This letter was written by William B. Holgate (1837-1924) to his younger brother Francis (“Frank”) N. Holgate (1845-1867) of Clinton Post Office, Kirkland, Oneida county, New York. William and Frank were the two oldest sons of English emigrant Anthony B. Holgate (1802-1862) and his first wife Jane Hunter (1810-1850). William worked as a carpenter & joiner—a trade he learned from his father.
Addressed to F. N. Holgate, Lowell, Oneida county, New York
Clinton [New York]
January 12, 1863
You did not come down to the railroad in time last Monday to see me off. I seen you when you was coming down to Armstrong’s. How did you and Ambrose get home? Did that horse arrive in safety?
I reached Utica just in time for the stage. I met C. Everett in Utica and came home with him. Ask Aunt Ann if she has got that wishbone yet. If she has, tell her that she may pull it for me and tell her to give my love to all the young ladies in the village of Lowell.
It has been trying to snow here all day but it don’t amount to much yet. I don’t think that we shall have much sleighing this winter. The members of the Masonic Order have gone to a funeral on Paris Hill today. He was a soldier in the Army of the Potomac. This is the third soldier that has come through Clinton the last week and the body of R. Gridley is a coming through tomorrow. The soldiers are a dying off very fast and the Amy of the Potomac is pretty much demoralized.
How does Uncle Roberts’ boy get along? I shall expect you over the first sleighing that comes. I must now close. Give my love to all & write soon. Yours forever, — W. B. Holgate