Letters of George Stedwell, Co. E

George Stedwell, age 20, enlisted November 26, 1861, at Barrington, NY to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. E, 76th NY Volunteer Infantry, December 5, 1861; wounded in action, August 28, 1862, at Gainesville, Va.; died, December 29, 1862, at Trinity Church Hospital, Georgetown, D.C.; also borne as Studwell. He entered Trinity Church General Hospital, Georgetown, D.C. Sept 8, 1862 with compound fracture of the foot, and diarrhoea and died from the effects of the wound.

Malinda and Samuel Stedwell were George's parents. He was an only child.

April 3, 1862

Father and Mother 

I received your letter about ten mints ago you Speak of being Sick I would like you know to be to home to help you but i have written to you as much as twice a weak and told you how it was I am very Sorry that your are sick I hav been this very day to the doctors today to see about getting my discharge the doctor laughed at me he said that he thought I would Stand the Southern climate now for I had the camp diseas and was Safe from that that is the distroyer among solgers it is as nice weather hear as I eve saw in york state cabbage and Such like is as bigh as your cup but ask for my coming home I dont bulleve I can at presant I would like to be to home and would come quick if I could on your account 

dont be scart about my getting killed it hant likely that we Shall have much fighting to do our colonel is thrown out and we hant got a full regt they has got to be a full regt before we can be brigaded if we hant brigaded we will be discharged Soon 

eny how it hant likely we Shall See much fighting we will be kept to guard forts if we haf to Stay long but if can manage to come home I will do so for you Sake if I Should get a discharge on the account of Sickness I could never get bounty they are taking names of all to day to set down on the list for us all to get our bounty and land 

if eny of us should get killed our friends could get bounty and a Second doury but dont think I will dye much quicker hear and i would to home I would like to be to home on your account but I dont say but I want to go home on my own account but I like it hear and I wish we lived hear we keep Lean and keep in exercise so it hant so very unhealthy hear dont be discouraged dont get sick on my account try and See how well you can do while I am hear I had better try and make Something not make a fool of 

if you Should See what i hav already you would be in couraged as I am trying to be now be in couraged and dont be boyish I think that this will make a man of me take a strait forward course in your old age and I will try and take care of you hear after be kind to my mother I will reward you both for I am in no bad habits as I hav told you in every letter the last letter in which wrote you was due before yestarday I wrote to you to Send me Some pervisions 

I Sent a franked envelope meby you hant got it I want you to Send me Something send me some purvisions See Miss Artimishia She will send i Something likely we get Beef good bread and potatoes coffee and the Such like we live very well if you Send Some butter Some Cake and such like it would taste good I can get it hear but it is dear at presasant we expect to get our pay in a few days and I Shall Send it home to you when I come home you wont know me I am growing

Direct as Usall George Sted well to his parants answer this and tell me the result I dont write to enyone else

May the 17 /62

Father and mother 

I once more sit down to write to you I am well at preasant and hope these few lines the same i received your letter last friday with my chek in it and Supposed that my box was to the quater masters but it has not come yet but it will be hear by monday if this you directed it write if it Should not I could collect the value of it to the express ofice you had ought to Seen to the chek rather closer it wasnt filled out as it should have

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for i have not had a good opertunity I shall send it the forepart of next weak with one that ben carpenter Sends I may get a chek I am a going to Send fifty five dollars I have had to have some things so I cant send the hull so dont Spend a Scent only what is perfectly nessary I Shall Send my likeness home and I will Send a com with my signiture on it so if I Should hapen to get killed you could draw my pension and bounty I will Send it in a paper these papers I Send you probly you can learn Somethin from them you can see the reble

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June 8, 62
Fredericksburg, Virginia

Father and mother

I now sit down to write you a good letter I wrote you a letter to or three days ago I was in a hurry and probly you could hardly redit I am now sitting in a nice Shady tent it Sands in a nice Shady grove close buy the depot 

I haf to go on guard twice a weak I have got ust to it so that it aint eny hard Ship to me we only haf to guard the government Stoarage I am well and growing fat 

we are in no more danger hear and their was in washington we only are used for guards we are within thirty miles of Richmond probly we will have richmond in to or three days we have had little bad luck in wone battle on the account of wone of our ginerals being a rebel but their is no telling how we are a cutting them now it cant be that when we get richmond there can be much more of them we are felling them by the hundred every day we our selves catch them two or three to time every day as so and take them to washington for confinement 

every wone that I have Seen hav been dirty and ragged and hardly eny of them was dressed in uniform their isent half a dozen Sick in the 76 we are all healthy I think and others are certain that we will get home in two or the monts they are a dischargeing regt evry day this is a very pleasant country but it looks hard in some places where the reble have burnt and destroyed large vesles ly in the river burnt all but the irn works and all Such like 

I think it is perfectly safe for me to Say we live well and all are tuff and rugged I could run away and come home I never would get eny pay nor eny bounty if carpenter and all such Stick and like it I guess I can Stand it I would like to come home now on your account but I cant get honorbly discharged yet a while there has a good meny run a way but the most are coming back with their own accord the cars run by evry day I can get on eny time and ride down to the river and get oysters free of charge 

I hant hurd from that fifty dollars I sent you the day I left Washington I would like to hear from you I hant got my box yet but it will come in a day or so I am agoing to put five dollars in this letter and Send to you I want you to be a good boy and the best you can tell me all of the particulars mamy dont feel bad about me for I am Seeing and learning more in a weak and I ever knew if you and pap only get along well that is all that is necesary pap dont abuse ma dont I write this with tears in my eyes you may direct as usal to Washington D.C and - x George Stedwell

Georgetown, D.C. 
Oct 2nd /62

Mr. Samuel Steadwell

Dr sir

George requested me to write you Several days ago but i was Coming home on business and had not an opertunity until now He is getting along as well as could be expected though he is very impatient, and Suffers a good deal with his leg, he has an excellent nurse and enything that it would be prudent for him to have 

He requested me to ask you to Send him a box of Honey and some dried Raspburies I think it doubtful if his Doctor will let him use the Honey if you were to Send it, he has the Diarea and Honey would not be good for it However the Nurse would keep it for him untill he Could use it The letter you wrote to George in my care I received and delivered the Sabbath after it was written. I also received one for him from a young man named Tupper this morning and gave it to him As George wrote a short time back I Suppose he told you all, in fact I have written all and more than requested. If I can be of any Service do not hesitate to ask.

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 March 11, 2001