1863: George Franklin Stone to Perley Augustus Stone

This letter was written by George Franklin Stone (1838-1902) of Co. D, 22nd Massachusetts Infantry to his brother, Perley Augustus Stone (1847-1916). George was a native of New Hampshire and the son of Benjamin F. Stone (1814-1882) and Lucy Waterman Barker (1813-1905). In 1860, Benjamin and Lucy resided in Chelsea, Massachusetts, where Benjamin’s occupation was recorded as “stair builder.”

George was a 23 year-old painter from Chelsea, Massachusetts, when he enlisted on 6 September 1861 as a private. He was taken as a prisoner of war on 27 Jun at the Battle of Gaines Mill, Virginia, and was released on 8 August 1862. He was mustered out on 17 October 1864 after three years of service at Boston MA.

Addressed to Perley A. Stone
at Isaac H. Sears Shoe Manuftrs Goods No. 7 Pearl St., Boston, Mass.

Camp near Beverly Ford
September 15, 1863

Dear Brother Perley,

I was much interested in reading the history you so kindly gave me of your Lyceum. They are good institutions and to be an active member is a great privilege. Then to hold places of trust, how much more so. The features of ours are indeed much like yours, but all such associations are more or less so. In one respect we are unlike. Ours is the pioneer of its class here so far as known and shows that when Massachusetts boys will, they do, and this is a step in the right direction, and meets with great success.

196 conscripts were added to our regiment last week on the 10th — a good set of men, most of them, and will make soldiers. Saturday evening many were present at our meeting and they were much pleased and surprised to find such a national entertainment provided. Our Saturday nights are most interesting having more variety than the meetings for debate; besides the officers, more of them declaim than debate. The last meeting, we had a new feature in closing, all united in singing old “America,” the 5 verses the lines of 5th being “So say we all of us.”

You have probably read of the movement of the 2d Corps to Culpepper and of the cavalry successes. Now we have orders to move and expect tomorrow to be off to the southward. If we do go, it will be a good indication of Gen. [George G.] Meade’s believing Lee’s Army near Richmond and much reduced by troops being sent south and west. We are in good order to move and the weather is good. For five weeks we have had no rain, but lately it has commenced a little. If we should have a rainy spell as we have had a dry turn, it would be unfortunate for us if on the move.

A man named Welch — one of the conscripts — died today of typhoid fever; the first death in the regiment of members present for nearly 8 months.

A few nights ago I sent a note to mother and tonight I have a letter from Ellen enclosing etanips & ribbons for which many thanks had I not those kindly disposed to me at home I should be badly at a loss and I am very thankful it is so. Once again I wish to ask about those pictures of mine and what they think of copying them.

The 3rd Corps are moving now, 8 P.M. We shall follow soon, probably. Hoping for complete success, I must close for this time.

Kind regards to friends and love to parents and brothers and sister. I am glad Mother is so much better after having been so ill and I suppose you miss Father some now. You have had him home so long — just long enough to feel homelike. You must write me soon as you receive this. I have lost that address so excuse being addressed as I send it.

Affectionately your brother, — George

Subscriptions are being raised for a [Gen. George B.] McClellan Testimonial from the Army of the Potomac which he formed — all giving as they choose or can afford.

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