1861: David R. Green to Sister

This letter was written by 33 year-old David R. Green (1828-1888) of Co. B, 33rd Pennsylvania Infantry (4th Pa. Reserves). David wrote the letter from Camp Pierpont near Langley, Virginia. He briefly describes the foraging expedition to Grinnell’s Farm on 6 December 1861. David died in 1888 and was buried in Fernwood, Delaware county, Pennsylvania.

James L. Green (1840-1915), served with his much older brother David in the same company. David mustered out with the company on 17 June 1864 after three years service. James was transferred to Co. L, 54th Pennsylvania Infantry on 8 June 1864. James and David were the sons of  James Green (1800-1875) and Orpha Malin (1802-1885) of Edgemont, Delaware county, Pennsylvania. Their older sister, Orpha Ann Green (1826-1910), is mentioned in the letter.

David Green’s 1861 Letter with image of the Boys of Co. B, 33rd Pennsylvania Vols.


Camp Pierpont, Fairfax County, Virginia
December 8th 1861

Dear Sister,

I received your kind letter on the fourth stating you were well as usual. I received one from Orpha Ann on the fourth saying that they were all as well as usual and her health is still improving. James and I are as well as common. We are doing very well at present. On this day week we each received one box of provisions. James [received one] from Kingsessing. They were both filled with the best of provisions so we have been doing pretty well since the arrival of our boxes. We still have considerable of them (eatables) left yet.

The weather this last few days past has been pretty cold. Today the weather is quite pleasant. It is like a day in May more than one in December. James is just taking a good snooze.

We were out on Friday on a foraging expedition within about 2½ miles of Drainsville. We captured five Rebels—one captain, one lieutenant, 3 privates, 2 contrabands nig, 45 wagon loads of wheat, oats, corn, & potatoes, [and] 1 pair fat oxen. Then we returned back to camp all safe and sound, not losing a man. We expect to go on another of the same kind tomorrow or at least such is the talk today.

They talked some time ago about letting us come home to Christmas dinner. They said that the war would be ended but it don’t look much like it yet according to the best of my judgement. I think if it don’t make more progress than we have been, it will last four years longer yet.

Give Geneva one kiss for each of us—Uncle Dave & Jim.

It is now dress parade. The drums are beating and I must bring my letter to a close. So give our love both to all the family.

From your loving brothers, — David R. Green and James L. Green

We had John J. Hoops down to see us last Wednesday and he thought we were doing right well. He thought we were very comfortably fixed. He said he thought the soldier life agreed very well with James. He is fatter than ever I saw him. I think I am about as thin accordingly as he is fat.

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