1862: John C. Brown to Mary E. Blake

This letter was written by John C. Brown (1841-1929), the son of Stephen Brown (1817-1900) and Dolly Jane Batchelder (1816-1865) of Kensington, Rockingham County, New Hampshire.

John and his younger brother Amos Brown (1843-1913) both enlisted in Co. I, 11th New Hampshire Infantry on 6 September 1862. John was promoted to corporal sometime prior to the Battle of Cold Harbor where he was wounded severely on 2 June 1864. He recovered from his wounds but was discharged for disability at City Point on 19 April 1865.


Addressed to Miss Mary E. Blake, Kensington, New Hampshire

Pleasant Valley, Maryland
October 15, 1862
Dear Miss,

Yours of the tenth I answer with pleasure. We are encamped on a bluff which is a pleasant situation for a campground. We are in sight of the 9th and 6th [New Hampshire] Regiments. They look rather hard. The 9th musters 600 and the 6th not more than 200. ¹ Our regiment has been very lucky — have not lost but one man, I was glad to hear that you was going to have a singing school this winter, but we have more to think of out here. If it pleases God, we may have a chance to have a good time in Old Kensington once more. If you have a Circle this winter, I send a kiss to all the pretty girls for you know that Kensington has more than here.

Sure hope that Frank & Lizzie will have a good time. I like camp life first rate and would not go home if I could get my discharge today with $200 beside. We have a good time in camp. There is six of us tents together. We are in [Ambrose] Burnside’s Corps, [Samuel D.] Sturgis’ Division, [Edward] Ferraro’s Brigade. ² We expect to be on the move soon but do not know where we shall go, Some think that we shall go to Hilton Head or Charleston. If we do, I may have a chance to see your William [H. Walton].

Not having time, I must close. With my best love. Your affectionate friend, — J. Brown

P. S. [My brother] Amos [Brown] is well and sends his love.


¹ Both the 6th and 9th New Hampshire Regiments had seen hard service at Antietam the previous month.

2 The regiments in Ferraro’s Brigade included thew 21st and 25th Massachusetts, the 11th New Hampshire, the 51st New York, and the 51st Pennsylvania. The 11th New Hampshire arrived at Pleasant Valley, Maryland, on 6 October 1862 and remained there until the 27th October 1862.

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