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144th New York Infantry Letter

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"General Sherman has come through here so that the Confederacy is cut in two now and both armyís will be together in a few days for they are only forty five miles apart now and Savannah is between them with all the railroads in our hands and the place must fall soon and then Charleston will come next and Sherman is the man to drive the Rebs to their holes and whip them too before the war will end. There is a report here that Savannah is ours and if it is not it will be in a few days for Sherman is on all sides of it and our men are between there and Charleston with quite a force with them where they are fortified for a fair fight on their own terms or else the Rebs have got to go around them to get away from Sherman and if they do it will be a race for Charleston of sixty miles with united forces."

8 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., Dec. 26/1864. Stamped Due 6. Addressed to Mrs. Abram Bogart, Masonville, Delaware Co., N.Y., with Soldier's Letter written at the edge.

Dec. 21/64, Hilton Head, S.C.

Dear Wife and Children,

It is with prospects of hearing from you that I write a few lines to let you know that I have not forgotten you and hope that these few lines will find you in good health and spirits. My health is very good but my loneliness is quite bad for a few days so that I have to rest for a few days from guard and the rest of the boys are on duty all the time while the regiment are out and how much longer they will stay we do not know. We like our duty here very much and we have good quarters to stay in. Our rooms are for eight to stay in where we can have a stove in if we are a mind to buy one and there is good bunks to sleep on and a good cook room to work in. General Sherman has come through here so that the Confederacy is cut in two now and both armyís will be together in a few days for they are only forty five miles apart now and Savannah is between them with all the railroads in our hands and the place must fall soon and then Charleston will come next and Sherman is the man to drive the Rebs to their holes and whip them too before the war will end. There is quite a number of Shermanís men here to go home that have been gone over three years from home and I wish that I could go with them. There is a report here that Savannah is ours and if it is not it will be in a few days for Sherman is on all sides of it and our men are between there and Charleston with quite a force with them where they are fortified for a fair fight on their own terms or else the Rebs have got to go around them to get away from Sherman and if they do it will be a race for Charleston of sixty miles with united forces. It is quite cold weather here now for the place has frozen ice here for three nights in a row and the wind goes right through a fellow on guard. I have just got a letter from Charlesí folks and they said that you was all well. James was here yesterday and he says that he feels better than he has for two years, and I think that he looks better than I have seen him in that time and I went up to the dock with him and in the town and he out walked me all together and would (have) went over to n____r [N word] if I could stand it but I could not so we went into a saloon and had some pancakes and [mo]lasses and came home and today I am in my quarters lamer than ever but I shall get over it in a few days and go at it again on Sunday. The island is covered with troops from Shermanís men that are waiting to go home and they have brought a lot of Rebel prisoners here with them for us to take care of and some are sick and some are wounded and look hard. I went down and saw James today and he has got some Rebs to take care of. This is a new town built since the war began and is a military town and used for that purpose and is fortified with entrenchments and stockade posts ten feet high on the outside and the stockade is six miles long with three gates to pass out and in that are guarded day and night and no one can pass with out a pass and the entrenchments mount about forty guns besides the forts that mount sixty guns more and we do the guard duty in the entrenchments and dock and headquarters guard and then there is forts on the outside and pickets there besides ours some twelve or fifteen miles from here but this is the main boat landing for this department and the whole South and everything is first fetched here and then sent to other posts in the South so it makes a business place of here and we have mail every week here from New York in three days and Rebel news when we can get it and we have to pay ten cents for New York papers and I should like to get a weekly but I am too poor to take one at present and how is it with you. Do you take a paper. If not try and get one if you can spare the money for it is company for you these long nights to read and you can tell how the war goes in some places and you can send one to me now and then to while away the hours for papers come when letters donít some times.

Sunday evening and I thought that I would send a few lines more to you to let you know what rumor is in camp. They say that a vessel has sunk loaded with soldiers for this place and all was lost onboard but there is no certainty about it and they say that I am going to be transferred to the Invalid Corps but I donít believe that neither till I see it for I am not fit for duty and have not done much for the last year though my health is tolerably good yet and I guess that I can worry out another year in the same way if they want I should and live but it is hard to stay here when I canít do them any good more than eat rations. Well today is Monday afternoon and we had a very heavy rain here this morning and it looks like raining more and the weather is cool and refreshing and James is some better today. I go and see him two and three times a day. He has very good care now for the army has nourishing food to eat and I think that he will get along if something else donít set in and they donít change doctors and I donít think there is any chance for that. Well there has some more recruits got here this afternoon about 240 in this batch and they think they have some hard times in getting here but they will see what soldiering is. Now you must certainly write.

This from Abram Bogart

Light age toning and wear. Typical misspelling. Excellent content about General William T. Sherman's army. Newsy letter.

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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