Samuel Adkinson Letters


The following letters are available at the Duggan Library Archives, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.). A finding aid is available.

Hanover students in GW144 "Autobiography: History" (Winter 2013), taught by Sarah McNair Vosmeier, transcribed the letters.



Samuel Adkinson, letter to Father and Mother, 20 June 1864, folder 2, box 1, Adkinson Family Civil War Letter, Duggan Library, Hanover College, (Hanover,Ind.).
Transcription and note by Derek Dozier, HC 2016.

June [marked out: July] the 20th 1864

Dear Father and Mother,

This morning finds me at citty Point on the  on the South Side of the James river after [line illegible] health and while my wagon is waiting to be loaded I thought that I would write you a few lines and I have some bad news to write.  Jo is dead, he died at the hospital [and parished?] of his wounds on the 8th of this month. He was wounded on the 11th of last month. He left a silver watch and 13 dollars which you can get. You had better employ  frank to attend to settling his business, he can collect his pay and get the articles that he left at the hospital. I would send his boddy home but it is impossible at this time  his loss is mourned by all of his company.  He was one of company a best soldiers I have his nife if you wish  I will send it home.  Levi sold his horse for 140 dollars  to be paid next paday. As have no time to write more I will close for this time and if there is any information you wish write and I will send it to you immediately write often and let me know how you are getting along you have no ide  how mutch good letters does me for I feel lonely since Jo left the regiment your Sun



Our forces attacted Petersburg yesterday and the report is that we captured the place  General Mead has formed a junction with Butler



Samuel Adkinson, letter to Father and Mother, 6 July 1864, folder 2, box 1, Adkinson Family Civil War Letter, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription and note by Abigail Blake, HC 2016

Lighthouse Landing
July the 6th 1864

Dear Father and Mother

I received a letter from Effie yesterday and was glad to hear from you and to hear that you are all well [.] I have just got back to camp after a rade of ten days of the hardest marching that I ever have seen since I have been in the service [.] we marched day and night hardly stopping long enough to fead and make coffee [.] don’t think that we slept one night putting it all together [.] while out we cut all the railroad tracks leading from Richmond to north Carolina [.] we distroyed all of 35 miles of the Richmond and danvill road in that distance there is but few sections of the road that was not burned [.] it is givenup to be the bigest rade that has been made during the war [.] There was only the third division and five regiments of General [Coutes?] division along [.] we had some hard fighting and lost several good men  but it is believed that it done the enemy more harm than any two defeats that they have had yet as we cut of all supplyes untill they can repair the roads again which will take at least three weeks [.] it is generaly thought that they will have to evacuate Richmond before they can get it repaired [.] we followed the danvill road to within five miles of the Northcarolina line where we found a rather two [strong?] a  A force and then we started back we had infantry and cavalry to contend with before we got back they pushed us so close that we was compelled to burn our wagon train consisting of some twenty five or thirty wagons loaded with ammunition principaly but the hardest and worst of all was we had to leave our wounded in the ambulances [.] we left three of our company [Lum Vanasdall?] Spence Cunningham and Lige Brindly [.] it was hard to leave them but there was no helping it[.]  it was either that or loose the command [.] my waggon wentup amongst the number and I mounted a mule and fellin along with company A where I staid untill I got back to camp but am now with the train again as an extry hand and will have an easyer time than driving [.] Tom Lampson and David [Hascal?] and Fran Jackson of our company were captured [.] Jackson is the man that bought Joes horse and I suppose that his capture will delay the money for him a while but it is sure sometime [.] I am glad that Irvin went out and seen after Joes remains it seems hard that he must die alone amongst strangers but it is impossible for any ones friends in the army to go to see them after they get a few miles of [.] it would have been a great satisfaction to me to have went to see him but I couldnot [.] I never saw him after he was wounded [.] Levi saw him and helped to put him aboard the boat [.] he says he was cheerful [.] the boys seem to miss him more than any one we have lost yet [.] he was liked by all in the company  - -

with this I close and you wil have to excuse the bunglesome manner Inwhich I write for I feel considerable [off?] and [stif?] but am thankful that I and still enjoy good health [.] write often to your Sun [.]


We burnt two locomotives and several cars on our rade for the rebs.



Samuel Adkinson, letter to Father and Mother, 20 July 1864, folder 2, box 1, Adkinson Family Civil War Letter, Duggan Library, Hanover College, (Hanover,Ind.).
Transcription and note by Andrew Laubner, HC 2016.

Lighthouse Point Via
July the 20th 1864

Dear Father and Mother

I find myself seated in an old government waggon with the tale gate across my legs and have just fineshed a letter to Orinda so I concluded to pen you a few lines to let you know that I am still an hands and able for a tolerable allowance of government rations we had a fine rain last night and it is quite pleasant today there is considerable cannonadeing in the direction of Petersburg lastnight and today it is my opinion that there is going to be some hard fighting here in a few days as there is evry indication of it Grant has shortened his lines considerable whitch in a strong indication of an attact being made soon the gunboats are [pecking?] at fort Darling occasionaly I think that Lee was rather disappointed in his expectations in his last move into mayerland I think that he expected to scare Grant a little and cause him to fall back as others have done but all that it took from the field here was the 6th corps

General Grant doant scare at triflels like some of our commanders have done before I have been in hopes that before the twenty second of August we would have possessions of the reb Capital but it looks rather doubtful now but one thing you can depend on and that is that Grant will rout then before he quits them or loose all his army trying - - I have just been promoted to assistant waggon boss and am having a very good time as I have no team to bother with but something worse than a mule some stubborn drivers I doant keep any horse ride caral stock sutch as mules and turnedin horses

Levi is well and looks fine As I have nothing more to write I will close write often to your Sun





Samuel Adkinson, letter to Father and Mother, 26 Mar. 1865, folder 2, box 1, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription and note by Ashlee Arbaugh, HC 2013.

Pleasant Valey Md
March the 26th /65

Dear Father and Mother

Today being Sunday and a nice day I thought I would write you a few lines letting you know that i still enjoy good health and a tolerable quiet life we have been here in the valey ever since the first of this month and have but little to do just enough to keep us enjoying life but I would be glad to commence moveing again for time [travels] faster when we are on the march but we will get move enough before this summers campaign is over no doubt I have but little ide where we will go when we leave here i change my views in that particular frequently I have [feasible?] possessions of the train now as our quarter master is out with the command I have orders come to me directed to the commanding officer of the 2nd brigade i tair them open and receipt these as I am puting on as mutch [illegible] as though I was some [AGH?]

I received my 6 months pay and sent 100 dollar to you I expressed it to Vevay as for that coalt of mine if it is any trouble to you sell him for as mutch as you can I hait to part with him but i expect it is the best thing you can do to sell him this war will be over before my time is out then uncle Sam will be selling his government stock cheap tell Foge if he wants to pay 45 dollars for my waggon this fall he can have it I have but little notions of farming very strong for one or two years after i get home any how and if i do i can get another I havent had any letters for sometime with the excptions of two from Orinda I have wrote two letters to Foge since we came here tell him to write and let me know wheather he received them or not havent had any letter from Olliver since he left camp Corington write and let me know how he is standing soaldiering and where he is the /46 is in camp three miles from harpers ferry i saw all the boys at their camp a few days ago they are all well and look fine Fletcher and Olliver and Jim Ferrol were enjoying life hugely but i must close write often

to your boy





Samuel Adkinson, letter to his father and mother, 16 Apr. 1865, folder 2, box 1, Adkinson Family Civil War Letters, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription and note by Kellen Otto, HC 2016.

Pleasant Valey, Md
Aprile the 16th /65

Today being Sunday and everything encitement over the assassination of the president i thought i would write you a short letter i have never saw the simpathys of the soldiers so arraused as it is now all the talk is revenge for the death of the President it would not be well for any Southern sympathizer to pass through our camps now there is quite a contrast between the 14 teenth and 15 teenth evry one full of life flags floating in their luster and beauty on the 14 th and on the 15 teenth they appeared dressed in maurning the business houses were all closed traines stoped and everything seemed to mourn the loss of the Chief commander things are growing more desperate everyday i have no doubt but it was same of the paroled officers that instigated this fiendish deed of borbarity these fellows have had two much mercy shown them in allowing them the privilage of surrendering on the terms they did i think mercy has seased to be a charity with them and i hope that hereafter they may receive their just rewards whitch is extermination I never believed in that policy before but if nothing else will passify them but sutch revenge what else can we do the general opinion is that they will find a more stern man to contend with now but it is impossible for him to manage affair to [suit?] the people any better than lincoln has done it is to be hoped that seward will recover from his wounds the goverment neads his services nodoubt especialy in regard to our foreign affairs

As for war news we doant got any now i havent herd from the company but once since they left Winchester doant get any letters and of coarse doant have any thing mutch to do and are desperateley lazy i am getting anxious to join the command again but there is no likelyhood of us doing so soon but I have strong faith that this thing is out plaid out and we can all get our musterout and see our friends and familys again soon all that i regret is that they can come back into the union and say we [cleand?] under lincons administration but i must close with affen’t  your sun

sam to his Father and Mother.


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