About this Letter

This letter, dated November 20, 1863, was written by Marvin Green to his parents, Erastus and Zelpha Ann. In the letter, Marvin updates his parents on his and Levi’s status, informing them that they have left the regiment and are now in a Battery of artillery. He mentions that they are on detached service and are not required to stand on picket or participate in as many battles as before.

Marvin also writes about the Army of the Potomac and their current state of inactivity. He mentions that they expect their pay soon, and he hopes to send some of it to his parents.

The letter also contains instructions for directing future letters to Marvin and Levi, asking their parents to direct their letters to Marvin Green, Battery K. 1 U.S. Artillery, Washington D.C. Marvin closes the letter by wishing his parents a good night and signing off as Marvin Green to Erastus and Zelpha Ann.

Overall, this letter serves as a testament to the challenges faced by soldiers during the Civil War, as well as the importance of communication and support from loved ones back home. It provides a glimpse into the lives and experiences of soldiers in the field, as well as their hopes and fears.

Letter Transcript


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

Researcher’s Note: Battery “K” 1st Regiment of Artillery was a light artillery battery that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. The battery was stationed at Eagle Pass, Fort Duncan, Texas January–February 1861 before moving to Fort Taylor, Florida where it served until January 1862. It then moved to Washington, D.C. where it was attached to Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac, to May 1862. 2nd Brigade, Artillery Reserve, V Corps, Army of the Potomac, to September 1862. Reserve Artillery, V Corps, to December 1862. Artillery Reserve, Army of the Potomac, to June, 1862. 2nd Brigade, Horse Artillery, Army of the Potomac, to June 1864. Camp Barry, Washington, D.C., to August 1864. Horse Artillery, Army of the Shenandoah, Middle Military Division, to December 1864. Horse Artillery Reserve, Army of the Shenandoah, to April 1865. Cavalry Brigade, Army of the Shenandoah. 

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