A letter from Joseph Jones, writing from Potomac Creek, VA,
concerning William Seesholtz, of Catawissa, Columbia Co., PA:
"I went to our Division Hospital to see if any of my Regment was among the number brought in...was told by the nurse that one of my company was first brought in. I was conducted to his bed, and to my Surprise and great Joy it was William Seesholtz my friend and mess mate, that was reported Killed. My heart was filled with joy to see him. I done all I could for him and...wrote a few lines to his parents...that he is slightly wounded in the skull...I took him a little bread and butter some honey and lemonade...found his brother Isaac and his brother James..." (On 5/26/1863), "...I have sad news to tell you. My friend William Seesholtz died this evening about 6 o'clock. I was very much attached to him, he was a first rate comrade and a brave soldier...his brother James...is geting him Embalmed to night and starts home with him to morrow morning."
The following letter appeared on the CIVIL-WAR Rootsweb mail list. Permission was given by Dorothy Lowe to include the letter on the website with a huge thanks to Don Greenwalt who shared the transcription of the letter with Dorothy.
October 29, 1862
My Dear Eliza
I sit down this morning to have a short chat with you. I have received two letters from you in the last ten days. One dated the 12 and 20 of this month and was good to hear from you and to know that you and the children were in good health and that you are better satisfied that you where. The reason I did not rite to you sooner is on account of the wether turning so cold I could not rite out of doors and the tents are so crowded it was imposable to rite in them. We are out on picket guard to day and I have spread my Blanket in the sun where it is quite comfortable on. last Satturday we had quite a snow storm and we have hevey frost now for several nights wich I think will improve out health. I am in good health at this time with the exseption of the Reumatism in my hip wich stiffens me up and prevents me geting about as nimble as I would like. Our men are now engaged in making more forts and getting ready for the enemy shold they conclude to come this way. We are now well supplied with good clothing for the winter. We will get tents in a few days when we comfortably feel as an army can be in the field. We are well suplied with a plenty to eat and that of a good quality so i have nothing to complain of. Only I can not get to come home and see you and the children. I fully expected when I left home that I would get Back this fall bur Seth Dasley has acted in bad faith tome and I am sadly disapointed. there is no confidence to be placed in him and if I was disliked y me men as he is I should never return to the company. For I do not believe that there is one man what wold not rejoise to know that he wold never return. All the men come from Clarke dispise him. tomorrow our Regment will be musterd for pay and I am in hopes the pay master will soon make his apearance amonkst us and give out a few of his green Backs. We have not been paid for four months and the money is greatly need by the men particular those that have families. He may come next week. I will send you money as I get paid for you must stand in need of it Badly. There is about ten thousand men at this place and I am in hopes that we may get to remain here this winter for I am tired of runing over the country. If I can posably come home this winter I will. it is a hard matter to get a furlowe from this Regment. Only a few faverrite can get to go hom. Yet I hope to have to see the end of this Rebelion. You had better let the children go to skool if you can. When I receive my money I will try and send you fifty dollars wich will take you through this winter. You must tel the children that they ought to be good and do as you tel them while i am absent from home. I should like to see the little ones today. My little Andrew knowes nothing about his pap. he will be a big Boy when I get home so you can give him a kiss for me and tel him I want to see him and nurse him before he gets too large. I will bring this to a close at it is diner. will soon be ready and I have nothing of interest to rite. I have plucked a few wild flowers to send you as it is all I have to send you at present. Give my respects to all friends. so I remain your afectionate husband until death.
J. W. Gahan
7th Reg. R.I. Vol. Col Z. R. Bliss Company I
Washington September 15. 1862
Thinking that you would like to hear from me, I now seat myself on the ground with my knapsack against my back and my tin pan on my knee for a writing desk. I am well and hearty as a buck. I am now encamped out about two miles from Washington on a hill called East Capital Hill. You cannot look anywhere but what you can see regiment after regiment as far as the eye can see. The hills are all fortified and cannon placed to rake everything. Washington can never be taken.
Mother - do not worry about me. I have stood it as well as the best of them so far, for when some have dropped down with the sun stroke I scarcely felt any inconvenience more than sweating freely. We have not had any long marches more than three or four miles at once but it always happened to be uncommon hot the day we marched.
The day we left Camp Bliss they marched us to an out of the way station. When we arrived we took a large steamer to New York called the Commonwealth. From New York we took the steamer John Potter to Amboy and then the cars to Philadelphia. Everyone seemed to welcome us through all the places we passed. Every window, door and the sidewalks were filled with people waving flags and handkerchiefs and cheering us but when we got to Philadelphia that beat all the times I ever did have. We had a good hearty supper there but when they found that we were Rhode Island boys, they began to shake hands with us. After supper we marched to the depot. The streets were filled with people, the girls were shaking hands with everyone and kissing a great many. They are very nice folks and the Rhode Island boys will always remember them kindly. When we got within 50 miles of Baltimore we found our pickets out on the rail track guarding the track to prevent the rebels from tearing it up. The people there would sit at their windows and doors in sullen silence and some of their niggas would be out the back door swinging their hats to us. We had about two miles to travel through Baltimore to get to the other depot but we went through to Washington all right except the telegraph wire caught the Drum Major who was on top the cars and threw him on the ground hurting him pretty bad. I want you to write me soon. Your son
Peleg G. Jones
Clair...... thank you for sharing your Great Grandfather's letter with the readers of Bits of Blue and Gray