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144th New York Infantry Letter

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"I have not heard from James nor Gilbert since I last wrote to you for it is about sixty five miles from here to Charleston and we donít have to go there since [General Joseph E.] Johnston surrendered. There is a great many Union prisoners here from Rebeldom to go to their homes in the North and some have been prisoners a long time and wonít there be joy for a son and husband when they get home. It is estimated that about fifty thousand have been sent North from here in the last two months and still they are coming in every few days."

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., May 31/65, with 3 cents rose George Washington postage stamp. Addressed to Mrs. Abram Bogart, Masonville, Delaware Co., N.Y.

May 21/1865, Hilton Head, S.C.

Dear Wife and Children,

In love and friendship ever would that I could speak to you face to face, but it seems to be other ways ordered at present. I am not very well today, but am in hopes that life and health will be granted us, to all meet again in our own native land once more for every week seems a month with me now. Well, I got a letter from you yesterday and was glad to hear that you and yours are well and hope that you will remain well till I get home again all right. There was some United States troops here yesterday that expected to stay and got all of their things in the yard and then was ordered to Florida and left before night again and when there will be others [to] come we donít know, but am in hopes it will be soon. There is every sort of rumor here as well as there [is] about our going home soon. I have not heard from James nor Gilbert since I last wrote to you for it is about sixty five miles from here to Charleston and we donít have to go there since Johnston surrendered. There is no more soldiers going to their regiments, but go to New York instead of coming from there [to] here, but it is all the other way and I am glad of it for my part so that some can get home if I canít, but our turn will come by & by. I think for there is a good deal of talk about going and I think we shall come between this and July. There is some a going on this boat that are unable to do anything here. I should like to know if there is any chance for you to sell the place at a pretty high price and what you think of living in the South where the winter is not so cold and as for the summer I donít think there is much difference in the heat and the land is richer here too and easier to work and everything will grow here that will grow there and some things that wonít, but you must make your own choice for you must have a mind of your own by this time. There is a great many Union prisoners here from Rebeldom to go to their homes in the North and some have been prisoners a long time and wonít there be joy for a son and husband when they get home. It is estimated that about fifty thousand have been sent North from here in the last two months and still they are coming in every few days.

Wednesday the 24 and it is warm and pleasant and everything is quiet here this morning and I am as well as usual for me and I must close this letter for the boat goes tomorrow morning and you must be of good cheer for I think it will be all right yet and I am having it very easy now and enough to eat for I live with the hospital nurses and sleep on a good bed with them.

Yours in love,
Abram Bogart

Light age toning and wear. Typical misspelling. Excellent content describing the war as it is closing down in the Carolina's.

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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