Green Family Letters – Text

Table of Contents

What this webpage is all about.

This webpage contains a collection of letters written by members of the Green family stationed in Virginia during the American Civil War and life after the war’s end. The letters provide a fascinating insight into how people experienced and viewed the conflict from their perspectives. They also offer details about everyday life during this period, such as what people ate, what they did for entertainment, and how they coped with difficult situations.

Levi and Marvin were from the Willing/Wellsville area, and were enlisted in the 130th NYV/1st NY Dragoons.


Cousin John — I recieved your letter of the 1th and was real glad to hear from you I am well and so is (Orville?) he is well and as tough as as bear. I have not heard from Father since I have been here wish is almost 3 months. I am now in camped on Meridian Hills 2  miles from Washington (see researcher’s note below) and as I have said that we was on a hill and we have a splendid view of the country around us.

The city of Georgetown and the beautiful city of Washington and that noble river the Potomac lies in plain view as it winds its way in grandeur along the picturesque landscape and in its banks as far as you can see.

My eyes rest on a place where rebel pickets very often come. It is in the sacred soil of Virginia it is where Colonel Ellsworth was killed so you can see that if we was put in motion that in one day we should meet the foe. John our Army are the Austrian Rebels and they are good at shooting iron. I have been out shooting today and by the by I do not want you to direct your letters in care of Colonel Davis for he has resigned.

Direct to (?) W.M.S. Washington D.C. 85th Reg. N.Y. Co. H, is all that you want to do all of the regiments in our Brigade has march and it is said that we shall go before the end of the week and I guess that we shall you must write a longer letter the next time you write to me I was glad to hear from you but you, did not cover half a sheet of paper. John I just been to roll call and it is now half past 8 and I will have to extinguish the • light; so I shall have to halt without ? before long. .-I. suppose that you are enjoying yourself this winter and I have got to stay here and do as best I can but I must right face and shout as I was before are have lots of fun.

You must know Lucius Campbell says that if you will write to him he will answer it. My time is now gone and so good evening. This – your cousin, Willard M. Seldon. John Green.

Reasearcher’s Notes: I believe that the camp that Willard Seldon is speaking was on Kalorama Heights, about 2 ½ miles from downtown Washington to a newly constructed series of buildings on the campus of Columbian College along the 14th Street Road. The camp was atop an eminence known as Meridian Hill and provided views of the yet-unfinished US Capitol Building. The camp spread out along the east and west sides of 14th Street atop the heights. The camp had been laid out by Colonel William Watts Hart Davis of the 104th Pennsylvania and the construction of the barracks buildings by Lieutenant James M. Carver of Company C. These barracks and the massive military hospital that later occupied the site were named in honor of Lieutenant Carver taking on the name Carver Barracks. I will continue to explore this as time permits. Original SOURCE:

Willard Seldon mustered in as a private, Co. H. for the 85th New York Infantry. Willard was born in 1843 in NY, the son of Joseph & Almeda (Wheeler) Selden. He Enlisted on September 2, 1861, at Hallsport, NY. Willard was an 18-year-old Farmer from Willing, NY. After his capture, he was returned to the ranks. Transferred January 1, 62 to Co. H. Killed May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, VA. Also borne as Millard M. SELDON and Millard M. SEEDEN.

The 85th New York Infantry, sometimes called the “Plymouth Pilgrims,” was a regiment of Union soldiers. The troops who made up the regiment, mainly from the state of New York, were organized in 1862. The 85th New York Infantry was captured by Confederate forces at Plymouth, North Carolina, on April 20, 1864, hence the unit’s moniker “Plymouth Pilgrims.” The regiment was captured and imprisoned in various Confederate prison camps until the war’s end when they were either exchanged or freed. It was renowned for its valiant efforts during the Battles of New Bern, Fort Fisher, and Plymouth.

In this letter, there has been a question about the name of the person who Willard indicates he is doing well and so is (Orville?) The person who is also doing well is Oscar B. Seldon. Oscar mustered in as a private, Co. I. Oscar was born in 1845 in Allegany Co., NY, son of Joseph & Almeda (Wheeler) Selden. He enlisted on 10 November 1861 at Belmont, NY, as an 18-year-old Farmer from Willing, NY. He re-enlisted on 1 January 64 at Plymouth, NC. Wounded and captured on 20 April 64 at Plymouth, NC. Paroled and discharged for Disability on 11 June 65 at Camp Parole Hospital, near Annapolis, MD. Oscar died in 1909. He was buried in Hallsport Union Cemetery, Wellsville, NY. The headstone is Also borne as SHELDON and SELDON.

FROM LEVI D. GREEN (?) TO DEAR PARENTS — AUGUST 13,  [1862 or 1863, camp near Manassas]

Camp Barz (?) Washington, D.C. (See Researcher’s note below)

Dear Parents I once more If ‘.,,. have the pleasure of droping a few lines to you. I am well y ‘ today and in good health and I hope this will find .you the same. Well ma in this box you will find a navy (?) pistol witch I want you to take good care of for me there is five loads in it tell pa to put it together and shoot it of I don’t want you to let any one take it at all this from your son, rite soon

Camp Barry Artillery Depot, Washington DC

Researcher’s Note: I believe that Barz is actually Camp Barry (see Wikiforts). Camp Barry was a temporary artillery military camp near Washington, D.C., during the Civil War. Camp Barry (1861-1865) – was a Union U.S. Civil War artillery depot and camp of instruction established in 1861. Named Camp Barry after Major William F. Barry, chief of artillery of the department. Abandoned in 1865 at the end of the war. 

It was on the “Corcoran Farm located on H Street NE near the Bladingsburg Tollgate”. William W. Corcoran owned several sections of land around the Tollgate. “Trinidad” (now Trinidad, Washington, D.C.) An area know as “Long Meadow” (later part of Graceland Cemetery and now part of the Carver Langston neighborhood) The camp extended to the “Mount Hamilton” area further north on the Bladingsburg Turnpike. While the exact location is not known, all the descriptions of the camp mention the Bladingsburg tollgate as being close by. It is generally believed that it was located on “Long Meadow”. You can read more on Wikipedia here! 


Dear father and mother and all I am well and in good health, i have been to Black Watter we went on a force march. I want you to save your buckwheat. I saw a man that had his leg shot off next to his body.

I have been to meney a place where the sesesh once lived happa but now they have gone to spoil the union.

Send me some stamps. Send your letters Fortress Monroe care Capt. Hakes Co. E 130 Regt. Levi D. Green.

I would like drink from our spring once more have my gun lade up. Marvin is well.

Researcher’S note: In the 130th, each company would consist of 97 men and three officers. Captain Hakes would have played an essential role in the lives of Marvin and Levi Green. Captain Hakes, whose first name was Wheeler, shared a name, with Marvin being named Marvin Wheeler Green. Both men lived in the same town of Wellsville, New York. 

While the two Green boys lived on a farm with their father, William Erastus Green (25 Jan 1816 – Jul 1884), and their mother, Zilpha Ann Wheeler Green (1818 – 1911), they would have to know each other and had a close working relationship with the boys. I have dedicated a page to Captain Hakes, and you can find more about their commanding officer HERE.


Dear Mother I received your letter of the 21 and was glad to hear that you was well I am well and so is Marvin you said that you wanted to send some things to us we would like them very well you need not send eney boots I have got a pair send them gloves I want long wrist send them by male post road put a _____ on them and send them put the tobacco in above. Now Pa I want you to park some of the money that I sent home you must not spend all so that you will have some money to buy hay. L. D. Green Esq. I received 12 stamps (a drawing is enclosed titled “bushwacker,” “Rebellion is plade out,” and “your old gray rebels driving home . “


Camp Thorp Suffolk VA Good morning mother I recieved your letter and glad was to hear that you are all well and in good health. I am well and so is Marvin. Marvin has gone up River to get his boat payed. He has been to the gard house. He was absent from roll call. He came out last nite. I want you to send me a pare of boots for they will cost seven or eight dollers here and a box of things. Direct your box to L. D. Green Co. E 130 Regt in care of Capt. Hakes Fortress Monroe. I want you to write and tell how much buckwheat you had and how many potatoes you had how many beans how much hay you have got if you have not sent me some money you had better send it or I will come and bust your shitter you must send me 5 dollers as soon as you get this and I will send 24 or 30 about new years so good by for now. L. D. Green.

Reasearcher’s Note:  The 130th N.Y. State Vols. was attached to Spinola’s Brigade, Peck’s Division at Suffolk, 7th Army Corps in October. Colonel Alfred (Abraham) Gibbs, a classmate of General McClellan at West Point, was appointed by McClelland to command the regiment, taking over for Lieutenant Colonel Thomas J. Thorp and Major Rufus Scott. It is for this reason it is logical to assume that regiment named their camp Camp Thorp when they first arrived in Suffolk, VA as they prepared for future battles. I have documented where I believe Camp Thorp was located. I believe that the location of the camp is approximatelly where the Portsmoth Water Quality Lab is today. You can find images with location captured in Chapter II of Bowen’s book, linked here.

(Link to article on the maps and locations can be found here)


Suffolk, Camp Thorp. Dear father I am well an in good health all but in foot that is so sore that I cant but just walk. (see Resercher’s note below)  Marvin is well he has gone to fort nansemond. our regt was ordered out last night to march but they did not go. I can hear the canon roar today at to Black watter like hell. I hope the Rebs will get whipped to hell. If I was their I would run them to hell if I could. I think I could do my part. Pa, I want you to feed my calvs and lamb all they can eat. I want you to get me a pair of boots under 8 and send them to me. And a box of stuff. I want you to do it. I want you to get me a pair of gloves and send I want you to send it as soon as you can. Write to me when you send he box so that I can tell when the box will get here and some dried fruit some butter cake honey put it in a box and seal it up so it cant run out. Let it be the first work that you do. I want you to write often. I have not heard from you in a 1 shit on it. When you get write soon. L. D. Green

RESEARCHER’S NOTE: In Bowen’s Regimental History, he speaks of this moment. Taken from his text: “The history of the First New York Dragoons is unique. In one respect, as an unbroken organization, it has served in two distinct branches of military service, one year in infantry and two in the cavalry. During the first year, we were known as the One Hundred and Thirtieth New York Volunteer Infantry and had abundant experi­ence as “doughboys” in fighting on foot and in long and exhausting marches with blistered feet” and ach­ing joints. As cavaliers, we also had our turn of pitying the poor boys who still had to ” hoof it.”We also learned that, though riding our prancing steeds, the mounted service was not all fun, especially under such vigorous leaders as Sheridan.” View text in original source


Camp Thorp, Suffolk, VA. Dear brother I received your letter day before yesterday and was very glad to hear from you and to hear that you was well. I am well at present and hope these few lines will find you the same. Marvin is well at present and is as fat as a hog he has gained 9 pounds he weigh 169 pounds he is not more than 100 rods from our camp, we have had quite a line moving our camp we have moved about one mile on the other side of the city in a more healthy place and better water than we used to have. I suppose you have seen an account of that skirmish at black water our Regament was down there at the time of the fight but did not go into action for the Rebels skedaddled so we could not get a chance to try our silver but if we had been ordered to the front we were ready to go in to them full reg we took 22 prisoners 9 horses 50 of them was killed but we heard that it is not so we are encamped near the 85 and P. Lern Barzella Seldon and every day I seen Sid Crombal and Run Laraby (Saraby?) and Hale Darling and Newell Brown and Lot Callino and all the boys they look tough and hearty. there is lots of rabbits out here we see lots of them every day when we go out on fatigue I want you to write as soon as you get this and send me a stamp in mine. This from Levi D. Green Enclosed please find two rings from Marvin

RESEARCHER’S NOTE: Bowen speaks of the issue of having to move camps as outlined in the letter from Levi. The following text is taken from the Regimental History of the Dragoons: ” We had two camps while there, the first on the Eden­ton road, east of the village, and in the immediate vicinity of the Great Dismal Swamp, a locality rendered famous by Tom Moore’s exquisite poem entitled “The Lake of the Dismal Swamp,” his description of the place being perfect:-

“Away to the Dismal Swamp, he speeds-

His path was rugged and sore,

Through tangled juniper, beds of reeds, Through many a fen where the serpent feeds.

And man never trod before.”

Almost immediately sickness began to prevail, owing to the use of wretchedly poor surface water and the deadly miasma floating in the atmosphere. The doctor declared it was no wonder sickness was prevalent, when the noxious effluvia were so dense it could be sliced off with a knife.

The improvised hospitals were quickly filled, and notwithstanding the most skillful medical aid, the grim mes­senger gathered his harvest of victims. Almost daily the death march and muffled drums were heard, as some poor boy was borne by loving comrades to his last earthly resting place until the muster roll of every company bore the legend, ‘Died in hospital at Suffolk.'”


“Camp Suffolk, Dear Brother, It is New Years Eve tonight and I thought I would write a few lines to you, to pass away the time. I’m well at present and hope these few lines will find you the same. I’m still in Suffolk, I received your letter Monday but I was detailed to go on picket. So I did not get a chance to answer it sooner.

“The Rebels are getting pretty close to us, they drove in our pickets last night and they have drove them in before 2 or 3 times but never hurt a great many of our pickets, we have had another trip to Blackwater. I tell you they was not more than 3 miles from our camp we had to double quick it for 2 or 3 miles, some of our men were wounded in the skirmish and they lay along the road.

“One of our calvery men was wounded in the leg. In one house where was 2 wounded men, 1 was a Rebel, 1 was Union. We took 15 or 20 prisoners, among them was a Rebel Captain, he was a big over grown strapping fellow, he was dressed in the Butternut Brown so common in secession, we did not get any of our regiment hurt and came into camp rejoicing, but we should have liked it a great deal better if we could have fired about 40 rounds at them Co. B, F and E were thrown outright right under there nose for advanced skirmishers we could plainly hear them give the orders when they came around to change the relief. We could hear them chop trees across the road and even hear them cough. They ought to have had a blue pill for their cough. I recon that seed that you spoke about was a persimmon seed the fruit is delicious when it is ripe, plant in the spring in the garden where it is rich. You wanted to know who that was that wrote my letters, it is one of my bunkmates W. E. Smith by name. When you write again put in another stamp, for I can’t get hold of any here very well, we were mustered for pay today that makes 4 months pay due me. No more write soon. This from your Brother, Levi D. Green.

“Direct to L. D. Green Co. E 130th Reg. T N Y L V Suffolk VA c/o Capt. W. Hakes By the way of Fortress Monroe. Goodbye John Direct as I have with you. Marvin is well and sends his best respects to you, I most forgot about him. L. G.”

RESEARCHER’S NOTE: There is so much here to unpack, so I will start with what Levi calls the blue pill. The “blue pill” during the Civil War was probably “blue mass,” a type of mercury used to treat several conditions, including syphilis, diarrhea, and constipation. Mercury was combined with other materials like sugar, licorice, and chalk to create a blue mass, which was then formed into tiny tablets. During the Civil War, both Union and Confederate soldiers frequently utilized it. However, it is now understood that the mercury in blue mass can be poisonous and lead to significant health issues, including neurological illnesses and kidney damage.

The Blackwater: Inner Coastal Plain of Virginia is where the Blackwater River of southeast Virginia travels for about 105 miles from its source near Petersburg.  The confluence of the Blackwater and Nottoway rivers separates Virginia and North Carolina. The Blackwater River truly flows through blackwater. Its water is clean, tinged with tannin, black, and slightly acidic. Many marshes can be found in its drainage basin. Most of the river’s flood plain is covered in vegetation, including bald cypress and tupelo swamp forests.

Many skirmishes took place during the Siege of Suffolk, which took place across the Blackwater river from Suffolk. You can read much more about these battles by clicking HERE.


Suffolk, VA. Dear father. I am well and so is Marvin our regt has not left this place and I dont think I shall. I have not heard from you in a quiet while. I have got 4 months pay coming to me it shall be 52 dollars. I shall get it in a week or two I think our Regt went out to Black Water last week we had not got 3 miles from camp when we run on to them one of our men got shot. I want you to get some stamps and send to me for I want to send some money to you. I am twenty one that shall not stop me from sending you money pa. I want you to rais them calvs for me I shall want them when I come home I want you to rite and tell me if you have let the big stears go tell Nelson that I have to hunt the Rebs as he does Rabits I have ben an gard where I could see the fire to the Rebs posts when they was on gard. tell Eelmer i would like to see him and Almina to I would like to see Uncle Arnel and Nelson tell Clark to kiss my ass and let my trap set in the mud I could pack him to hell and back Pa you see that I have some stamps for I want to send the money home I will send so it to you as soon as I get it rite soon. this from your son L. D. Green

RESEARCHER’S NOTE: To put things into perspective for the pay that Levi received. $52.00 would amount to roughly $1,225.00 in 2023 (SOURCE) 

Levi wants to see several people in this letter. He speaks of Almina. The person he is speaking of is Alice Almina Green, his sister. Almina was born on 8 May 1853 in Hallsport, Willing, Allegany County, New York, and died on 23 October 1937 in Altoona, Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Elmer Leuellen Green  (Elmer) is Levi’s younger brother. Elmer was born on 17 March 1858 in Allegany county, New York, and died in 1931 in Altoona, Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Elmer is buried in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Levi appears to be referencing a conversation with his father not documented in the letters archived on this site. At one point, Levi indicates that he is twenty-one years old and can make decisions with his money. From the text of this email, Levi intends to return home to Hallsport to work and grow the farm with the funds he sends home to the family.


Camp Suffolk, VA Dear brother I am well at present and I hope you are the same. I have not heard from in some time I shall send my likeness and I want you to send me yours it will not cost you more than 10 cents to send it you must not forget it. I have just come from town. The 177 Regt has gone from here they are a going to North Carolina.

We have not had a march in some time it has been so muddy. the rebs stays on the other side of the Black Water there was 8 killed 21 wounded in our Regt the battle lasted 3 o’clock in the morning until 2 o’clock in the after noon. The rebs fell back into the woods and then the Infantry had to charge on the Battery we was drove back 3 times they shot grape into us we got up so close to their mother earth as they could get they would rais up shout and fall to their mother earth they shot sum of the harp. they fell back 4 miles and lay in ambush we went in after them the 13 Indiana regt was a hed of our regt they went into them like men our men opened their Battery in the rebs and in they went over the river at a (dark of a rate?) then we come into camp. Their was one man that had his haversack shot off his back with a shell he thot that he could eat all the bred he had himself he did not ask nothing of the Rebs We got into camp at midnight I was about gon up.

Marvin did not go with us He was over to the Regt when we left Suffolk but they could see the flash of the guns I will close by asking you to write soon. L. D. Green to John S. Green you must make old laerns (?) hump. yours with respect L. D. Green to John S. Green Esq . write soon if you pleas L. D. Green

RESEARCHER’S NOTE: Levi makes mention of the Rebels firing “grape” into their camp. Smoothbore cannons were used to fire “grape” artillery ammunition during the American Civil War. It was made up of tiny iron balls firmly packed into a canvas bag and then inserted into the cannon. When the cannon was fired, the canvas bag would rip open, releasing the tiny iron balls (which resembled grapes) in a broad pattern. This pattern created a lethal shower of shrapnel that could severely harm enemy troops and defenses. Grape was frequently employed at close ranges and was exceptionally efficient against troops in open areas or trenches. Additionally, naval warfare used it. At a distance, it was less precise than a canister, though.


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


Camp Suffolk, VA Dear Mother I recieved yours of the 20 and glad was I to hear from you and to hear you ware well and in good helth I am well and so is Marvin I have just come from the fort, today is Sunday and we do not have to work today some of the boys is on gard I want you to rite and tell me if you have get that brass that I sent home with the battle printed on it and Company and regt if you have got it. I want you to keep it for me until I come home I have sent you some songs you must keep them to I am going to send a map of our company I have to pay one dollar for it it has got a cavelry charge on the senter and all the names of the boys in our company you must get a frame made and put it in it get Ed to do it. it if he will do as mutch as that I reckon wright smart I heard that Slingland girl was with pup or some other thing had happened to the girl. tell dave to go to his Company the lasey pup tell Nelson to keep up a good stiff upper lip and he will live out his alotted days I wished he could have been hear when the rebs ware hear they shout rite at us the rebs left in a mity grate hurry We found a rebs hand that had been shot off with a piece of a shell wheet is all hecked out apples as large as hen eggs. No more at present write soon. L. D. Green


Suffolk, VA. Dear Brother Not having heard from you in more than a month I thought I would write once more and see if I could not get some word from home. I am well at present and hope these few lines will find you the same I am still in Suffolk and I don’t know when we will be moved but I hope not very soon I want you to send me your likenefs as soon as you can put a paper around it and a stamp on it and direct it and it will come all straight and I will send you money enough to pay all expenses when I get paid send me that little one you had last summer. I don’t see what is getting into you you don’t write as often as you did before you went to school. I guess them girls take up your attention mostly you said you would write often but you don’t write as often as you used to I want you to send me some stamps I am going to draw my pay in a few days and then I will send you some money to get some for I can’t buy any in this place. it is warm here yet it rained yesterday and last night it rained our bunk most full but we laid on piles and did not get wet we lay on boards split out of cedar we split them ourselves most of the lumber used here is split like staves but longer and wider there is plenty of wild geese and duck here in Nansemond River Every time I go on picket I see thousands of them if you was here you could make your living hunting there is plenty of Rabbits here to little grey ones there is plenty of bears down in the swamps about three miles from here tell William I have not forgot how to hay it yet I guess I should like to be there to make sugar in the spring with you be sure and send that likenefs to me and I will send mine to you in my uniform gun and all I can’t think of any more to write this time so good Bye write soon this from your brother Levi Green to John Green write soon if you please this from Levi Enclosed find two persimmons seeds L. D. Green

FROM LEVI D. GREEN TO DEAR MOTHER – DATE UNKNOWN (But Levi and Marvin were at White House Landing in July, 1863)

Sunday, 28th, White House Landing Dear mother I recieved your last night and glad was I to hear from you and to hear you was well I am well and so is Marvin he has come back to the company he has been with us some time we left old Suffolk and went to York town and from their we started for Richmond n we have got most up their

I was in a fight last week at the Black Water their was 2 killed in our Regt one from Co A one from Co. C one wounded in Co # one in Co B I have been in 3 fight and I hope that I will not see any more for the rest of my time I must stop this time I have not got my money

I have not got my pay as soon as I get it I will send you some Write soon this from your son L. D. G.

When this you see, Remember me altho you see me not.

RESEARCHER’S NOTE: In this letter, Levi does not specify a month. Looking at a calendar from 1863 it makes sense that this is in June since there was a Sunday, June 28th 1863. 


Camp at Manassas Junction Dear brother I recieved your letter last night and glad I was to here from you I am well and so is Levi and I hope this will find you the same well Sterns you said that you had worked 3 months and had got 3 months to work Well I am glad that your are a doing so well as you are I wish that I had nothing mroe to do than to work every day on a farm I would think that I was fed and hapy but I will stand it if I can for we have got only 2 years longer to stay in the army We are a having good times now all we have to do is drill with the saber and do our guard duty but when we are on a march then is when the pinch comes but now we are transfered into Cavelry and now we can ride and Sterns if you ever enlist I want you to enlist into cavelry for you could never stand to march on foot but you must not enlist at all if you can do a good deal better to stay at home and work on a farm for 10 dollars per month for you don’t have to spend so mutch for things that you don’t nead there is so many pedlers here that you can’t har step without stepping on them and another thing is that you have better things to eat than we do and it is cooked so that you can eat it so you see I would give five dollars for one good meal no better than you have every day well Sterns I don’t think of anything more this time so good By for this time, this is from Marvin Green to John Sterns Green


Camp near Bull Run Dear Mother I received your Ever welcome letter Lat knight it found me well and Tough and I hope this will find you the same. Marvin was quite well. Last knight He is quite smart this morning he had a bad cold he was on guard and it rained all knight So he get wet I think he will get smart soon.

I want you to send that spoon back to me I forgot to take it out of the pocket you can send it by male I don’t know how to get along with out it. We sent some plank road to pa half a plug the name of it is Navy Tobacco. The new pants is for Bill and the over coat that has no cape is for Bill the red shirt is for Lorenzo and the white one is for pa if he wants it. And the over coat with a cape the new dress coat is for William.

Rosalind you say thinks that I am pops best boy. She wants me to ? then old tits of ? Would if I was their you say Sterns and she don’t hitch I hear that she is married. She had better look out for me I am quite coltish we can get it plenty of meat for our bat in Washington for 25 cents. Some of the boys has got bernt in the fraz wall I have just got back from drill I had to drill 2 hours on mounting and dismounting. I have got a sorrel hors Marvin has got a black hors Carton Canli has got a gray horse Danniel Tompkins has got a rone horse William Reikon has a black horse Robert Rider a bay V. L. Rider a black.

Ma I want you to write often and let me know how you get a long. Sterns what do you live for and what are you up to are you a packing Rosalind arse or what are you about write and let me know can you shoot a chipmunk woodchuck. I can not and if you can you can do more things than I wold like to be at home to drill you in the infantry well. Our regt was neatly drilled in the Manual of Arms we have been transferred in Cavalry.

You must direct L. D . Green Washington D.C. Co. E 19 N . Y. Cavalry and it will come state try and see if it don’t come I will pay the wiskey if I had a good drink. I think it would make my big to switch like the old bay. I could fight better than I could with out it.

No more this time write soon.

John I will send you a plate with your name

Levi D. Green Co. E 19 N.Y. Cavalry Washington, D.C.

Robert Rider and I are cooks – when we was with the hed quarters Army of the Potomac we had good times we could see Orvill every day General Mead is a tall man his eyes are like that of Falk (?) Sharp.

When this you see remember me All though you see me not

write Soon


“Dear Friend John I now seat myself to write a few lines to you to let you know that I am well and hope this will find you. I received your kind letter and was glad to hear from you and to hear that you are well and at home I am well all but a large bile on my arce I can’t ride on a horse the boys are off drilling they drill one hour with the saber then 2 hours on the horses I want you to write and let me know if them boots has got home or not and what you have dun with that money if you have got it you may give it to pa write and let me know if he is in need of it if he is let him have it if not hang on to it. I sent you a plat with your name on it. Marvin has got well and is smart. Write soon. L. D. Green. (Zilpah Green) Send me some tea in your next letter, some green tea to make a cup.”


Camp near Brandy Station Good Eavening Dear parents I this Eavening take my pensal in hand to rite you a few lines. We are all well to night and hope this will find you the same. Well pa and ma Levi and I have left the regiment. We are in a Battery of artillery we are on detached Service We don’t have to stand on picket nor we don’t have to go in to so many Battles. We expect our pay every day but I dont know when we will get it. 1 But I hope soon for I want to send some to you. Well pa I will tell that the army of the Potomac is now a laying still they are not doing mutch if any thing. Now I want you when you direct letters to us to direct them to Marvin Green Battery K. 1 U.S. ARTILLERY Washington D.C. now don’t forget to right. I will have to close By saing good night this from Marvin Green to Erastus and Zelpha Ann.

Direct to Battery K. 1 United States Artillery Washington D.C. have Sterns direct your letters for you. L. D. Green to Erastus Green I shall get my pay soon


Suffolk Dear mother I received your letter to night and glad was I to hear from home once more. I am well and so is Marvin. I have not got my pay. Idon’t know when I shal get it when I do I will send you som money. Marvin never was so fat in his life as he is now their is not mutch news about the war in this place. their is no large gun in this place, the rebs have give us 3 days to leave the place in. I want you to take good care of my calvs and lamb. I am as hot as I can be I have had my coat off all day I have got 4 coats I do not want but one rite soon. Yours with respect. L. D. Green

(Little drawing) Caption says What the Rebs say L. C. can’t stand this shot shot. I will run. (under picture) he shit on his foot. the union man says I will give you hell in the arse I will shoot all sesesh men on you.

Dear brother – you are well and so am I want you to feed my calvs good and lay my trap up for me and tell Elmer to whip Frank like the old boy and I will give a cent. Yours with odity L.D.G.

Beloved cousin Nelson I am happy to hear that you are on the earth From your cousin L.D.G. Yours with ?

Clark the Ped. wag your ass for that trap (50 cents) I think you finger your ass to mutch – yours with mutch respect L. D. Green to Clark ther Pedler. bil for Smith job


Warrenton Dear brother We recieved your kind letter last night and was glad to here from you. We are boath well at present and hope this will find you the same. Well sterns we are at Warenton yet -and we are having good times for soldiers. Sterns the pen that I started this with was some like a Bob sled but now I am riting with one that cost 6 dolars. it is one that I have bored just to rite this letter. Well Sterns you may tell herk hall for me that I wish he would enlist in the Battery that I am in and then he would have good times and lots of fun. tell Orville Perkins that I am coming home on a ferlow for I have got the ? of it levi and I will come home together and I want you to get lots of power and caps and lead and then we will have good times tell rose that I am a thousand times obliged to her for that ten that she sent us. Well sterns I shant rite eny mroe to day so good By D. Brot. this from M. W. Green


Warrenton, VA. Dear brother I received your kind and welcome letter and it found me well and I hope this will find you the same you wanted to know if Marvin sent his money to William Sherwood he has not sent any to him and I think he will not you wrote in your last letter that Orville was home I think that we will come home the last of this month or the first of next. We have spoke for furlow and they say that we shall have one their is 3 more to go before us if we get our pay we shall come for 10 days It is rather cold to day we had Thunder last knight and it is not so plesant. To a day there was 7 Rebs come in last knight they say that half of Lees Armey has got their feet raped up in Rags. they come in here to Warrenton Tell Rosalinda that I am mutch pleased with the tea that she sent It made all that 4 of us could drink Marvin and my self Lumas Hall, David Carey. we had bean soup hard tack and tea for dinner you say you lost the old black horse and got a new one I want you to write and tell me who you got the horses of. And tell me where Clark Green lives and all the rest of the folks. no more this time. Write Soon This from your brother L. D. Green to John S. Green write soon To John S. Green from L. D. Green Hallsport Allegany Co. N.Y.


Albany Barracks to Aunt Zelphan from Nelson P. Green and brother P. C. (sic) Wheeler I take this opportunity to write to you to let you no how we are getting along an how we live Nelson says that he likes sold iers life as well as he expected but the living is good – nuf. if it was coached in a propper manner you can immadgin 14 or 15 hundred men all comeing in to the table at once an about 5 barrels of bread on the floor in 1 inch of mud on the flore than has been about 300 men disserted Severel come here that was 2 shot last nite one dangerously the other slitely I want to inquire how you got the money that we Sent you Sterns has ben rather Sick with a cold but it is warring away we had all one cittens (?) close mine an Cadwells and Sterns and John Brewers all stolen if you get this before Orvel comes back to the army an can get some golden red (rod?) from John Waldens I want you to send it to me. I must c lose as I can think of no more at the preason write as soon as you get this an Send me all the news direct your leatters to Nelson P. Green Albany Brick Barracks 93 Regt Co. E N.Y. S. Volenteers Nelson P. Green

Zelphan as I am writing for Nelson I thought that I would write one word or to for my self tell Rastus that Sterns has hand me that money that rastus oad me If you have occasion to write go to Wellsville Ps call to my house an tell my wife how to dyrect her letter as I did not write her tell hur that I am com ing horn if pasab le tell hur that when we got to Albany the curnal was at N.Y. an we had to wait until 4 days after an when the curnal went to the provost marshall to see how long a pass we cou ld get thare had been an ord er not to grant any more passes but the curnal will send us from N.Y. on of short pass of 5 days and then pass on to the army I will then fetch my money as if have had no opportunity from your brother and friend P. C. Wheeler


Dear Aunt Green I recieved yours of March 24 an was glad to hear that you was well. But was sorry that you let Roselinda have any of my money. I don’t indat that you should let lime trass have any of my money an I want that you should take my money and put it in the Bank an there it will be in interest an also safe from Robbers and don’t any any laddy any more depts unless I tell you the weather changes every 24 hours here first rain then snow then heavy winds then rain then wind so you an that we have a viriaty what has ben the weather thare are you making anay shanges. how is the folks in Hallsport or have you heard from Uncle John Wheel folks I hurd that Leavina wzs sick and I have not hurd from Rachael for too weeks. If you should chance to go down to my house tell my wife that she ows me 2 leatters and that I shal prefur charges unless that she pays hur depts. tell hur if my folks are sick that I want to hear when thay ar sick an not wait until they are well. thare has been 2 burred 1 of Company B an 1 rebel Prisner. Nelson wants that you should put that wash in running order and cry it your Self until he calls for it. have rastus get that lumber of mine an use it. Sturns was taken sick on dress purrat yesterday an the Sargent sent him to his quarters but he is better now tho his health is not very good. An Uncle Johns health is not very good. has chills and fevers pains in his back an hip an sides an legs an very sor acrost me he has taken 2 of herricks pills an hopes to get better he has bean in gard twice Since he come down Nelson has had a very bad cold but a Side from that his heath is very good. An Sturns has been to visit Marvin an Levi and Nelson is agoing in a day or too Nelson wants you should send him 5 dollers in money and Leavinias likeness on pastboard. If you can give my Best Respects to all So no more at preasont. From your friend Nelson P. Green also from your friend and brother John C. Wheeler


“Dear Mother Yours of the 5th was duly received. It found us both well and I hope this will find you the same we was glad to get your likness and Almina I want you to get yours taken and send or you are to old you do not look as you did when I left home Almina looks first like Mary Waldon we got our pay last knight and we are a going to send you 40 dollars I am a frade to send it by mail 1 shall wate and let Sterns express it their first express hear I am afrade to trust it in the mail Marvin has some money that he sent in the mail we got the stamps you sent and was glad to get them we have to pay five cents for a stamp hear and cant get them at that There is not mutch news hear you did not rite how pa was and have you paid for your land. I want you to pay all of it and have it out of the way. Wright soon. I remain as ever your son L. D. Green.”


Camp near Brandy Station Friends at home As I have not wrot in quite a while I thought that I would write a few lines to inform you how and where I am. we are in a brigade now but we are near Brandy Station yet but we do not know what moment we will move to the front but I am ready for ever comes. Uncle John is not very well yesterday and today. We were mustard for pay yesterday and we will get it in ten or fifteen days. I shall draw about 70 dollars I shall send home 60 dollars of it I geufs.

Ma I will tell you some things we have to do in the first in the morning you will hear the drums beat and you will have to get up to role call and then eat your breakfast and then the sick goes to see the Doctor and then they mount guard, that is to releive the old guard and put on a new one which stands 24 hours and then is relieved also Well then we have to go out on Company Drill and that takes all the forenoon and then we eat dinner and about 2 or 3 o’clock we go out on batallion Drill and drill till most night and then we are done for the day at 6 o’clock we have Role Call and nine in the evening Thursday and Sundays we have inspections of our clothes knapsacks haversacks canteens guns straps and ammunition and so on I must stop for Levi and Mervin has come

Camp of Home Battery R 1st U.S. Art.

Dear mother As Sterns is wrighting I thought I would wright a line to you to let you know that I am well and I hope you are the same. I sent you 20 Dollars wright soon this from L. D. Green

Levi and Marvin is here to day on a pafs they are about a mile and a half from our camp. Now Mother I want you to write and tell me wether pa (?) has paid for his horse yet with that money that he got up to Wards and if he has not I want you to tell me what has he done with it and I want you to tell me about John R. Clarks deal how that has come out and wether the old mare is agoing to have a colt is (??) for Nelson he says he will not write until he gets a letter from home. J. G. Green


Camp on Fredrickburg Heights Dear parrents I take this opportunity drop a few lines to you to let you no we get a long. Levi and myself is well we. have ben n fiting for the Last 9 days the 32end corps has had a hard time of it. that is the Corps that Sterns is in and I herd by one of the 93rd Boys that Sterns was wonded but I don’t know how Bad. But I have not heard anything from Nelson nor Uncle John. But I am in hopes of hering from them in a few days. Well ma we are Bound to have Ritchmond this time with out fail the report is now that Buttler has got Ritchmond now But it is not confurmed yet. General Burnmayed (Burnside) is on one side and General Buttler am on other and General Mead on our other and General Grant on the other so you see that we have got them this time and they cant help. the report is now that General Lee told his men that this was the last battle that he would fight and if he lost this battle he would have to give up the Busness. Well ma this is all that I can rite this time for we have all that we can tend too. the 93 went in to Battle with 800 men and come out with 300 This is what I herd don’t take it for the thruth

Good By. this from Marvin and Levi Green rite soon. Horse Battery K 1st U.S. Artillery


Dear parents I recieved your letter 2 or 3 days ago. But have not answered it for I wanted to see whether Levi would get in or not But he has not. he is tacon prisner I get out all rite We have had a hard Battle here I tell you. You can get the New York Herald and that will tell you all about the rade. We have been out 12 days a taring up railroad and Burning cotton and tobaco that is all that I can tell you about the rade. Ievi is all rite only he is a prisner Well ma you spoke of getting the barn put up. Well you had aut to had it put up Before this time you get it up as soon as you can. I will stand the damage. Levi will soon Be out again and then he will have 8 or 10 months due him. Well ma I will tell you the rebs took all of our (big?) guns that you dremp of your dreams did not come out Right. as you drent it they did not come up to me to shake hands but to kill me. But they did not come. if they got with in ten feet of me and hallowed halt you yankee Son of a Bitch But I could not see the point of halting Write Soon as you get this Good By this from M. W. Green to his parents Brothers and sister


U.S. Hospital – Chestnut Hill Philad. My dear parents I now take the oportunity to write to you to inform you that I have heard from Marvin but not from Levi Marvin says that the last that was seen of Levi he was about 4 miles from the field and he suposes that he was taken prisoner but he did not know he wants us to write if we hear from Levi. Marvin is in Washington now but I don’t know how long he will stay there you must write if you should happen to hear from Levi.

Ma I want you to write and tell me if you have recieved them boxes yet and the last five Dollars that I sent. And if you hear from the boys I want you to tell me what date their letters are dated so I can know Marvins letter was dated the 15th of this month. No more. John S. Green


2nd Depot Y.R.C. Cliffburne Barracks Washington

as I have been sent away frwom Philadelephia to Washington I thought I would write and inform you of it.

I have been put in the V.R.C. or Veterans Reserve Corps generaly called Invelids and I expect to be sent north somewhere before long maybe to New York to do duty at some of the Hospitals there

Well Ma I have not recieved any pay yet and I do not know when I shall get any but I want you to keep what I have sent home by all means but I may get my Discharge and then I shall want it. if you should spend any of it I want you to let me know it So I can act accordingly.

Well as for Marvin I have not heard from him in some time but I guefs he is in Western Virginia with Sheridan. I should like to hear from him. Sheridan has had a great victory the other day.

Well I do not think of any more to write this time. Ma you need not write to me for I do not know how long I shall stay here when I am sent from here then I will tell you where I am and then you can write So good by John S. Green


St. Mary Hospital Rochester Dear Wife

I recieved your kind leatter this morning on the account of paper I must be short my health is Better more Sid I should come home I will get a furloe as soon as posable. I want to go an get a load of apples an potatoes an stay until after election tell the children I will fetch them some grapes charge 2.50 rent monthly and have them pant the house an fix back at thare on expence and dont promis it for any length of time for you may sell it. it can be banded easily drive a Big stake down in ground in Bank in side the foundation is safe. Have Browns rent every quartly an put it in Bank Hard an Lewz at 6 per sent interest GoodBy

I want you to ware one of them shirts next to your skin and fix one for Leavina and they wont have soe throats an let them sleep in them an John to an errend an you ned not cut any of them only put tack in them. If you will take my advice and dres your self and the children before you get out of bed in the morning ande dont let the cold air strack your naked skin and dress John and the girls in ? way put his stockins and shoes on as soon as he gets up. you will find a very small dockter bill to pay this winter. I hope you will exrsise much care on not get sick get your fixings together for all sort of good living about the 15th of the month. I think I will be there get some Annvey (?) an meal for whes an onions and pork an beans an Peru pudding an egs an that is all now good by an heaven Bless you don’t forget a pray for me that I my convalese from your frien J. D. Wheeler


Cliffburn Barracks Washington

Father Mother Sister & Brothers

I thought that I would write a line as (?) this morning for I am getting a little anxious about my money that I sent to you for I have not heard from it yet and I want you to write an tell me if you have got it yet and I want you to write any way for I have not heard from home in a long time if you have not sent my gloves you need not send them first I have got me a pair but I want the mittens the box when you can send it and be sure and send some buter if you have got it.

Today is the firs day of winter and I have not seen any snow yet it has been good weather for a while back but it is cold now and then a day.

Well Ma I got a letter from Marvin the othere day he is well and is a going to get a Furlough if he can he has gone into winter but Ma I want you to let me know if you have got my money. John S. Green

Ma I want you to put my money away I keep it for a want it when I get home to go to School with.

Ma you can do as you are a mind to about a sending me a box it will cost a little and I do not know of any thing but butter but what I have got but a a pair of mittens I must have for my sore hand gets cold very easy. Ma why do you have your mail come to Hallsport you go to Wellsville twice where you go to Hallsport once but I can send it to Hallsport. 0 ma you wanted to know if I had to lay on the ground I can tell you ma. don’t the heading of my letter say Barracks and Barracks is buildings all clapboard and has window just like any house but not so warm and there is but one room and that is filled up with bunks for to sleep on an we have straw tick and blankets and we sleep as warm and dry as you do we have storms but this will do. John S. Green of 5th Co. Battalion V.R.C. be sure and write


Camp in Plesant Valley Maryland Dear Parents I recieved your letter tonight for the first that I have had in 8 weeks and was very glad to get a letter from you. Your letter found me well and in good health and I hope this will find you the same. Ialso got a reciept But the (box?) has not come yet and when it comes I will rite and let you no all about it. I am very glad for I am almost bairfoot and I was bound not to draw any boots from the Government.

We have not got our pay yet But I expect it soon and then you may look for 50 more and I want you to take good care of it for me an use what you want you did not tell me anything abaout pa and the children and how you get along. tell me about Almina gets along and also elmer the little scamp. I would like to See him you did not say anything about that farm that I spoke of tell pa to see about it and let me no when you rite agane I will tell you where it is the farm that joins gerchems darling and Ben Gordons owns it it is the one that Hank Zee lived on and now you no all about it. Be so kind as to see if you can Buy it for me. I will send the money to pay for it. it won’t cost you anything only your trouble well I will have to close for this time. I remain as ever your son Marvin W. Green

I will tell you that Levi is all right and well he is in Charlston But he expects to be exchanged Soon Rite soon.

(Note: By now, Levi is dead, having died November, 1864).


Cliffburn Barracks

Brother Lorenzo

I wish you a Happy New Year. But I cannot do it to your face so I will have to write to you and make you a small New Year’s gift it is not much but I made it myself out of a Laurel Root and I put your name on the first letters of it on the ring if it is to large keep it until it will fit you and you tell William that I will send him something else when I get paid. I mustered for pay yesterday. I shall draw about one hundred and 20 dollars but you must not say anything about that.

I got a letter from Marvin yesterday he is well and has recieved his box and I supose he is haveing a grand time over it he said his boots came good The ground is covered with snow now and we are haveing a cold snap but the most of the time the ground is bare

Lorenzo I want you to tell me if Carelton Cline is all right yet and if Laderna Trask is killed or not I heard he was wounded rather bad and afterwards died and I want you to tell me. Lorenzo last Christmas I had oyster Dinner the Luentenat bought oysters for the whole company and gave us a Christmas Dinner. Lorenzo tell our folks that I wish them all a Happy New Year and I will close my letter asking you to write. John S. Green


Plesant VAlley, Maryland Dear parent I recieved 2 letters from you to night one was stating that Mary Ann Waldina made my Boots and the other stating that Nelson Green was dead, that letter was (?) last may my health is first rate at presant and I cincerely hope that this will find you the same Ma them Boots was to large fer me so I sold them for 2 dollers and wate until pay day. But I am the pay. Oh Ma did you send anything for James Cavel it that Box if you did let me no he has rote to me about it and he wants me to pay him for it now let me no in your nex letter and when you send me another Box don’t send anything for any one else if you have got them boots don that I sent.


Pleasant Valley Maryland Dear Parents it is not with plesure that I rite these few lines to you for I have bad news. Levi is dead he died in Savanah and what he died with was starvation and he had Scurvey. So you know his fate it is Bad news to rite to you But I suppose that you want to no 2 boys came to the BAttery today that was taken the same time that he was and they say that he is dead he died last October Well ma I am well as usual and I sincerly hope this will find you the same.

I will not rite mutch today for I expect a letter from you to nite and then I will ancer it. I remain as ever son Marvin W. Green


Headquarters Cliffburn Barracks Washington D.G. Kindred at home It is not any good news that I can give you today for I recieved a letter from Marvin the other day in which he said that Levi was dead at Millen GA. It is rather hard but it is the fortune of war and the way we must all go in time but it is hard to die iln a strange land and among enemys. I persume that Marvin has told you more than I can about it.

Ma if I send a letter to you in your name I want you to read it to yourself for you know that I make you my bank and if I send anything to you I want you to keep it to yourself or you may be relieved of it some night. so when I send a letter to Mrs. Erastus Green I want you to understand it is of business and therefore not have them it opened at Hallsport. I expect to sign my name for a few dollers in a few days Ma I got a letter from Cordon the other day. His folks is well and prospering. Write soon Your Obit’ Son John S. Green


Headquarters V.R.C. Cliffburn Washington D.C. Friends at home

It has been some time since I heard from home and I thought that I would write again and see if I could hear from you. I am well and I hope this will find you well also. I recieved a letter from Coradon a short tsime ago he is well and folks also.

We are having rather good weather here saw yesterday morning the ground was bare and now there is about 4 inches of snow on the ground but will not stay long for it is going as fast
as it can

Well ma what are you agoing to do with that money that is in the bank where it has been in a year. Are you going to put it in again or take it out I think if you can get it all in greenbacks that it will be about as safe in your chest as in the bank of Wellsville but if you take it out you must not let anybody know it not even your own children because they will tell and then you will have it stole from you if you could do as Aunt Suplina did with Orville I would like it -she kept his all of it. You must not take anything but greenbacks for they will all of them be good you gave them must of all such and you must make them give you the same. Ma I expect to be paid soon and then I shall send home quite a pile. But above all keep still about haveing money in the house Now write soon John S. Green


Camp Cliffburn Washington D.C. Friends at home I have not much to write this time only that I have wrote twice since I sent my money home and each letter I asked you to write as soon as you got the money and if it did come to write and tell me. I sent the money the 24th of last month and no answer yet. if I do not get an answer this will be the last letter and the last money.

I am well and so was Marvin when I last had a letter from him.

Be sure and put on the company when you write to me. Your?

John S. Green
5th Co 2nd Bat. V.R.C.
Cliffburn, D.C.

Now write


Depot Camp V.R.C. Dear ones at home

I recieved your letter yesterday. I was sorry to hear that William was sick and I hope he will soon get over it. I am glad to hear that Father is better.

I recieved a letter from Marvin he is well and he expects to move before long he thinks they will come to Washington he says he has not had a letter from home in a long time. His company was paid the other day but it took all of his wages to pay for extra clothing that he has drawn he had to pay some sixty dollars for extry clothes We were alowed forty two dollers a year for clothing and if we drew more we had to pay for them out of our monthly wages. But we are alowed some Sixty dollers now.

Marvin will soon have his three years served about 4 months and 15 or 20 days.

Ma tell William to keep up good courage and he will get well. Ma I want you to tell me what kind of a bank it is where you have deposited my money. I want to know if it a National Bank or some upstarts.

Hopeing this will find William well and all the rest I will bid you good bye. Yours with respect John S. Green 5th Co. 2nd Batallion V.R.C.

Ma I want you to tell me -if you got a letter from me with a dollar in it for you to buy postage stamp with


(Levi and Marvin weren’t in the service during the first Battle of Manassas. The second Battle of Manassas was fought August 29-30, 1862 — this letter, in reply to Erastus’ of August 12th, is probably just prior to that battle.)

“In Camp near Manassas Junction (Love thy Mother). Dear Father I now seat myself to answer yours baring date August 12 It found me well and I hope this will find you the same I am on guard today at a house and I thought it would be my time to wright a long letter their is not mutch news to wright today their is some rebs around hear they got 5 of our mules the other day while the boys was out after some lumber the rebs came out of the woods and cut them loos from the waggon Marvin and I have sent a lot of cloths home Marvin sent coat and pants I sent overcoat a dress coat 2 shirts and cap and one pare of new pants the overcoat is for pa the dress coat and new pants is for William and the cap and the red shirt of Marvin sent pa a plug of Navy tuber you must not sell any of the cloths that we have sent home if you do it will be very mutch aganced our will I want William to have my new dress coat and new pants and cap And you make Elmer a soldiers sute of blue they will be sent to Wellsville and you can go and get them you never have written whether you got them cloths that I home from Portage or not I would like to know there is a spoon and fork in them pants pocket and I want you too put it away. Marvin has sent you 10 dollars and I should have put in 10 dollars but he never let me know so I have got to send it in a letter. I will send you 10 dollars in my next letter. Levi Davis Green to Erastus Green. When this you see, remember me.  L. D. Green.”


Camp at Winchester, VA Dear parrents I recieved your ever welcom letter last night and I tell you that I was glad to here from you once more and I also got a letter from Sterns he is well as usual you nead not fever about my going up west before I come home for I shall not but I shall go and see Coraden after I have been home I may be at home in 6 weeks and maby not untill my time is out I can not tell you when I shall get my discharge they are going to discharge the troops as fast as they leav and I don’t now how soon our turn will come But i hope it won’t bve long. this battery that I am in did not go with Sheridan so you see we still have no more fiting at all for any of the troops fiting is plaid out now and we will sendin our troops home as fast as possible. I expect to go to my regiment every day and I am afrade that I shall lose ‘that mone for the boats it is only 10 dollers anyway so I wont lose mutch if we have got the money pay that drake (?) and I will make it all rite with you as soon as I get home I am very sory that it has turned out so.

Excuse me for this time for the mule is ready.

I am as ever your affectionate son Marvin W. Green Write as soon as you get this


Chico. Derr Brother and sister I will write you a few lines so you won’t think we have forgotten you We are in the Best of heath and may this find you the same the reason I write is to find out whether I have any frinds or not I have wrote to our folks When We first Got here and have Got no answer I shall Write them all a letter and then quit then if I get no answer I shall no that my folks does not caire anything for me that is just the reason that I left is becaus my folks talked about Vira when they had no occasion and Mother Sharp Would not come to my house I could not see the point of staying there Mina I supose you have very cold weather I pitty you from the bottom of my Heart but I dont no as I can help you any We have our Winter here But it is in a little diferent shape when it storms it is rain and that is as cold as it ever gets we have to keep the doors open in the ded of winter what do you think of that Mina I wish you would get my papers from the news ofice and send them to me No 5 is the first Number and from that to the first of January Bill I wish you would send me that you owe me for I want to use it in the Spring send it by Post Office Order tell Rob to be easy untill he gets his hand in tell our folks that I would like to here from there We are sewing wheat now We will be don by the last of february or the first of March We have ben plowing and sowing for the last month ther is a hundred bushels ofapples in the Orchard that wont be geatherd I wis you had them in your Valley what a help it would be Write soon Mina and I will write agane Direct Chico Butte Co. Call M. W. Green



“Dear Brother, We received your letter today and hasten to answer it and I want you to do the same when you get a letter set rite down and answer it. Your letter found us in the best of health and may this find you the same. Well Elmer yes we have plenty of flowers here everything is in bloom we don’t have any fire only to cook with how is that for high in February Well Elmer you wanted to no what I was doing well I am to work by the day for 3 dollars per day and get my gold every Saturday.

“Tell Dad that it will costs him $121 and 50 cents for his ticket it cost me to come here ($285) you see it takes stamps to come here it is 1990 miles from here to Omaha that is on the West line of the Missura I am just 3000 miles from where I was born. But a far better country there is figs on the trees in my yard as big as the end of my thumb Elmer there is lions here wild and cugar and wolf and antelope and deer and fox and gopher and prairie dogs and the worst of all the cut throat but they are not here they are in the mines. Well Elmer tell Ren that I would like to hear from him and our folks to and if you see Cord tell him to answer my letter that I sent him a long time ago. Well, Elmer I shant rite anymore this time. Now rite soon. From M. W. Green. Elmer when you speak of the ladies always say pregnant nocked up is vulger.”

(This is a P.S. appended to Marvin’s letter by Elvira: Elmer, what grate crime have I done that you can not write to me or even say sister when you write I did not know that you hated me or I would not have written at all to you if I have done eny thing that you disown me as a sister I do wish that you would forgive me for it I am a good ways off now and it will do no good to have bad feelings this is all goodby. Vira.”)


(Datelined Chico) “Well, Ren and Elmer we got your letter this morning and was glad to hear from you. Well, Ren, you say you cannot raise the money this Spring I will give you until Fall if you want to but I want you to pay the taxes on that 80 of land for me pay it in my name and send me the receipes and I will awate for the rest your letter found us well and may this find you all well. Elmer tell me the trouble between Old Rake and Rob we got a letter from Uncle Warren the other day we heard all the news from there.

“Oh what fine weather we have here the figs in my yard are nice there is a tree that is called Heaven tree they are all leaving out I tell you boys if you was here you would have no wish to go back I haven’t the least desire to come back there. Elmer when we pack up our things to come here I forgot my belt. I would like to have you tell me where it is I don’t like to lose it. Well boys, I will tell you a little wood story. There was one tree here that was cut into wood and it made 108 cords. That is the kind of trees to have. Well I got a letter from Mina and you today so you see I can’t write mutch for I must write her. Well I don’t no as I have anymore news to rite so goodby from your brother, M. W. Green. Rite soon as you get this. Vira says she is wating very paciently for Mother to write. Eddy will write to you himself.”


Dear father and mother We recieved your ever welcom letter to day and was glad to here from you your letter found us Well for Vira is better a good deal than she was when I rote to Mina well we are still in Callaforna and are liable to stay for a while But when I leave here I am agoine to Oregon or Washinbgton tarytory (there) is the Best land in the World and I can rais any kind of fruit but Oranges and that we can do without I shall not go there for a couple of years yet for I can get good wages here it is very warm here now our rains are over for this season there has a feet of watter fell since last fall it comenced raining about 3 weeks after we got here tell renz that Vira will tell him all about the things that we left there I dont no any things about them well old Duke is just doing business for rab poor Devel how will he get his rattin now tell him I pity him for I could not do without it no way when you rite again tell me why Cord dont answer my letter and tell Bill and Elmer that I will answer thier letter in a fiew days we got 5 letters all at once and that is about all we can anser at once I will rite line to Sterns and send it in this envelop for I had to go over to the depot and get a stamp of fred Sprague when I get to the ofice I will get some stamps Well I think I will close for this time from your children M. W. Green E. L. Green


Chico Dear brother and sister as i do not feel well to day and dont care to work i will try and write you a letter how are you getting a long this winter and how are all of the rest getting a long have you got eney more babys yet it is a bout time i hope i got one boy and two babys their names is nellie and Dick he is singing now they are out in the sun you must have pretty cold wether there now it is warm here i have got my door open now and wish that the other one was to. We have had some rain this fall but not much. We live in town on frist street next to the chico hotel that is on one common the armray hall on the other and a chebang on the other and us on the next how is that but that is nothing on the main streets there is a store a chebang and a store or a saloon

Eddie is at school and Marve is at work and you know what i am doing well minna i am getting hevey i weigh 110 now. how does Mother and Father get a long we have not got that letter yet that she was going to write but i will keep right on looking it may come some day. and you no that it is better late then never. well i cant write eney more this time write soon good buy from Mrs. M. W. Greene to Mrs. Wm. Schilling


Chico new years night Dear brother and sister well good evening how do you do. We are pretty well and happy new years to you all and may the sun shine in prosperity on your house hold all of the comeing year. but dont bring twins it is to good. we got a little tinte tintly letter from mother but it was very wellcom and we would like some more of the same stile. we here all a bout them but it is not from mother and father you know and that is what we want.

Well miana i do not know what to write my little bird Nellie is dead it made me sick in bed and marve could not look at her nor let me say nellie he felt so bad

Well I have had to stop and eat a piece of mince pie it is 11 o clock and they are all asleep but me and i dont know wether i am asleep or not it is hard to tell

Eddie will send the girls a book mark that he made him self they are not very nice but it is the first that he made and wants to send them I will try and make them one my self some of these days well i will wait untill morning to finish this letter for I cant see eney more

Jan 18th 1880 well I will ssend this letter i have waited long enuff. All well. Eddie has been to Sunday school he goes evry Sunday he goes to school to he wrote a letter to ida but i can not find it and he is not here.

good bye write soon Vira Greene Marve says he is sick but will feel beter when he comes in


(Elvira left out the year)

Datelined Chico: “I take my pen in hand to write you a letter. We have been waiting some time to get an answer to the letter we wrote in November and it came back to us the other day so I thought I would write again. We are well all but Eddie he has got the hooping cough and is pretty sick with it he is writing to you now and says take good care of Buster for him so he can have him when he comes back.

“Well as I suppose that you have forgotten how we look by this time we will send you our photographs so when you want to know how we look you can just look at them and we want yours in your next letter have them taken together if you can tell Minna to send hers and Bill and the children. When I was writin to her was in a hurry and did not think to tell her to.

“Well what is all of the folks a doin there this winter is Ren agoin to marry that Wycoff girl we herd it was the story, Now tell him to hold on and look before he leaps that there is girls that is a mity site better than her. He is young and need not be in eny hurry to get married he had better stay singel than to rue the day after werds but it is no business of mine. I do not want to meddle but that is what I think and I have said it. Tell Ren as he never writes to us that he must not expect us to write to him.

“Well as Marv will write when he comes home I will close hoping to hear from you soon. We remain as ever, children Marvin W. and Elvira Green.”


“Hallsport, January 25, 1885. My Dear Mina: I cannot tell you how glad I was to receive your letter although it contained very bad news. I very deeply sympathise with you and your Ma I know very well the deep sorrow and anguish that rent your hearts. • I had heard of your Pa death a little while before I received your letter there was a letter came to Clarie from Miss Tainter that told us he was dead but told none of the particulars. You said your Ma talked of coming home, why, I clinched it as a drowning man would a straw I was so anxious for her to come we are getting old the time is short that we have to stay here and I think it is to hard for sisters to be separated as we are. Mary Ann is in Portage NY state she has not written to me in two or three years. Diana’s children are all married she lives part of the time in Beanville with Pet and part of the time with Mary in Wellsville her health is poor. John lives in Wellsville yet. Almeda’s children all live in Port Allegany, Penn except Eva she is married and gone to live in Washington Territory, she has two children. Wealtha is not married yet she is a good Christian girl she lives with Angelo D. D is not married neither. Barrniller lives around here he is not married. Edwin is married the second time and has bought the Smythe lot and built a nice house on it. He rents his farm they have a little boy nine months old. Clarie is not very well they live in Hallsport and are keeping store he has rented his farm. Lytie and her husband are in Lima Seminary, teaching NY state. Hiram Parker died the next day after Christmas was buried Sunday. After he lived in Hallsport where Almeda use to live, there is no one lives in the old Hotel. Thanks to the good Lord we have no liquor hole in Hallsport. How does the temperance question prosper in your place, the rest of the people live where they used to when you was here. Of course the place has changed some. How I do wish your Ma could come home and stay a long time it seems as if there was nothing to hinder. Now about Clay, I hardly know what to say about him. He is a large broad shouldered man I think he is pretty good to work for  a little while he  is rather fickle minded  he ran away three times from Orville the two first times Orville went and found him and brought him home the last time he let him go and he came back after a while he can read a little he can’t write he has been to school a good many terms it seemed he could not learn he don’t live with Orville since he left his farm he has been living here and there just as he could find a place. I wish he could go west maybe he would do better, what kind of men are his brothers. That is all I can think of now. Tell your Ma to write to me once more and be sure and let me know what she says about it now good by, may the Lord bless you. S. Rice.”


At home Dear Brother and sister We received your lettre it found us all well. but Eddie and Lola has been sick you wanted to know how Marve thought i looked. Well he says tell you that i look ten per cent better then when we went out there. I have been feeling splendid so far. Marve says that he is comeing home and make you all a good long visit in a year or two. Mina in regards to money he says if you had asked him before he could have let you had it. but now he has spent it all in a groceres store. and he dont know when he will get it to spend now. well i . . . . a suit of
undercloth they are one of them that i showed you and
i am going to make two more suits i will send you a pattern of each one then you can make the same if you want to. Well Mina I have bakeing all day and i am tired so i will not write eney more this time now write soon and tell me all the news. Eddie wrote to Ida some time ago tell cora to write to us. Ed is going to write to her soon well good buy.

Let my name be kindly spoken. Though I am far away from the. Let our friendship not be broken. Though I’m gone far over the sea. Mrs. M. W. Green, 1123 21 streeet, San Francisco, Gall


“My Dear Nephew (Elmer), I received those pictures last night and I assure you I was glad words cannot express my thanks to you and your dear Mother for them I tell you I had to shed a few tears of joy over them they were just what I have been wishing for a long time and I will send that picture to Diana as soon as I find where she is. I have not seen her in three or four years some of the time she is to Mary’s and then to Edith she has been to Camrons awhile and then to Deff’s so I don’t know where she is now.

“Now Elmer you will be very good to your dear Mother. Make her life as happy as you can. Sterns said you were all the boy she had to rely upon. I have no boys to depend upon they all have families of their own to look after. You have my prayers and best wishes for your future happiness.

“Write as often as you can so I can know how you prosper. Goodby. Aunt Supplina.”


“My Dear sister — How do you do this morning. I am as well as usual my health is not very good at the best but I keep moving round and oversee my work. I have a girl to help me she goes to school the fall term is out now I expect the winter term will commence before long. How do you get along all these weary years I know you must be very lonely by my own experience we used to have large familys now my family are all gone but my self how little we knew in our young days what lay in store for us we have been forgotten over twenty years long sad and dreary they have been to me sickness trouble and sorrow have been my lot but still I have had some blessings the Good Lord has spared my life to be most 75 years old and many other blessings. I know you have had many losses and disappointments sickness and sorrow but it is the Masters good pleasure to give us joy for sorrow in the hours of trouble let us look to Him and put our trust in Him who says come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I w.ill give you rest. Sterns was here a small portion of the time he was visiting here but did not get much out of him about you. I thought he ought to have brought you with him there has been a good many deaths around here within a few years Warren died the fourth of July in that month Isac Stout Cran Grash and Nate Turner I suppose you know that Father and Mother Rice are dead. Minerva has gone back West somewhere I don’t know where I never have heard from her nor dont want to she tried to do me all the hurt she could before she went. Diana was well the last I heard from her so were John’s folks I have not heard or seen any of them since the funeral. Edwins folks are well they have three little children. 0 T. folks are well they all seem to be doing well.

“Eugene Edwins oldest boy runs my place he is one and twenty years. I suppose you knew that Burtie was dead he the second boy he died two years last April. I was glad to get those pictures but they dont look just as you did when you went away time tells on us both. I cant you much about Mary Ann she lives near Buffalo her was poor she had a tumor removed. Lytie and Wellyn and Mabel are in Lima Livingston Co. in the Seminary. Now us prepare to meet in that happy land good by your sister S. Rice.”


Dear sister mina. it was with the greatest pleasure that I received your letter as I had not heard from any one of you since the flood. The letter I rec.. from Pearl’s husband, but he did not tell me his address or name. signed himself

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