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Home / Collections / Podcast & Blog » Letters from Charles Goddard of the 1st Minnesota Regiment, in Boliver Heights, Virginia, to his mother and another from Sergeant George A. J. Overton of the 2nd Minnesota Regiment to Ignatius Donnelly from Louisville, Kentucky – September 28, 1862

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September 28, 2012

Letters from Charles Goddard of the 1st Minnesota Regiment, in Boliver Heights, Virginia, to his mother and another from Sergeant George A. J. Overton of the 2nd Minnesota Regiment to Ignatius Donnelly from Louisville, Kentucky – September 28, 1862

Filed under: Civil War Daybook — Lori Williamson @ 9:00 am

Transcription of the letter from Charles Goddard:

“Boliver Heights Va. Sept 28th 1862
Dear Mother    I received your kind letter[,] dated the 10th of Sept[,] day before yesterday and was glad to hear from home[.] I wrote a few lines to you on the Battle field of Antietam stating the members of killed and wounded out of our Co.  You will see by the heading of my letter I called the ground whare we fought the Battle field of Antique[.] that is what some of the citizens told me was the name of the creek that runs close by thare or at least I understood them so but since I have found out differant[.] I was glad when we wer orderd to march from thare for the stench was geting to be very bad and unhealthy[.]  We are now encamped on Boliver Heights.  Boliver Heights are quite healthy but very scarce of wood and watter and as the boys have to make there own coffee and cook there own meat th[e]y very much dislike the camp ground[.]  Poor Brother Orry I am so sorry for the little fellow[.] I hope he will not be troubled with the ague* long. it is one of the most detestable diseases a person can have[.] Tell Brother that if any body abuses him to jest hint to them that he has a big brother in the army that may some day return when he will procede imediately to settle up all these little accounts[.] I would like to know what you think of little Mc by this, it is my candid oppinion that he is the best man on the job. I think we will stay in this camp some time but it is imppossable for a person to tell[.] I hear some grand stories about Indian fighting up in Minnesota[.] by what I have heard I should judge they are geting the uperhand for the brave men of Minn[.] I would like to know if all of the Indians that yousto be around Winona have left or still remain around[.] the men that was taken prisiners at Harpers Ferry here have been ordered to Minn to fight Indians. they think they will have a fine time[.] some of them was talking with boys in our company and said they would a great deal rather fight Indians because they had nothing but bows and arrows to shoot[.]  I think such men as these had better be sent home.  Good by[.] Give my best respects to all of my Friends
Chas E G 1st Regt


*AGUE:  a fever (as malaria) marked by paroxysms of chills, fever, and sweating that recur at regular intervals (from  http://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/ague)
Citation: September 28, 1862 Letter from Charles Goddard to his mother, Correspondence 1853-1862. Smith, Orrin Fruit and Family Papers, 1829-1932. Minnesota Historical Society. [P1434 box 1]

Transcription of the letter from George Overton:
“Louisville Ky Sept 28th 1862
Gov. Donnelly My dear Sir     I desire to congratulate you on your nomination to represent our noble State in the Congress of the United States.
I feel sure of your election and only wish I could have the satisfaction of casting my vote for you, and of assisting to drive the Savages from our State for ever, but cannot hope for such a pleasure being allowed me.
I am still occupying the most uncongenial and unpleasant position of Company Sergeant of the 2nd Regt. with a fair prospect of remaining during the term of service or my natural life, if the present Field Officers continue of the same political opinion as heretofore and at present, but deem it my duty to serve my country faithfully and cheerfully in whatever position I may be placed.
We have had a pretty severe trial of physical endurance for the past month or so, but are in good health and spirits though rather the worse for wear and tear in the late forced marches.  Tomorrow we have marching orders and will probably give Bragg a taste of our quality at Bearstown, where he is said to be entrenched.  It is a fine position for defence, but those chosen positions of the rebels have been frequently rendered untenable by our forces before.     With the best wishes for your success in the coming election and health and prosperity all the time[,]    I remain
Respectfully and truly yours Geor A. J. Overton”


Citation: September 28, 1862 letter from Overton to Ignatius Donnelly, Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers, September-October 15, 1862, Ignatius Donnelly and family papers, 1812-1973.  Minnesota Historical Society [146.C.19.5B]

Learn more about the US Dakota War of 1862, as well as its causes and consequences, by visiting this website or by viewing the exhibit at the Minnesota History Center.

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