1863: Moses Edward Tenney to his parents

Moses E. Tenny (1864)

Moses Edward Tenny (1839-1864)

Pvt. Moses Edward Tenney (1839-1864) — a shoemaker from Georgetown, Massachusetts — enlisted in Co. K, 50th Massachusetts Vols. on 18 August 1862 at the age of 23.  He was mustered out of the service on 24 August 1863 and had subsequent service as a saddler in Co. G, 4th Massachusetts Cavalry. A Widow’s Pension Record indicates that Tenney was mustered into the 4th Massachusetts Cavalry on 27 January 1864 as a private.

Company G was placed on detached duty at Yorktown and Williamsburg, Virginia from 23 August 1864 to April 1865 and it was while at Williamsburg that trooper Tenney died on 19 October 1864. The pension record tells us more specifically that he died of typhoid fever in the post hospital at Ft. Magruder.

On the 19th of November 1864, Mary H. Tenney — a resident of West Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts — swore under oath that she was his wife of Moses E. Tenney, a sergeant in Company G when he died. She testified that they were married in March 1864. A city clerk provided a marriage record to support her claim stating that Moses Edward Tenney — the son of Benjamin F. & Hannah Tenney — and Mary Harriet Burrill (of Haverhill) — the daughter of Caleb & Sarah Burrill — were married on 26 March 1864 by Rev. Samuel I. Spaulding. Mary’s widow benefits were awarded. But when Mary (Burrill) Tenney married Charles A. Kimball of Lynn, Massachusetts in September 1866, her widow benefit’s were suspended until after his death in 1900 at which time they were restored.

Moses is buried in the Yorktown Battlefield Cemetery, Grave B-52.


Montevideo del Ane [?]
March 18th 1863

My Dear Parents,

I will write a few lines to let you know I am well and am encamped about five miles from Baton Rouge in a piece of woods directly on the road from Baton Rouge to Port Hudson. We started from our old camp on Monday the sixteenth of the month and marched about fifteen miles. Then we encamped for the night under the shade of the trees and sky for a covering and the ground for a bed.

Gen. Nathaniel Banks

Gen. Nathaniel Banks — “He is very kind to his men and takes good care of them.”

We have acted as a kind of guard to Gen. [Nathaniel] Banks. He is one of the nicest men that I ever saw. He is very kind to his men and takes very good care of them. As we were marching along on the road we killed all the fresh beef which we wanted to eat. Some of the people along the road made a great deal of fuss about our taking their hens and porkers but the General said he did not come out here to guard Rebel property and so he could not interfere. We have lived like pigs in the clover since we started on this march. It is pretty hard work to march, I can tell you, but I hope we shall accomplish something by it and whip the Rebels out for I am tired of the sound of war all together and I hope it will end soon.

We are at present on guard over one of the pontoon bridges. We expect to go to Clinton soon to cut off the supplies from the Rebels. We are on the reserve corps. I have just come in from guard and am pretty tired, I tell you. It is some work to to stand guard here, I can tell you. I hope the war will be closed up by the time we come home but I fear it will not.

Baton Rouge
March 27, 1863

“Not a Star Must Fall” Patriotic Letterhead

We have just come in from our expedition. We went up one side of the river and come down on the other side. I expect we shall start on another expedition soon. Some say to Texas but I do not know where we shall go for it is hard telling where or how anything will turn out. When we started, there were quite a number of sick ones in the camp but as soon as they found that we had not got to fight, they were as well as usual. Among the list of sick was friend Taylor [Charles E. Tyler?] . He had the piles so bad that he could hardly walk or move but I think he was a little shy of the Rebel bullets for he is one coward, I think.

I suppose I shall come home in June if nothing happens and I would like to have you make up them shirts of mine out of that cloth which I bought last summer and wash them light pants of mine so that I can have a clean pair to wear. If you don’t feel as if you can wash them, get someone to do them and when I get home, I will pay for it.

Write as soon as you get this letter. Give my love to all my friends. This is all for the present. With much love, from your affectionate son, — Moses E. Tenney


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