Letters of  Private William Galpin

William Henry Galpin, age 19, a farm laborer, enlisted September 21, 1861, at Homer, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. G, October 5, 1861; wounded in action, July 1, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa.; re-enlisted as a veteran, March 30, 1864; died, June 26, 1864, at a field hospital near Petersburg, Va. from wounds received in action June 18, 1864 near Petersburg, Va.

Adeline and Sherman Galpin were Wm. Henry's parents, married May 7, 1837. There were five children: George, Henry, Leroy, Charles and Adelbert, and an adopted daughter Emma. Sherman was a blacksmith and worked for Moravia Machine Works late in life. They lived in a house in Homer that was purchased by use of Henry's re-enlistment bounty during the 1860s.

Letterhead has a picture of Gen. George McClellan at the top.

Wm. H. Galpin N.Y.
Rikers Iland
Jenuary 22, 1862

Dear Father

I am penn in hand to Wright you A few lines. I am well and I hope that you are and son I will Comence to tell you. I got my pay yesterday and I Sent you twenty Doolars to you and i want you to Wright and let one now Whether you got it ok.

We left Albeny the 17th for New York and when we got on the Cares and the Streets was Crowded fool and when we got into york the Streets was fool. we stade in new york three days and then we started for Riker Iland. About three or fore miles down the river on the Iland is hone houre and thare is About Eighty Acors in it and we Came down the river on a Steamer and we Can see the Sailes boats and Steamers goin up and down and I Cam out on the beach and we have grate times and now we have got our pay son. I got tired sighting a good by New York City, 76 Regt in Care of Capt Lansing

W. H. Galpin

Camp Near Town
January 26, 1863

Dear Father

I resived your Kind letter last night and I Was glad to hear from you and hearing that you was well. The 20 we left our Camp and Fredricksbirg and that night it rained and the next day and we was agoin to Cross the river and it rained and so that the pontoon train Culd not git to the place whare we wanted to cross and the artillery was in the mudd up to the hub and evry thing was in the mudd and the next morning we had marchin Orders to go back to our old Camp.

The Rebles has got a good place they hav got a place like Sm Tierces side hll and this hill laies write behind Fredricksbirg on the Other side of the Raphonic and they have got there rifle pites they run from Culpeper Court house to Fredricksbirg and that is twenty five miles and then they have got their best workers and Forticaton all bilt on this hill and we have got our guns on the side river and we have got to Cross the river and Climb up the hill and fight all the rebs.

this is all I hav I can think of Know. Write as soon as you git this. I have sent you fifty Doolars in one bill send If you to put it out soon whare send me some Tobackeo by mail one pound some Stamps

I think that we shall git paid dont you pay go golt a cent by Order of W H Galpin Answer both of these letters

Camp On the Rappahanoc
December 22, 1862

Dear Father

I take my pen in hand to write you a few lines I am well and I hope that these few lines will find you the Same.

I resived a letter from you the other night and I was glad to here from you and thare was a Picture on it I did not know who it was but I think that it is Artimissia.

We have had some good weather we have had some snow and last night we had a very hard rain Storm. I was on picket and laid out in the Storm all night and we got relieved in the morning. they keep us on duty all the time we are on the Railroad. we have been to work bilding the road and know we have been bilding brest workes and rifle pits and forts. we have got bild up good fore winter and I think that we shall Stay here on the railroad and gard it and when they give out furlows I will try and git one thare hase one Sargent got one and he says that he will come and see you and then you can send them things by him.

thare ant eny news here to tell you I have sent you too letters to you thare was twenty Dollars in one and twenty in the other and that will make forty Dollars write and let me know whether you git it and I will send ten Dollars more and that in all makes fifty write when you get this Henry Galpin.

Camp near Culpeper
January th 3, 1864

Dear Father

I take my pen in hand to write you a few lines. I am well and I hope That these few lines will find you the same.

this mourning is a fine One. we had a Very Cold day fore new year. I hante got box yeat but I know whare it is and I will git. to day I had a good meal fore neagers. if you want my mouney take it and yous it. let me know how much mouney you got from me the last time I sent to you. you never told me. I Sent you fifty Dollars and I want to know whether you got all of it.

I want you to by that house of Sander. if he done ask to much fore at I will try my best to help pay fore it. I have got one hundred I have got nine mounth longer to Stay. I cant think of eny thing to write thare and eny news here we are in good winter quarters

Send me Some papers Ledger and the homer paper we are havin good times

William Henry Galpin

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 December 24, 1999