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144th New York Infantry Letter

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"hope that your lives may be spared until we all shall get home again to enjoy a season of rest from the tumults and trials of war, and see the star spangled banner wave over rebellious graves and the nation once more in peace with the world and give freedom to them that are in bondage, and liberty to the poor soldier that is worse than slavery in any form for they are treated worse than beasts...the officers won't give a pass unless they are a mind to and that's where they have us so you see that we are worse than slaves."

4 pages, 5 x 8, in ink, written by Abram Bogart. Comes with the original envelope with C.D.S., Port Royal, S.C., Sep. 30/64. Addressed to Mrs. Abram Bogart, Masonville, Delaware Co., N.Y., with 3 cents George Washington postage stamp and bullseye cancellation.

Hilton Head, S.C., September 22/64

Dear Friends,

It is with madness that I write unto you at this time for I have just heard that James has enlisted to come to the war and leave his aged parents to mourn in their old age for a protector and confidential son when there was no need of his leaving them for there is no draft that can fetch him away at present. I don't see what he can be thinking of to enlist and leave his family and parents alone in these times that they need him the most and he is expected on the next boat, but I hope he ain't coming. I should like to step in your house and see how you get along with out money for it goes hard for me and it must be still harder for you, but we expect our pay soon, and then I will divide with you the money and also the anxiety for your welfare and comfort and hope that your lives may be spared until we all shall get home again to enjoy a season of rest from the tumults and trials of war, and see the star spangled banner wave over rebellious graves and the nation once more in peace with the world and give freedom to them that are in bondage and liberty to the poor soldier that is worse than slavery in any form for they are treated worse than beasts for they are not allowed to go anywhere without a pass or they will punish you, and the officers won't give a pass unless they are a mind to and that's where they have us so you see that we are worse than slaves. Well the mail has come and I will wait and see if I get a letter from you. Well some of the new recruits have got here and James is one of them and Mr. Burch of Masonville and they think they know something of soldiering already, but they have just commenced to know trouble. Well there was another lot come last night, and about 250 others came on another boat and they feel middling. James brought a letter from you and I got one by mail the day of Sep. 11. I am thankful for the things that you and the children sent me, but the sugar was most melted when it got here, but it was sweet yet. I will pay you if I get home if that will do. Some of the boys haven't got here yet, but are expected here soon. The long storms of winter are coming soon when it will be hard for you to get out to get things to live on. I am about the same, but am rather lame to put up with it, but it can't be helped. So good bye for a day.

Abram Bogart

More news, names several of the new recruits, etc. Light age toning and wear. Typical misspelling. Very fine content referring to their officers treating the soldiers like slaves.

Abram Bogart, was born in 1825 in Catskill, Greene County, New York. He enlisted on August 15, 1862, at Sidney, Delaware County, New York, for a period of three years, and was mustered in to the 144th New York Infantry Regiment, Company I, on September 27, 1862. He was transferred to Company K, on October 16, 1862. He mustered out with his company on June 25, 1865, at Hilton Head, S.C. After the war he returned home where he worked as a farmer with his wife Mary, and their three children.

The 144th New York Infantry recruited in Delaware County, was mustered into the U.S. service on September 27, 1862.

It left New York on October 11th, 956 strong, and was stationed in the defenses of Washington at Upton's Hill, Cloud's Mills and Vienna until April, 1863.

It was then assigned to the Department of Virginia, and assisted in the defense of Suffolk, Va., during Longstreet's siege of that city. In May, it joined the 7th corps at West Point, Va., and shared in the demonstration against Richmond.

In July, it was assigned to the 2nd brigade, 1st Division, of the 11th Corps. This division was detached from its corps on August 7th, and ordered to Charleston harbor, S.C., where during the fall and winter of 1863 the regiment was engaged at Folly and Morris islands, participating with General Quincy A. Gillmore's forces in the siege of Fort Wagner, and the bombardment of Fort Sumter and Charleston.

In February, 1864, the regiment served in the 1st brigade, 10th Corps, and was engaged at Seabrook and John's Islands, S. C. It was then ordered to Florida, where it was chiefly engaged in raiding expeditions, and was active in the action at Camp Finnegan. It returned to Hilton Head in June; was active at John's Island in July, losing 13 killed, wounded and missing. They then served in General Potter's Brigade of the Coast division, and participated in the movements of General Sherman, fighting at Honey Hill, and Deveaux Neck.

Its casualties at Honey Hill were 108 and at Deveaux Neck, 37 killed, wounded and missing. Lieutenant James W. Mack, was killed in action, at Honey Hill. Attached to the 3rd separate brigade, District of Hilton Head, it was heavily engaged at James island, S.C., in February, 1865, losing 44 killed, wounded and missing.

In the fall of 1864, the ranks of the regiment were reduced to between 300 and 400 men through battle and disease, and it was then recruited to normal standard by one year recruits from its home county. The regiment was mustered out at Hilton Head, S.C., June 25, 1865, under command of Colonel Lewis. It lost by death during service 40 officers, and men, killed and mortally wounded; 4 officers and 174 enlisted men died of disease and other causes; for a total of 218.

Source: The Union Army, Vol. 2.



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