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Family Concerns

This slideshow contains 16 items
1
Letter seeking information on POW, Limerick, 1863

Letter seeking information on POW, Limerick, 1863

Item 59537 info
Maine Historical Society

Mattie Cobb of Limerick wrote to Col. Hathaway at the Maine Agency of the U.S. Sanitary Commission about her brother, Edwin Cobb of Co. D. of the 5th Maine who was at the Old Capitol Prison, where she said he was put for desertion.

She wrote that she heard Hathaway was in Washington "to look after our Maine soldiers."

Cobb enlisted on June 24, 1861 at age 18. He was mustered out on July 27, 1864. Cobb returned to Limerick after the war and became a furniture dealer.


2
Letter seeking information on husband, Temple, 1863

Letter seeking information on husband, Temple, 1863

Item 60178 info
Maine Historical Society

Mrs. Louisa S. Jenkins Mower wrote to Mrs. Sarah Sampson of the Maine Soldier's Relief Agency in Washington, D.C. asking for information about her husband, Private Benjamin F. Mower of Co. H. of the 7th Maine Regiment.

She wrote that he was at Gettysburg, then left at Williamsport, Maryland, because he was ill. She had heard no more from or about him since then. She described the ring he wore and the miniature portrait he carried with him.

Mower, of Greene, enlisted in the 7th Maine on Oct. 21, 1862 at age 31. While the Maine Adjutant General's report suggests he was mustered out in August 1864, Mower died either at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863, or several weeks later.


3
Plea for furlough for ill soldier, 1863

Plea for furlough for ill soldier, 1863

Item 60279 info
Maine Historical Society

The mother-in-law of Isaac J. Monk, a private in Co. E of the 16th Maine Infantry, wrote to Mrs. Sarah Sampson at the Maine Soldiers' Relief Agency in Washington, D.C., seeking a furlough for Monk, who was ill at a hospital in Annapolis, Maryland.

J.S. Herrick was in Annapolis with her son-in-law, but needed to return to Maine to care for her parents. She reported that her daughter had been ill and having mental problems since the illness. She feared that her daughter would become "entirely insane" if her husband, Isaac Monk, did not return home.

Herrick also wrote, "I feel almost discouraged if it were not for you & Mr. Watson I should feel all discouraged but the thoughts that you may yet accomplish the desired object helps me."

Leonard Watson was the agent for the Maine Agency Sanitary Commission office in Washington and Sarah Sampson was a volunteer nurse from Bath who worked with the affiliated soldiers' relief group. A note on the back of the letter reads, "Settled."

Monk, of Turner enlisted Aug. 14, 1862 at age 24. He was mustered out on June 5, 1865.


4
Request for information about missing soldier, Princeton, 1864

Request for information about missing soldier, Princeton, 1864

Item 61634 info
Maine Historical Society

C. S. Nichols of Princeton wrote to F.A. Pike at the Maine Agency Sanitary Commission in Washington, D.C., seeking information about a report he had read that a George W. Smith was in a Confederate prison and he wondered if it might be the Smith from Princeton about whom nothing had been heard since the Battle of Fredericksburg, which was Dec. 11-15, 1862.

On the back of a letter is a Sanitary Commission note that indicates Smith was at Harewood Hospital in Washington on January 2, 1863, and soon after sent to Philadelphia.

The Maine Adjutant General's report that summarized the activities of Civil War soldiers notes that Smith was 18 when he enlisted in Co. H of the Maine 16th Infantry Regiment and that he was mustered out on Dec. 13, 1862 at Fredericksburg. It then notes that he did not survive the war.


5
Request to disinter fallen soldier, Augusta, 1864

Request to disinter fallen soldier, Augusta, 1864

Item 61639 info
Maine Historical Society

Seward Dill wrote from the Maine State Board of Agriculture in Augusta to Leonard Watson of the Maine Agency Sanitary Commission with a request that S.S. Boardman of Augusta, associate editor of the Maine Farmer, be allowed to to go to the front and disinter the body of a solider to take him north and rebury him.

The Sanitary Commission handled requests from soldiers for assistance with pay, furloughs, receipt of packages and numerous other issues. The agency also acted as the intermediary between families and the general public and the military and military hospitals.


6
Widow's request for assistance, Bath, 1863

Widow's request for assistance, Bath, 1863

Item 61680 info
Maine Historical Society

Abby J. Young of Bath, the widow of David I. Young of the 21st Maine Volunteers, wrote to Leonard Watson of the Maine Agency Sanitary Commission in Washington, D.C., expressing her hope she would be able to get a pension to help support her three children.

Young was a member of Co. C of the 21st Maine, which was organized in October 1862 for nine-months service. He apparently became ill and died while on duty.

Mrs. Young also sought to receive her late husband's bounty. She wrote that he had drawn only $17.87 of the funds promised him.

She had three children, Blanche, 12; Mary, 7; and a son, 5 months. She wrote of her husband, "He was a very kind husband & father."


7
Inquiry about soldier's promotion, Augusta, 1864

Inquiry about soldier's promotion, Augusta, 1864

Item 61839 info
Maine Historical Society

Edward R. Spear wrote to Col. Elijah Walker of the 4th Maine Infantry asking him how Otis Spear (Harry's boy) was doing as a soldier. Edward wrote that, if Otis Spear were deserving, he would like a recommendation to get him a promotion.

Otis Spear enlisted in Co. B of the 4th Maine Infantry as a private on June 15, 1861. He was promoted to corporal on August 25, 1861.

He was transferred into the 19th Infantry in July 1864.


8
Mother seeking return of soldier son, Old Town, 1864

Mother seeking return of soldier son, Old Town, 1864

Item 61840 info
Maine Historical Society

Margaret Gray of Old Town wrote to Leonard Watson, Maine Agency Sanitary Commission in March 1864, pleading with him to help return her son from the war.

She wrote that he was underage when he enlisted and she did not give him permission.

She previously had visited the Sanitary Commission office in Washington, D.C.


9
Request for information about injured soldier, 1864

Request for information about injured soldier, 1864

Item 61842 info
Maine Historical Society

George A. Boardman wrote to "My Dear Mr. Smith" at the Maine Agency Sanitary Commission in Washington seeking information for a neighbor, a widow, about her only son. She saw a report in the Boston Journal that he was in a hospital and wanted to know his condition.

Boardman discussed personal issues also in his letter to Smith, with whom he was acquainted.

James Hanninger of Belfast enlisted as a sergeant in Co. C of the Maine 1st Heavy Artillery Regiment in September 1863. He was mustered out on September 1, 1866.


10
Letter seeking information on POW husband, Saco, 1864

Letter seeking information on POW husband, Saco, 1864

Item 65093 info
Maine Historical Society

Deborah Friend of Saco sought the help of the Maine Agency Sanitary Commission in October 1864 to gain information about her husband, Dennis Friend, a private in Co. B of the 5th Maine Infantry Regiment.

She said he had been taken prisoner in November 1863 and was held at Andersonville prison. She had not heard from him for more than five months.

Friend had enlisted on August 27, 1862 when he was 37 years old. He was reportedly "mustered out" on July 27, 1864, which was the end of the enlistment period for his regiment. However, he is listed in the Maine Adjutant General's report only as having been taken prisoner in November 1863.


11
Sister's plea for furlough for brother, 1864

Sister's plea for furlough for brother, 1864

Item 65095 info
Maine Historical Society

Hattie M. Thompson of Freedom wrote to the Maine Agency Sanitary Commission in October 1864 to ask for a furlough for her brother, Charles L. Thompson of the 3rd Maine Light Artillery Battery.

Pvt. Thompson was ill at Harewood Hospital in Washington, D.C. Hattie Thompson thought she could help restore his health. In addition, she wrote, he needed a furlough to see his two motherless young sons and to take care of some business. She thought a few weeks at home would help him feel "more contented."

Thompson was 28 when he enlisted on Dec. 28, 1863. He was mustered out on Sept. 1, 1865.

A note on the back of the letter suggests he got his furlough.

Soldiers and their families often wrote to the Sanitary Commission's Maine office in Washington seeking help located loved ones, getting packages or mail, getting pay or furloughs, or other issues.


12
Request for prisoner exchange, Litchfield, 1864

Request for prisoner exchange, Litchfield, 1864

Item 65096 info
Maine Historical Society

Daniel L. Smith, a teacher at Litchfield Academy, wrote to Benjamin H. Hinds of the Maine Agency Sanitary Commission on behalf of William Cochran, a physician whose son was being held at a prison in Charleston, S.C.. They urged Hinds to help facilitate a prisoner exchange.

Melville A. Cochran (1836-1904) was a member of the Bowdoin College Class of 1862, but left school to enlist. He was commissioned as a captain in the 16th U.S. Infantry in August 1861. He was taken prisoner at Chickamauga, then held at Libby Prison in Richmond and in Macon, Georgia, before being sent to Charleston. He had been held for more than a year when the letter was written.

Cochran spent 17 months in prison and attempted escape twice. One of those attempts is referred to in the letter. He was paroled in March 1865, shortly before Lee's surrender.

Cochran was a career military officer, attaining the rank of colonel.

Smith closes his letter giving Hinds news of people in Litchfield.


13
Letter concerning reburial of soldier, Hampden, 1864

Letter concerning reburial of soldier, Hampden, 1864

Item 65103 info
Maine Historical Society

David Brown wrote to Benjamin H. Hinds of the Maine Agency Sanitary Commission about his desire to disinter Charles W. Allen, who was buried at the new National Cemetery at Arlington, in order to rebury Allen in Maine.

Brown wanted to know how much it would cost to remove the body and have it returned to Maine, including the cost of the coffin.

Charles W. Allen was 21 when he enlisted in Co. C of the 18th Maine Infantry on August 21, 1862. In December 1862, he transferred to Co. C of the Maine 1st Heavy Artillery.

Allen died at Lincoln Hospital on July 21, 1864.


14
Request for information on reinterring soldier, 1864

Request for information on reinterring soldier, 1864

Item 65106 info
Maine Historical Society

Cyril Pearl, a minister in South Freeport wrote to Benjamin H. Hinds, the agent for Maine of the Sanitary Commission in Washington, seeking information on behalf of Mrs. Mary B. Wyman of South Freeport on the procedures and costs of having her deceased husband's remains disinterred from the soldiers' cemetery at Arlington, Va., and moved to Maine.

Joseph D. Wyman of Co. E of the 13th Maine Infantry died of illness at the Armory Square Hospital in Washington, D.C., on July 19, 1864. He had enlisted at age 38 on Oct. 12, 1861.


15
Letter on poor hospital care, Virginia, 1864

Letter on poor hospital care, Virginia, 1864

Item 65107 info
Maine Historical Society

Charles H. Lewis who was soon to leave the Washington, D.C., area and move to South Manchester, Ct., wrote to Benjamin H. Hinds at the Maine Agency Sanitary Commission in Washington to report on the death of Samuel Huff of Co. E of the 17th Maine Regiment.

Huff died at Sickles Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. Lewis charged the death could have been avoided with better medical care. He wrote that the circumstances of Huff's death would "not reflect much credit on the person in charge of this hospital."

He wrote that the doctor had not examined Huff in a week and never gave him more than one personal examination. In addition, it appears that requests for Huff to get a furlough to go home for treatment were ignored or denied.

Samuel Huff Jr. was 31 when he enlisted as a private in Co. E of the 17th Maine on August 18, 1862. He died on Oct. 14, 1864.


16
Father's request for transfer of injured son, Fayette, 1864

Father's request for transfer of injured son, Fayette, 1864

Item 65267 info
Maine Historical Society

Sumner Folsom of Fayette wrote to the Maine Agency Sanitary Commission in November 1864 seeking transfer of his injured son from a hospital in Washington, D.C., to Maine, where he believed his son would recover faster.

Folsom noted that both of his sons were in the 1st Maine Cavalry and assumed both were good soldiers and had never been in the hospital or gotten leaves before.

The injured soldier, Francis J. Folsom, was 18 when he enlisted in Co. L of the 1st Maine Cavalry on Nov. 6, 1863. He was mustered out on March 10, 1865.

His brother, Henry H. Folsom enlisted at age 18 on Jan. 11, 1861 as a musician in Co. L of the 1st Maine Cavalry and was mustered out on August 1, 1865.


This slideshow contains 16 items