This letter was written by George Oliver Jewett (1837-1929), the son of saddler Oliver Jewett (1805-1873) and Elizabeth Underwood Hubbard (1809-1894) of Chelsea, Suffolk county, Massachusetts. George entered the service in March 1862 as a corporal in Co. H, but was later promoted to sergeant in Co. D. of the 17th Massachusetts Infantry. He mustered out in February 1864 and was transferred into Co. H, 13th Veteran Reserve Corps where he served until May 1865.
George mentions his brother William (“Bill”) Mellow Jewett (1842-1900) in the letter. William enlisted in the 42nd Massachusetts.
Addressed to Mrs. Elizabeth U. Jewett, 24 Pearl Street, Chelsea, Mass.
At the blockhouse 4 miles from Newbern, N. C.
September 12, 1862
I have just received your letter and hasten to answer it. I don’t think much of Bill’s choice of Captain to serve under, but I hope if he goes, it will be something higher than a private for he ought to get a warrant as sergeant or corporal which he ought to get if he is smart. I myself would have had a commission (so the boys all write) if I had only been at home, if I only had had somebody at home with influence, I should had one as it was.
I am sorry the handle of the cup got broke but I hope you can mend it.
I have just heard from Hen Cheever that Horatio Roberts ¹ (Captain Co. H) has had his leg amputated and that Jack Mandeville (1st Lieutenant) ² was killed. It made me feel rather blue, I tell you, as I thought a great deal of both of them.
I also hear that Capt. [Sumner] Carruth is Colonel of the 40th Regiment and Charley Jackson a 1st Lieutenant. Bully for them. If I had written two months ago, I’ll bet I should have had a chance now.
My box came all straight and we had a great munch off the hard gingerbread and the song books were bully! But I wish you would try and send us a good comic songster. I am afraid that I must close in a hurry as the mail is just going down to the city. So good afternoon. — George
I will write again soon.
¹ Horatio Roberts served in Co. H. 1st Massachusetts Infantry. He was severely wounded in the 2nd Battle of Bull Run on 29 August 1862 and had his left leg amputated. He died in 1894.
² 1st Lt. John (“Jack”) M. Mandeville served in the 1st Massachusetts Infantry. He was killed at the 2nd Battle of Bull Run on 30 August 1862.