About this Letter

This letter, written by Levi D. Green on April 23, 1863, is a personal message to his mother from Camp Suffolk, VA during the American Civil War. In the letter, Levi gives a detailed account of the situation in the camp and the events of the recent battle at the deserted farm. He informs his mother that he and Marvin are well, but they are facing tough times with the arrival of the Confederate troops. Levi mentions that the rebels have been shooting into their camp and that some of their comrades have been killed.

Levi also tells of his involvement in the battle and how the fight lasted for 11 hours. He mentions that Captain Tullen was killed in action after being hit by a canon ball in the chest. The letter also touches on the loss of some of their men, with 8 killed and 23 wounded. Additionally, Levi mentions a member of their company who was taken captive by the rebels and sent to Richmond.

Towards the end of the letter, Levi requests his mother to write back about the situation at home, particularly about the loss of their stock. He also promises to send her some money soon. The researcher’s note adds more context to the letter, informing us that Levi is writing about Captain Rowley Phedello Taylor who was killed in action at the Deserted House in Virginia.

Overall, this letter provides a vivid and personal account of the events of the American Civil War and highlights the harsh realities faced by soldiers in the battlefield. It serves as a testament to the bravery and sacrifices made by the soldiers and gives us a glimpse into their lives and experiences.

Letter Transcript


Camp Suffolk, VA. Dear mother recieved your letter and was glad to hear from home once more I am well an so is Marvin we are having a hard time hear the rebs have a come to take the place they come here the 11 and have ben hear ever since they shot at our boys when they are in Camp the balls come into our bunks one come into our bunk it come through the clome (clear?) the rebs are shouting today into our camp today they have killed some of our boys in camp you have heard of the battle at the deserted farm I was in the fray Marvin was not in the fray we started from camp at 12 o clock at nite and go to the deserted farm at 3 o clock the rebs opened their battery upon us and our men did the same the battle lasted 11 hours we come off the best our loss in our regt was 8 killed 23 wounded Some of the boys had an arm shot off Capt Tullen was killed a canon ball struck him in the chest it tore him all to bits there was one in our Company that the rebs got they sent him to Richmond he is to lame now I want you to write and tell me if you have lost much of your stock I will send you some money Soon mother you do not direct your letter rite I will tell you write soon L D. Green Co E 130 Regt Suffolk VA in care of Capt. W. Hakes

RESEARCHER’S NOTE: I have researched the contents of this letter for years, and it is clear that the Captain Tullen that Levi is referring to is, in fact, Captain Taylor. I have dedicated an entire page to Captain Taylor, and you should read the history of this man. Levi is writing home about Capt. Rowley Phedello Taylor of Attica, New York, and Taylor is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in Wyoming County. Levi recounts the battle of how Taylor was killed in action on January 30th of, 1863, at Deserted House, Va.

Wide Shot Photograph of the Men of the 112th Regiment, New York State Volunteer Infantry at Camp Suffolk, Virginia During the Winter of 1862-1863

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