Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Nelson Jones - Letters From a Maine Soldier, Part 1

Nelson W. Jones, circa 1862.
(Maine Historical Society)
Nelson W. Jones was born in 1843 in Palermo, a rural town near Maine's rocky coast. His father, Nelson, Sr. was a farmer near the town. As many young men did at the time, Nelson enlisted in the 3rd Maine Infantry Regiment on June 4, 1861. During his time in the army, he wrote to his father and mother Hannah, multiple times. Here is one of the first letters after his enlistment, written after the Union defeat at the Battle of Bull Run:

[ed. note: all spelling and syntax have been preserved from the original letter.]


Claremount Virginia
July 28, 1861
Dear parents I will write you a few lines
to let you know I am well and hope thise
few lines will find you the same I was paid
of yesterday the balance due me from
maine nine dollars and I will send you
five of it I shall be paid from the United
States in about 20 days and I will send
you some more I am well and have
written to you third this week before and once
to Amelia I suppose you have heard of last Sundays
Proceedings old mcdowal is going to be hung
they say if it had not been for him we should
got the victory he has been courtmarshaled
and Seceasion papers found with him but generall
mcclelan is going to be our general now I shall have
to close as it is most mail time write as son
as you get this: From Nelson V. Jones To his parents
direct as usual Washington D C 3 reg Co I ME In

Source: Nelson W. Jones Pension File, WC 19616, National Archives


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