Letters from Private Gideon Oliver

Gideon Oliver age 18, enlisted October 21, 1861 at Middleburg, NY to serve three years; mustered in as private Co. I, 76th NY Volunteer Infantry, October 22, 1861; killed in action , August 28, 1862, at Gainesville, Va.

Catherine and David Oliver were the parents of Gideon and lived in Town of Scholarie, Scholarie County, New York in 1861.

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

The letterhead has a picture of a soldier holding the American Flag in one hand and sword in the other.
A banner states: THE WAR FOR THE UNION.

Washington City
�����������Februray 2nd 1862

Dear Father

I again take the opportunity to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well and hope this will find you the enjoying the same blessing. We left Rickers island Wednesday the 29th and arrived at Washington city Friday morning about 2 o'clock We espect to go in camp to morrow morning about three miles from the city We are now in the barracks near the city.

It is a great deal warmer here than in Old Schoharie A very little snow has fell on the ground but it will lay but a few minutes when the sun comes out. It is sunday to day and teh sun shines very bright I want you to write as soon as you get this and let me know if you got the money i sent to you I sent twenty dollars to you with Captain Cook Please take good care of it for me and keep my colt for me. Tell Peter Bouck to have his hop yard in good rig by the time I come back.

Tell our brave old soldier boys (George and Cornelius) if they had enlisted they would have seen more and had more money than they ever will have in their lives. Tell them tehy are bold and daring boys. If they only could see our enfield rifles they would be a soldier any how Tell John to write and tell me how his boy is no more at present.

Yours with respect Give my love to mother and all

����������Gideon Oliver

PS Direction �Gideon Oliver Washington city, D.C. 76 Regt. Regt. Com I, N.Y. Vol.

Written by Peter S. Clark - you need not fear anything about Gids playing cards because it is stopped

Head Quarters 76th NYV
Fort Massachusetts
April 19, 1862

Dear Friend ���

I received your letter of the 13th inst and read it with much pleasure. I enjoy myself first rate we have plenty to eat and of good quality we bakes bread of the very best quality and plenty of Pork and Beef and occassionally fresh beef together with Coffee, rice, beans, peas and etc.

We have a woman in our Company who does the washing for the boys. We have to wash and clean ourselves up thoroughly and change clothes every Saturday afternoon and we have to clean up our tents also. On sunday morning we are all inspected when our shoes must be bluehed and our gun and clothes all perfectly clean.

I am in the tent with Christopher Bouck (Aaron Boucks son) and John Scrambling of Cherry Valley both good fellows. The weather here is very warm and it makes us sweat like butchers when drilling we have to drill about Six hours a day the rest of the time we have to ourselves when we spend the time playing ball, pitching quoits etc.

The boys are all enjoying themselves here. Capt. Peter M. Murphy, Allen Babcock and several more of Murphy's Company have been here to visit us. Murphy 's Company are in Camp aabout three miles from us. We are to be paid next week or at least we expect to get it then without a doubt.

There is a rumor here that we are to be sent to Yorktown or the Rappahannoch to meet the Rebels and we will give three cheers when we get the order to leave for Virginia Give my love to my Mother and all the family and all my acquaintances at home.

We have all drawn a new suit of clothes a short tunic We have frock coats instead of the old kind we had at Cherry Valley. But I must close.

Believe me as ever.

Yours affectionately �����
Gideon Oliver ����
Co I 76th Reg. N.Y.S.V. ����
Washington, D.C.

PS I wrote this letter for Gideon and I will write for him just as often as he wishes me to do so and more than this I can recommend Gideon. He is a good soldier prompt and always ready to do his duty and we think a good deal of him. ���
Yours truly ���
Lieut. H.S. Blodgett�����
76th N.Y.S.V.

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

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- Last Updated February 21, 2000