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144th New York Infantry Letter

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"Try to get along as well as you can this winter for I think the war is almost done, but it will take some time to get around, but the fighting is about done. The deserters that come in now say it is and they come in by the hundreds every day with us, and more in other places. There was over a hundred come from Charleston last week."


4 pages, 5 x 8, in ink, written by Abram Bogart to his wife and children. Comes with the original envelope with C.D.S., Port Royal, S.C., Oct. 12/64. Addressed to Mrs. Abram Bogart, Masonville, Delaware Co., N.Y., with 3 cents George Washington postage stamp and bullseye cancellation.

Hilton Head, October 8/64

Dear Wife and Children,

It is with pleasure that I send a few lines to you to let you know that I am here and am like to stay for what I see, but James and Gilbert are in the First N.Y. Engineers Regiment, and a lot more that enlisted for the 144[th] and I wish that I was there too, and James is gone to the general hospital so I am left alone again and I am glad that they had some good luck in getting out of the regiment for they see enough to convince them to get out if they could and they improved the chance for it was no place for them here. Silas Olmsted is in the hospital and the rest from our place are well for what I know. Franklin Stoddard and Haskin are in the tent with me and the rest from there are in Co. H and B, what are here, and the rest that are left behind have got to go in another regiment so you can see what they get by enlisting for the 144[th]. They have got to go just where they send them. Sunday I have been down to the hospital to see James and he is on the gain I think, and is very contented and thinks he is in a good place now, and has good care and Gilbert was to my tent so I guess that he is well and he thanks his stars that he is out of the reg.[iment] and has nothing to do with the 144[th] Heavy Artillery which they never was nor never will be. Tuesday morning and I have just come off picket and it was rather cold in the night for this place, but I got warm as soon as I heard that there was a letter here for me, and read it, and it was a joy to hear that you was all well at that date, but you didnít say anything about Jamesís folks nor Gilbertís and I guess you had better next time for I want to know what [they] think of being alone this winter and I should like to know which is the loneliness of you all, and how you get along, and tell Jeremiah that he must do the best that he can for the widows that are left to his care. There was a lot more soldiers came here today for our regiment, but they were turned over to the engineers for them to manage. They felt rather bad to be turned off, but I think they will get over it in a few days when they have a chance to see how it is here, and what they have to do, and how they are treated [by] their officers. You must not try to OD too much and get sick yourself for them who would take care of the children must take care of yourself. It is better to have less than not to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Try to get along as well as you can this winter for I think the war is almost done, but it will take some time to get around, but the fighting is about done. The deserters that come in now say it is and they come in by the hundreds every day with us, and more in other places. There was over a hundred come from Charleston last week.

This from your ever loving,
Abram

More news, names several of the other soldiers and explains their circumstances with some of them being in the hospital, mentions the 1st New York Engineers, the war is almost over as the deserters are continually coming in, etc. Light age toning and wear. Typical misspelling. Very fine content.

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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