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William Leonard Transcripts
You will doubtless recollect that I wrote to you sometime last spring (See May1863 entry and letter) respecting my son William Henry that left home and enlisted in Co. G 7th Maine Vols. I have had a number of letters from him since then He was at Brandy Station every time he wrote except the last time The last letter I got from him (which was dated I think the ninth of May last) he stated that he was a prisoner in the rebel army at Gordonville I have written him since but have recd no letters from him and have not heard any thing from him since untill this week. There was a soldier returned from the army this week belonging to this place and has been a prisoner with William, he says that he things that William died about the first of November last at Florence via of the Cronic Diareah. He was well acquainted with William before he enlisted and says that he was known there by the name of Charles Hammond of the 7th Maine Vols.
William wrote me in his first letter that he went to Portland and enlisted under the name Charles Hammond and was sworn into the United States Service the 16th of June 1863 and had been on duty at Fort Knox till the 1st of March. He says when he was in Portland he was put on board the steam ship Chesapeek and went out after a batteu that was stole by the rebs. He said he was enlisted by a Sergeant in his company (G) whose name was Motly I think, he says I told him I was 18 yrs old & had no parents, he (Motly) said he could not enlist him without a guardian because he was under age, but Motly said he could grow him a few years & called him 21 yr old Now if you have any means to inform me whether William is living or not or what is his fate I will be very much obliged to you.
Is there no remedy for me for his enlisting him under those circumstances knowing him to be under age? And if he is dead can I draw his back pay. I think there is no trouble about my proveing Charles Hammond of Co. G of the 7th Maine Vols to be my son for I have 2 nephews & 1 brother in law that have seen him at Brandy Station and Boston and he told them that he went by the name of Charles Hammond and also this young man that I spoke of that reported him dead. Any information that you can give me about the matter I shall be very gratefull for Perhaps there is some of his company that were taken prisoner with him can give you some information about him if they should be lucky enough to be exchanged and at home on parole or otherwise.
About the 25th of May last my son William H. Leonard aged 17 left home and I did not hear any thing of his whereabouts till last week, my brother-in law saw him in Boston on his way to Washington he (William) told my brother in law that he had enlisted in the 7th Maine Vet Reg Co. G under the name of Charles Hammond but did not tell him what town he enlisted in. Will you please have the kindness to write me what town Co. G of the 7th Maine Vet Reg was raised in so that I may procure my State aid? William is a smart boy and did much to help support me and wife and family of 6 small children. He probably represented himself as of age but he is but 17 last March. I was receiving twenty dollars per month for him when he left home. Any information you will be pleased to give me respecting him I shall be very thankful for.
Since writing the above I am reminded that I have been informed that William enlisted soon after he left home last may and got hurt and was in a hospital some time (what hospital I have not learned) whether he was discharged on account of his injuries and afterwards recovered and joined the 7th Maine Veteran Reg. Co. G or whether he is in the company he first enlisted in and also the place of his reenlistment (if he reenlisted). William is about medium size of a boy of his age with a scar across his nose with an India ink ring on a finger of the left hand.
G W B Leonard
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