1862: Lloyd Hiram Colby to Cousin

This letter was written by Lloyd Hiram Colby (1846-1922), the son of Nathan Colby (1805-1891) and Hannah Terrill (1803-1864).  He was born in Stewartstown, Coos County, New Hampshire. He appeared in the census in 1860 in West Point, Columbia County, Wisconsin. Lloyd enlisted as a private in Co. B of the 6th Wisconsin Infantry in May 1861; he re-enlisted as a corporal in February 1864 and was wounded at Cold Harbor. He was mustered out of the service on 24 May 1865.


West Point, Columbia County, Wisconsin
January 28th 1861 [1862]

Friend cousin,

I received your letter today and was very glad to hear from you after so long a time. I am well and am going to school everyday. Well, I can’t write much about the school this time.

I was very glad to hear that there was a few patriotic boys in that part of the North that had courage to go and fight for their country. Why did you not write when and what regiment they were in? I suppose they are not at Port Royal in the New Hampshire Regiment. Well, in this state there has gone 10 regiments 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 Regiments is at and around Washington. The first and 10th is in the state where Abraham Lincoln was brought up. The 8, 9, 11, 12, & 13 is in Missouri and 6 batteries of artillery. They started from the state January 20th for to go and join Lane in Kansas, two to go to Baltimore, and there is one more that has not gone yet. These batteries has 6 guns each. There has a good many gone from here.

There are two companies gone from this town and Lodi, the town joining this town. There is now 5 regiments of infantry in the state that is not gone yet. These regiments has 1,000 men in each.

There is a great deal of talk of England helping the South but Uncle Sam can whip the world.

I think I shall enlist as quick as school is out in the spring. I just got a letter from one of the boys in the army. He says that he wishes he was to home to go to school with his schoolmates this winter. He should enjoy it much better than to be out on picket duty. There are not half as many people in this neighborhood as there was before the war commenced. They have all enlisted and are fighting for a good cause and I hope the stars and stripes will float over the vile South yet.

This is all I think of to write. I hope this will get to you without delay. You must excuse me for all the mistakes and bad spelling. You write as quick as you get this and let us know all the news.

Yours truly, — Lloyd H. Colby


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