This letter was written by Jacob O. Wilson (1840-1892), the son of Philip Wilson (1816-1875) and Julia Ann Chapin (1816-1902) of Vancamp, Fishing Creek, Columbia county, Pennsylvania. Jacob served in Co. H, 198th Pennsylvania Infantry. He was mustered in September 1, 1864 and mustered out on June 6, 1865. Most likely he was drafted.
A letter by Jacob to his “Uncle Samuel” written from “Camp near Fort Urmston” near Petersburg on 29 October 1864 that is housed at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana—like the following letter—declares his support for Democratic nominee Gen. George B. McClellan. It reads, “”I will let them know that I will not vote for Old Abe … one thing I want you to do and that is do all for little Mac that you can for if he is elected I think this war will soon be over but if Old rail splitter goes in then look out for I believe they can stand it to fight as long as we can.”
Addressed to Mr. Philip Wilson, Van Camp, Columbia county, Pa.
Camp near Abe’s Army next Mont Merknock?
? Day before tomorrow the 410th A. D.?
It is with the greatest of pleasure that I write a few lines to you today. I want you to take good care of John and lady and be sure and not let their stable get too dirty. Tell me how Hannah’s toe is. Poor little thing. Could you doctor it or not and if she would hold still or not. How does the pigeons get along and how many have you?
Tell Hervey that there is not many soldiers in favor of Old Abe in this regiment. The majority is for Little Mac. Bully for that. Tell me all the particulars and who is going to teach your school this winter just as soon as you can write me a letter yourself. I will send you paper and envelope. Just let me know in time. No more today. From your brother — J. O. Wilson
Hurrah for Mac!
William B. Wilson, send on those photographs all of you. Get them taken but I guess you had better not send any—only the 2 little ones for it may be that I will lose them anyhow. But keep the rest at home. Take good care of them till I come home. If you hain’t money, take of mine. Old Abe has plenty green backs. I meant by the little ones Willie’s and Allie’s. Goodbye to you all. — J. O. Wilson
Send me a Columbia Democrat once in awhile if you can get them handy. I like to read them. Write about the election and drafted men.
Yours most truly, — J. O. W.
From your son and brother — J. O. Wilson
To Philip Wilson, July Ann Wilson, Mary E. Wilson, Nancy E. Wilson, L. A. Wilson, A M. Wilson and William Wilson.