1862-63: William H. Hazelton to Maryette Carpenter

These letters were written by William Henry Harrison Hazelton (1842-1941), the son of John Hazelton (1801-1887) and Elizabeth Yerson (1812-1881) of Gouvernour, Saint Lawrence county, New York. In August 1862, William enlisted in Co. A as a corporal and rose in rank to 2nd Lieutenant in Co. K of the 142nd New York Infantry. He was discharged from the service in January 1865. He was described as a “Miner, farmer, logger, cemetery superintendent and tax collector. Served with the 142nd New York in thirty battles from Kiawah Island to Fort Fisher.”

Letter 1

Camp Wheeler
Ogdensburg, [New York]
September 26, 1862

Dear Friend,

It is with the greatest of pleasure that I take my pen in hand to write a few lines to let you know that I am well [and] hoping these few lines will find you enjoying the same health. It is a pleasant day and we still remain in Camp Wheeler drilling every day and we enjoy ourselves as well as we know how.

We have a good many spectators and some friends come to see us. I wish that I could see some of the folks from the Marsh district. It would do me good. But if I cannot see any of them before we leave here, I hope we shall see you all when we return.

Elic is well and sends his love and best respects to you all, He says he would like to see you. It is now about drill time and I must close. I wish that you would get your likeness taken on a plate and send to me if you will before we leave the Burgh. I do not think that we will leave here before the last of next week.

I have not any news to write this time but I hope you will have a good deal. No more at present. Write as soon as you get this. Give my love and best respects to all enquiring friends and do not forget to keep some for yourself.

Direct your letters to Camp Wheeler, Ogdensburgh in care of Captain Hurlbut, 142nd Reg.

From William H. Hazelton. Please write as soon as you get this.

Letter 2

Upton’s Hill, Va.
Camp Davies
February 10, 1863

Dear Friend Maryette,

It is with the greatest of pleasure that I seat myself to answer your kind and welcome letter which I received a few days ago. I was glad to hear that you was well. Your letter found me well and this leaves me the same as usual and hoping these few lines will find you well and enjoying yourself as well as you know how.

It is very pleasant weather here at present and we are having very good times here at present. I have no news to write this time in particular. We have not had any fighting to do except a little in my own regiment. I will tell you about it. Last Thursday the 5th, our regiment got a part of our pay and some of the boys in Co. E and Co. C got drunk and the Colonel put one of them in the guard house. Then about 25 of Co, E that were intoxicated went to the guard house and tried to get him out. They knocked three of the sentinels down. We put two more of them in the guard house and at night while on Dress Parade, we drummed one out of camp. He was marched in front of the Battalion from right to left with two files of men and the music playing the Rogue’s March. Two of the men are in the guard house yet and I expect that they will be sentenced to hard labor without pay if they are not shot. I guess I have said enough about them this time—-but to let you see the effects of liquor, I will tell you of a fellow in Co. B. As soon as he got his pay, he went to Alexandria and got drunk and lost $25 dollars in money and a good watch worth 35 dollars and his overcoat & cap and come to camp with a black eye in the bargain. No more about this subject.

Since I begun this letter I heard we had to march tomorrow. Elic is well and sends his best respects to you all. Maryette, you said that Jim Marshal was bothering you all the time. I guess he is a trying to fool you more than anything else. Etty, I think that heart and hand you sent me is very nice. I do not think I could make a very good one myself. You said you thought I would get tired of reading your letters but I never shall. Now I shall have to close for this time.

But please write as soon as convenient and favor your ever true from, — William Hazelton.

To Etty E. Carpenter

Give my respects to Dellia & Alice & Addy and to Ben’s folks and keep a good share for yourself. So goodbye.

May virtue guide
May truth direct
This friend
Whom I so much respect, — Wm. H. H.

Direct to Washington D. C., Co. A, 142 Regiment N. Y. S. V.

Our captain has resigned and gone home.

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