This letter was written by 24 year-old George C. Lowery who enrolled in Co. D, 4th New York Heavy Artillery, on 4 January 1862 at Ballston Spa. According to the New York Registry of Enlisted Men’s Deaths, George was killed in battle on 6 April 1864 [should be 1865] at Burksville.
George’s last name seems to have been spelled variously as Lowry, Lowery, or Lowrey. Curiously, he appears in the Milton, Saratoga county, 1850 US Census in the “Turner” household, and in the 1855 State Census as George Lowery—a “servant” residing with the same family though identified as the “Turney” family. I cannot find his residence in 1860 though he seems to have been a farmer and barely literate.
The 4th New York Heavy Artillery was originally called “Doubleday’s Artillery” after its commander, Col. Thomas D. Doubleday. Abner Doubleday was the colonel’s brother.
June 13th 1862
I took this opportunity to write to you to let you know that I am well and so is Henry. I want you to write to me right off for we can’t tell whether we will stay here or not. I want you to write how you get along on finishing that house and how the crops are coming in. I have tried to get a furlough but I can’t. I was coming up to take care of my grain. I will send you some money to hire somebody to save it.
It is very warm here days. We have a peach orchard right by our camp and the trees hang very full. They are half grown now. I should think that there was 50 bushels in the orchard.
I want you to write whether you received my last letter, I wrote the 4th of June, I think. I haven’t received any from you in over a month.
There are great excitement in the camp. The boys are all dissatisfied and are raising the very devil all the time. Two or three will go out of camp and come in drunk and make a noise and then the officers will put them in the guard house. Then the rest are mad and the next night there will be a dozen or more will come in the camp and dare the officers to put them in the guard house. And so it goes. I don’t believe that this regiment will last three months longer for the boys are all mad at the officers and like as shoot them as to look at them. They daren’t let us have a furlough for they won’t come back and they are deserting all the time. Just as soon as peace is declared, we will be discharged and the officers will be glad to get rid of us cause they have miss-used us and the boys are death on them. I guess that you can guess what a happy time we all have.
I hope that this letter will find you all in good health.
From George C. Lowrey
to all of you.
Directions Fort Corcoran, Washington D. C., Doubleday’s 4th Artillery.