This letter was written by Sgt. William W. Whitney (1842-1914) of Co. A, 4th New Hampshire Infantry. William was the son of Ebenezer Whitney (1784-1855) and Joanna Law (1804-1883) of Montague City, Franklin County, Massachusetts. William was married in 1870 to Julia A. Pinkham (b. 1853). William had an older brother named Albert M. Whitney (1836-1862) who served in Company I, 10th New Hampshire Infantry and was killed in the Battle of Fredericksburg on 13 December 1862.
Before enlisting in the service, William was employed as a shoemaker in Farmington. He resided with the Winslow H. Giilman family. He enlisted on 18 September 1861 and was mustered out of the service at Fort Schuyler, New York Harbor on 19 July 1865.
Whitney wrote the letter to a Mr. Copp, who was most likely a selectman in the Town of Farmington, New Hampshire. I have not been able to verify that he served in that capacity, but there was an Isaac Copp (1800-1888) that resided in Farmington during the Civil War. Whitney has a couple of questions for Mr. Copp regarding the bounty being offered by the town to be paid to veterans who re-enlist.
Camp 4th New Hampshire Volunteers
Near Petersburg, Va.
July 14th 1864
As I wished to know about the bounty that the Town of Farmington is going to give the Veterans of the said town, I thought that you would and could tell me most about it and so I thought that I would send you a few questions regarding the bounty.
Mr. Eastman sent me a record of the whole proceedings of the meeting so all I wish to know is if I can get the money in course of three months or shall I have to wait till the Selectmen see fit to give it to us. I suppose I can sell the note to a bank if I can get it paid at the present time in money.
My reasons for wanting my money now are these. I wish to send my money home to my Mother and if I am the unlucky one to be cut down in battle, there will be no trouble to look the note up and if I can get it and send it home it will be the whole of it.
Now, Mr. Copp, if you will be so kind as to please send me a few lines and let me know if I can or can not have it in three months, I will be very much obliged to you indeed.
Mr. Copp, I am very sorry that I have not paid you that small amount that I owe you but I have been waiting a long time to get paid off but have not yet. But when I get paid, I will pay you and satisfy you for waiting so long. I ought to have paid you at Concord when I got my pay there but under the circumstances I failed to do so.
This is all. Yours truly, — Wm. W. Whitney
Company A, 4th New Hampshire Vols., Fort Monroe, Va.
The boys are all well and are in good cheer but are excited about the rebs around Washington and Baltimore. ¹
¹ This is a reference to Early’s raid on Washington in July 1864.