This letter was written by Ephraim E. Brown (1844-1934), the son of John Brown and Lucinda Morris of Persia, Cattaraugus, New York. Ephraim enlisted in December 1861 to serve three years in Co. C, 64th New York Volunteers. He was promoted to corporal after one year’s service and to sergeant in mid October 1863. He was severely wounded in the left shoulder during the fighting on 12 May 1864 at Spotsylvania and discharged on 5 December 1864. After he recovered sufficiently, he enlisted again in the same company and mustered out in February 1865.
Ephraim was 17 when he enlisted against the wishes of his mother, Lucinda Brown. However, he had his father’s permission. During his 3 years of service, he was under fire 27 days and was wounded six times—twice with minié balls, twice with bayonet and twice with shell. He participated in the battle at Fredericksburg, and his eye-witness account of the battle at Antietam is amazing! See Antietam on the Web.
Camp of the 64th New York Vol.
Near Germania Ford, Virginia
January 31st 1864
This is Sunday eve. I take my pen in hand to write a short and perhaps not very interesting letter to you. I am in good health hoping this will find you all the same.
As for the weather here, it has been just like spring until today and today it has been rather lousy although guess it isn’t agoing to amount to much. Still I wish it would come kinda lousy and turn into snow because I am afraid we shall have to move or get drove out of here and I’d rather stay till spring and then, if it is necessary, I am ready. But I am in a poor rig for moving. I have got a big express box from home and a cheese weighing 80 & 85 apiece and I should hate to go and leave all of my traps. But I guess there isn’t much more danger.
Tell Bill I am all right and hope he won’t look at those big bounties and guess there isn’t much danger of it—at least hope not. There is some talk amongst the boys about reenlisting for to go to California and bring mules back for the government and I would do that before I would go in the ranks any longer than till my time is up. Well I guess it is getting about bed time and I will close by sending you all my best respects and all enquiring friends. Good bye.
From Ephraim E. Brown
Tell Delil I am alright and all the rest of the family. From E.E. B. to Miss Mary D. Babcock