Orison Shufelt

Harewood General Hospital
Washington, D.C.
April 15th, 1864

Mrs. Shufelt: Madam:

It is the sad and painful duty which becomes my lot at this time to address you a few lines and also to return to you a couple of letters addressed to your husband which was received at this office on yesterday. This letter will cause you much sorrow and I would rather some one else should write to you than myself but as your husband and myself goth came out in the same Regiment I have been selected as the one to write to you under the present painful circumstances.

You are fully aware that at the time your husband returned from his furlough he was suffering from an abscess on his side. Since then he has had the (smudged - "dehydration"?) and both diseases together proved more than his constitution could bear and although he had the best of medical attendance and all that kind nurses could do for him, he sank rapidly until yesterday morning at one o’clock he breathed his last. For the last four days he was not conscious of anything which transpired and remained so until his death. He will be buried tomorrow in the Soldiers Burying Ground near this hospital.

This will be my very sad and painful news to you, but let us trust that what is our loss is his gain. He has left a world of care, of sorrow, and of trials and I trust has gone where all is peace and joy.

Any information which I can give you in regard to his effects I will gladly to so at your request.

Sympathizing with you in your bereavement, I remain very respectfully your obedient servant.

John G Apgar
Post Master at Harewood Hospital
Washington, D.C.

This letter was transcribed by Mike Brown from an image sent by Elsie Saar of Austerlitz, NY, with the note below. 

Shufeld is listed as buried in the Military Asylum Cemetery, Washington, D.C. (now the Soldiers Home National Cemetery).

Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 1999 11:06 AM
Subject: Civil War soldier

    Today I visited for the first time the web site of the 76th NYS Volunteer Regiment of the Civil War. Two weeks ago I was fortunate to come across an original picture of one of the members of this regiment, Mr. Orison Shoufelt, along with an original copy of the letter sent to his wife, Aurelia Shoufelt, upon his death. These documents are in the possession of the Sharon Springs Historical Society in Sharon Springs, New York. We were granted permission to take digital photos of these documents and I am forwarding them on to you in the hopes you may share them with others through your web site. You are receiving the front and back of Mr. Shoufelt's photograph as well as the 3-page letter to his wife.
Elsie Saar

Elsie Saar
West Hurley and Austerlitz, NY

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- Last Updated November 11, 2000