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Home > Civil War Sesquicentennial > William Wallace Noyes Transcript

William Wallace Noyes Transcript

No. 66

Camp 30th Me. Vols.
Summit Point, Va.
April 19, 1865

Darling Nell,

Since writing last amidst our glorious victories, we have received a great national calamity changing the whole nation from its feeling of exuberant rejoicings to one of profound sorrow and great indignation.  The particulars of which I suppose you have learnt are this – The assassination of President Lincoln and Secy. Seward resulting in the death of our beloved President and Commander in Chief.  Secy Seward from last accts was improving.  I trust he will recover.  President Lincoln’s funeral services take place in Washington this day. All duties excepting necessary, throughout the entire Armies are suspended. We hold the day Sacred to the memory and respect of our late Commander-in-Chief.  Devine Services were held in our Brig. This A.M.  All attending.  Flags displayed at half-mast.  Guns firing every half hour throughout the day.  At Sunset there will be fired a National Salute.  This is in obedience to orders from Lieut. Genl. Grant to the Armies of the United States.

P.S. By tonights mail, I received a Letter from G.E. Hunton, in which he sends his regards to Mrs. W.W. Noyes, which I forward.  He also acknowledges recpt of a letter written by me Since my return to Regt. So you will not have to inform on that question. I would like to know

It also specifies that the Officers of the Armies shall wear for the period of Six months the usual badges of mourning.   It is very pleasant and warm to day  All is quiet and still.  It seems like Sabbath day.  We truly mourn our great loss. The miscreant (Booth) who did the cowardly deed has not as yet been arrested. Or at least there has been no acc’t of his arrest. If arrested, I think it will be kept quiet, as an infuriated people would prevent our Government from meeting out justice to him – by mobing him.  I think he will be caught. The one who, it is believed, assassinated Secy Seward, has been arrested. The mob came near killing him before they could commit him to the old Capitol Prison. I have seen this Booth, heard him play in Theatre, in Boston.  I like very much the policy presented by our new President Johnson.  I have full confidence in him.  I think he will not be so lenient with the leaders of the Rebellion as Lincoln would have been. His administration will be more severe to them but will I my opinion be just., as treason should be punishable with death, as our constitution provides –

I went out to ride in company with other Officers this A.M.  We went outside our Pickets, went to Charlestown, and around a  circle of some 4 miles and returned to camp. Stopped to a no. of Houses for water and to see the folks. At one house the Ladys name was Mrs. Alexander. Her Father was a nephew to Genl Geo. Washington, consequently She was a direct descendent.  She had Pictures of the family which she showed us  her Daughter is said to be the “Belle” of the Valley.  She (the daughter) was not at home. She had two sons in the Confederate Service. We came across a man ploughing, went up to him and ordered him to unhitch his Horses.  Put them up and stop work as the day must be held Sacred. He complied with our orders. Our men as well as the whole nation, are very indignant just now, and will not permit either actions or words used which are in the least treasonable, or not in direct accordance with the Union.  Some of our men of their own accord stopped some of the Citizens from working today, also they took one of our men who uttered treasonable language, ducked him into the water and kept him there until he gave three cheers for the President and the Union.

Guerrillas do not trouble us now. We are not molested, nor do we see any when go outside our Pickets.  Mosby has, it is understood, accepted the terms of Lees Surrender.  We have orders to not fire upon, or molest them, unless they first attack us.  Our pickets now are merely a precaution.  We received last night the news of the Capture of Mobile, also reported surrender of Johnston to Sherman.  It did not cause any excitement, but merely silent rejoicings. We felt to sad for any loud demonstrations of our Victory.  The Rebellion is about closed if not quite.  We shall see no more active service. I feel thankful, as I am satisfied nowthe work is done, to return to my home as soon as can be spared from the Service. Nell the time is near at hand when we can enjoy ourselves, as our imagination has pictured. We can really live in each others society, be with each other, and enjoy each others love.

P.S.  Have Father see what He can get by the case or quantity, as they put up in cans.  Some condensed milk & cider or jelly.  I want about 6 dozs Cans of each.  Have him See how put up for market.  The quantity in a case, and the price and Inform next time.

Your letter No. 65. I received last night.  Was happy as usual to get a letter from you.  But am sorry to learn that you are not feeling well. In your three last letters you have complained of being unwell.  Do you get outdoor exercise enough?  Surely you must now feel better in mind.  Do you take any Stimulant as I obtained for you?  be careful of yourself.  I want you should improve in health, as well as in arts & sciences. I forgot to mention that we had moved since writing last, are now near Summit Point but below, toward Charlestown, have a fine location, with a nice spring of water close by.  Think we shall remain here for a while.  A part of our Brig has been distributed below, between us and Charlestown.  One Regt. the NY Zouaves, have been sent to Ft. Delaware in N. Jersey.  We shall not probably see them again as their time is out in about six months. When, if not before, they will return home.  I cannot see when we shall be needed.  Soon.  Probably shall be sent to some place. perhaps to Maine.

P.S. my health is good.

It will be better for you (as you say) to let your Music Lesions remain until I can obtain a Piano for you. Shall know about it soon.  As for my last letter, I am willing Miss Wood should have a picture as I wrote last. I know my photos were not all alike, but sent what I had as had exchanged and given to Brother  Officers some.  I mean by Official Autographs.  Those which are commenced by the words, “I am Sir,” which is an Official Communication, followed by other words or understood, when omitted, and “&c.” put in.    I prefer as I said before, that the Official ones should be distributed.  Still let them if they wish have any. I marked on the back (with pencil) the ones I should like for Aunt Esther & Phebe to have, am not particular in regard to others.  Distribute and let me know as per letter If do not have enough left will order ½ doz more.  Did I not write you that I had written Geo Hunton since my return to Regt.  I have forgotten whether I have written him in answer to his last. Since my return to Regt. Or not. Inform.  Must close good night.

In love. Wallace

P.S.  I enclose you three Photographs of Officers in my Regt. given me. Lt. Fairbanks is my 2nd Lieut.  I will get some of my “Chums” and send if can.  These are good officers but not particularly my chums.  Wallace