22, 1865

Friend Sanford,

I received your letter and Power of Attorney in due time but was waiting for them at the time so I though I would not write until I got home or sent the money home, but it has been so long that I guess I’ll have to write a few lines.

We left Richmond in a few days after I wrote to your Mother and most of us was discharged. Some 6 whole gangs and two-thirds of ours and got pay, and if I had had a writing to show that I had my authority to, I could have drawn your money at the time they were discharged. But King said if he let [me] have it, he might as well let someone else have it and so he might, but I knew it would be alright.

Sipe was [  ] as he could be and they had a big row in camp at last. When he was paid off, he did not dare to get off the car for fear of his own men. After staying there 2 or 3 hours, some half a dozen of the largest fellows went and told him we would see him to his dinner and some of the fellows talked rather big but did not lay their hands on. They swore they would shoot him and I think they would if they had a chance but there was too many around. He looked for it all the time and they watched the cars and he took the boat for New York.

Well Old King has been paying off all the time for two weeks Sunday, and all Saturday, he went to Harper’s Ferry and has to got back yet. I thin that I can get your money this week but it is doubtful whether I get all of Alonzo’s but I’ll do what I can for you and leave the rest in safe hands to send.

I have been to Washington today but no luck. The town is full of troops now. It is hard to get along the sidewalk here. Jerome is now sick at City Point. He thinks of coming home soon. You may look for me as soon as the last of next week. Yours in haste, from — D. N. Abbott


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