This letter was written by Edward O. Green (1842-1904), the son of Elisha A. Green (1817-1878) and Sarah Norris. He wrote the letter to his sister, Emma A. Green (1845-1910).
In 1855, the Green family lived in Wallkill, Orange County, New York. Edward married Sarah Jane Bedford (1845-1926) in 1871. Emma married John I. Baird in December 1865.
Edward enlisted on the 21st August 1862 into Co. K, 143rd New York Infantry. He was promoted to Full Sgt. on the 18th Dec 1863 and transferred on the 1st April 1865 to Company D, 5th Veteran Reserve Corps. He was mustered out of service in Indianapolis, Indiana on the 19th July 1865.
Camp 143rd Regt. near Warrington Junction
August 19, 1863
Having a few leisure moments, I thought I would improve them in writing to you. Since I wrote to you last, we have moved 3 times and are still within 4 miles of where we first encamped. We have moved about 3 miles today and have just got our tent finished. Al Gordon ¹ sits here writing to someone — I do not know who. I came off picket yesterday morning and I was sorry they did not let us stay longer for we were having gay old times. We were out two days and every meal the lieutenant and I was invited out, and I tell you we went for it is not one of a soldier’s failings. They always take everything that is offered them to eat whether they want it or not.
Our regiment is still guarding railroad and doing picket duty. Some days they take every man out of camp excepting the sick ones. It will be a year from the 21st of this month since we enlisted. This year we have seen some gay times and of course some pretty rough ones [too]. While we were at Camp Holley, ² we had gay old times — the best we have ever seen since we have been in the service.
Em, look in the Tri-States Union in the deaths and see if you can find the death of Sgt. John Drake. ³ He was a very intimate friend of mine and I have not heard from him since the battle of Gettysburg and someone told me that they seen a count of his death in that paper. I have not heard from Andrew since he left here but think he is not far from here as the 12th Army Corps comes to Station for supplies.
I guess Horace has forgotten that he has any friends. Andrew said he could not get any letters from him and I have not heard from him in some time. He will not hear from me again till I hear from him. Clint Baird is still at the hospital in Washington sick. All the rest of the Narrowsburg boys are all okay. I wished we were all back to Narrowsburg as we were one year ago tonight. I think we would have some gay old times. We used to, but did not know enough to appreciate them. But I tell you, Em, I think before another year passes we will be home again, having better times than we ever did before.
We are very anxious about Charleston [South Carolina]. If our folks only take that place I think they must come to some time. They came very near sending us to Charleston. We got as far as the depot and was all ready to take the cars when we were ordered back to camp as our Brigadier General had the privilege of sending another regiment in our place which was a very lucky thing for us for if we had been sent there in the warm weather, it would almost killed us.
I received a letter from father Monday. They were all well. It’s bedtime and I must close. Write soon.
From your brother, — Sgt. E. O. Green
Co. K 143rd Regt. N.Y.S.V., Washington D.C.
¹ Albert B. Gordon served as the First Lieutenant of Co. D, 143rd New York Infantry from April 26 to July 20, 1865. He enlisted in Co. K as a sergeant in October 1862 and was acting Orderly Sergeant in April 1863. He was official promoted to First Sergeant in May 1864.
² Camp Holley was near Monticello, New York, where the regiment first went into camp in September 1862.
³ Sgt. John D. Drake (1840-1863) served in Co. F, 124th New York Infantry. He enlisted on 9 August 1862 at Port Jervis, Orange County, New York, at the age of 22. He was killed at Gettysburg on 2 July 1863 and buried on the field. A funeral service was held for him in the Port Jervis Baptist Church on 19 July 1863. His parents were Thomas A. Drake (1810-1873) and Clarissa Jane Doty (1818-1907).