Letters of Private Lester N. Winslow

Lester N. Winslow age 22, enlisted September 28, 1861, at Springfield, New York, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. K, 76th New York Volunteer Infantry, October 14, 1861; killed in action, August 28, 1862, at Gainesville, Va.

Lester's parents Nelson and Angeline Winslow were married at Buel, New York on May 1st 1832.

The following letters were found in his father's pension file at the National Archive in Washington, D.C.


Letter head has a picture of the camp of the 76th NYS Volunteers at Camp Doubleday, Va. at the top of the first page.

May the 13, 1862 

My Dear Mother

I now sit down to let you now how I git Along I am well at present and hope that these few lines will find you the same this is the picture of our camp this is the way we lie the houses that can see that is the fort that we hafter qard you can see the canens the middle is our street the two hoses that is on the ends is the cook house you must keep it till I come home and then I can tell you all About it you son Joseph has ben her to day he is well and he seys that he had sent 20 dolars home And I member I was very glad to see him he looks very helthey and the rest of the boys he is About three miles from her but he dont now how long he will Stay their the colnel is A looking for A camp grond you must write to me and tell me if you hav got his 20 dolars then I can tell him for I cant tell you whare he will Stop we hav got our pay to day and we did not git the notes that I thought that we wold So I ges that I will wate A Spell before I sent mine home it is fun to See the boys by things and to see the pedlers the pedlers will hafter be smarter than I be to git mine money I think that I can keep money as well as the pedlers I giv ten sents for this paper to Send it home so you see how we live Joseph has not got his horse yet the cernel Shaull laft at him for be A Cavler and gonen A foot Joseph says that he was glad to get out of that please that he was in for it was so sickley I toll Joseph that I wold write to you and let you now how he got along and whare he was I hav Jes got that paper that come from Springfield what to you think of the paper that I sent to you I cant write much to say for their is such a call for money the boys are all runen with money in their hands some apaying their dets some of them a clecton in their dets and some A bian in gootes Joseph did not stay her long for he run A way and he had go back to See whare he was A gain So I bot him a pie and some cookeys and some cheas for his times then he went back I thought that I wood Giv him something goot so he wood come agin goote by

I now must close my leter for I hav no more knews Joseph sends his lov to you all and says that he will rite as soon as he gits setlel you must write all the knews and tell me whare the girles is and the boys they was A felow come her jus now and sed that they was A gonter to gard the sity the rigment that Joseph is in that will sute Joseph That is A bout five miles from her then we can see each other very often the day is now gon and I must close my leter please write as often as you can and I will to the same giv my lov to all the girls and to the boys and keep the bigest part for you and father

From your Son Lester K Winslow to John K Winslow

giv my lov to all the girles that is union girles tell them that I am yet single tell John to take good care of Lusinbay if I dont write an toote him musent tolk lov to her for I can do that


Fredricksburg the 20 1862

My Dear Mother 

I received your kind leter and was glad to her that you are all wel I am well at presant and hope that these few lines will find you the same mother I am well and harty I think that I am just as helthy as when I was at home we are in helthy plase her I was glad to her from you for I had not hert from my last leter that I wrote and that was a bout fore weekes ago mother you sed that you had not herd from Joseph in fore weeks I havent herd from him since I left washinton onely what i hert from home I was some in hope that you had hert from him I wrote one leter to him but I spose that he did not git it if you wanter wright to eney one in the army you can do so by direct to Washington and put on the name and the regment I dont git much time to wright but I try and ancer all the leters that I get mother I think that John is doing prety well this sumer if he can go to new York to keep the faith dont you I ges so never mind John I was to new york to and in washington three and kept the forth of July to fredricksburg and you wont never keep it thar I know mother you can tel granfather and grand mother that I ant lonsley yet but I am giting prety lasy we hafter have our share blacked up and a clean start on sunday morning or go om the gard house and it is beter to put on a clean start ant it I think so dont you mother you must tell father that --- ---- is got back ant ian wanters to come back --- ---- says that he can kick the man that put his name in the paper as a deserter mother I think that you can take comfert now if you dont work to hard mother I think that I can take more comfert in one year when I get back then I cold taken in three if I had not gon to the war and if I dont come back we will all meet in heaven I hope thare will be no war thar mother I think that we all will meet agan if we dont in this world we will in the next mother it is geting late now and I must draw my leter to a close by sending my lov to you all my brothers and to my sisters and to mis turner but dont forgit to save a good share of it fore your and father from your son Lester K Winslow

yes maria Good by but dont forgit me and I wont you way down in Dixie


Letter head has a framed picture of General George McClellan on his horse with drawn sword.

Lester N. WInslow to his kind parence

May the 30 1862

My dear mother 

I now set down under A little pine tree about two miles from fredritberg and doing gard duty our regment is all split up and A garden bridges and houses they hav two or three gardes two every house most I got your kink leter the day before we march and I did not have time to ancer it but I was hapy to see that you was all well I am well at presant and that these few lines will find you the same we had a good march I call it A good march but some ma not for we seen the cuntry and got youst to camping out we dont think no more A laing on the grond then you do laying on the lounge I did not hav time to see Joseph after I got your leter but I was with him all the day before and stake with him we had one of the old times mother by what I can her that the rebeles is ner to washington then they are to the sity of fridivill is foul of saces wiman but they wont hert iney one it is very warm her the stawberes is giting wripe her I hot some this morning I am giting so black that they cant hardley tell me from A niger I ment to wright to you before but I havent got time before our Captin has ben sick but is giting beter the rest of the boys is all doing prety well some of them is agrunten a little I giv Capten Yongs 35 doolars to sent it home I spose that you have got it before this time pleas wright and let me know I would like to see you all very much but I think that I will hafta wait little longer than the forth of July you must tell aurilla that Winslow -- portion of letter missing ------

I spose that you know more A bout the news than I do for we dont her much since we left washington for we are to fur don south you must tell maria that I am sorey to think that her brother dont wright to her but I thank that he thinks Jest as mutch As I do but you know that he cant wright and he cant get them to wright for him just when he wants them I am A gonter write to him to day and have him write to home ------last part of page missing, opposite side of missing portion above -----


These letters were transcribed by B. Conrad Bush, 1940 Reading Road, West Falls, NY, 14170; e-mail Bushresear@aol.com; from original letters found at the National Archive, Washington, DC.


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- Last Updated May 26, 2001