1865: Lt. Henry Clay Campbell to Mary (Davis) Campbell

How Lt. Clay might have looked

How Lt. Clay Campbell might have looked

This letter was written by Lt. Henry Clay Campbell (1843-1920), the son of James & Elizabeth (Wall) Campbell. Henry was married to Mary S. Davis (1843-1922) in August 1864.

Henry enlisted at the age of 18 for 3 months in Co. A, 105th Pennsylvania Infantry. He then re-enlisted as a corporal in Co. B, 206th Pennsylvania Infantry. He rose to the rank of 1st Lieutenant before the end of the war and, as we learn from this letter, fulfilled quartermaster duties prior to and after the mustering out of his regiment.

Henry returned from the war to study law in the office of Phineas W. Jenks and was admitted to the Jefferson County Bar in 1867. He practiced law in Punxsutawney and in Brookville before relocating to New Mexico for three years. He returned to Jefferson County, Pennsylvania in 1883 and then went to Washington D. C. for a couple of years.


Headquarters 206th Pennsylvania Volunteers
Richmond, Virginia
June 18th 1865

My Darling Wife,

I am seated this Sabbath evening to reply to a dear letter just received from you. I have written three letters since arriving here and received the same number from you. I am at leisure now more than I have had since I have been Quartermaster as my business is at a stand and will have some rest till after we are mustered out when I will have some work as I will have tents and camp equipage to turn in for the officers which will be considerable work but I think I can do it.

I think that by Wednesday we will be mustered out and then we will start for Pittsburg and a few days there and then home. How glad I shall be when that quiet spot looms again in view. To see that loved face, to feel the kind caress of my darling wife whom I have so long been separated from and who I so long to see. I was over to see Dr. Hughes this morning and promised to go back this evening but I loaned my horse and he did not get back for some time and when he did come he was too warm to ride so I waited for another opportunity. The Dr. is well and will go home on a visit sure next week so he says about the time we expect to get home.

I thank Father for his kindness in paying that order and I will repay him as soon as I get home, which I hope to be in a very short time.

In no unforseen misfortune occurs, you will not have long to wait to see the one you so long to see. I feel the time long till I get home but shall bear the anxiety as patiently as possible and hope though it may prove a few days longer than at present anticipated, the meeting will be more joyous. Would that I could fold you in my arms tonight knowing that there would be no military law to separate us again or civil war to disturb our land. The great object is accomplished and I am now content to rest. I can turn my attention to business without any distracting or startling accounts of war to annoy me.

I have no other news to write so I will close hoping that before this reaches you I shall be hastening to where you are. You need not write again for I think that before another letter can come, I shall be on my way home. My love to all. Kind heaven permitting, I will be permitted to tell you more than I can write in a few days.

From your affectionate and loving husband, — Clay Campbell

Mrs. H. C. Campbell, Punxsutawney, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania


About Griff

My passion is studying American history leading up to & including the Civil War. I particularly enjoy reading, transcribing & researching primary sources such as letters and diaries. View all posts by Griff

4 responses to “1865: Lt. Henry Clay Campbell to Mary (Davis) Campbell

  • britt

    Do you have the original letter?

    • Griff

      I do not. I transcribed this letter for an acquaintance who sold it recently on e-bay (which is generally the case for most all of the letters appearing on the Spared & Shared Blogsites I manage).

      • britt

        Thanks, that is a great letter! He actually served with the 105th PA (The Wildcat Regiment was through it all) until August of 1862…his enlistment was for three years, but he was discharged for disability.

  • Jacklyn Campbell Billo

    This was my great-great grandfather. His son, Ralph Eddo Campbell, was my grandfather.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Spared & Shared 19

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Recollections of Army Life

by Charles A. Frey

The Civil War Letters of William Kennedy

Co. B, 91st New York Infantry

The Glorious Dead

Letters from the 23rd Illinois Infantry, the 111th Pennsylvania Infantry, the 64th New York Infantry, and the 14th Pennsylvania Cavalry

Cornelius Van Houten

1st New Jersey Light Artillery

Letters of Charley Howe

36th Massachusetts Volunteers

Sgt. Major Fayette Lacey

Co. B, 37th Illinois Volunteers

"These few lines"

the pocket memorandum of Alexander C. Taggart

The Civil War Letters of Will Dunn

Co. F, 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteers

Henry McGrath Cannon

Co. A, 124th New York Infantry & Co. B, 16th New York Cavalry

Civil War Letters of Frederick Warren Holmes

Co. H, 77th Illinois Volunteers

"Though distant lands between us be"

Civil War Letters of Monroe McCollister, Co. B, 6th OVC

"Tell her to keep good heart"

Civil War Letters of Nelson Statler, 211th PA

"May Heaven Protect You"

14th Connecticut drummer boy's war-time correspondence with his mother

Moreau Forrest

Lt. Commander in the US Navy during the Civil War

Diary of the 29th Massachusetts Infantry

Fighting with the Irish Brigade during the Peninsula Campaign

"Till this unholy rebellion is crushed"

Letters of Dory & Morty Longwood, 7th Indiana

"I Go With Good Courage"

The Civil War Letters of Henry Clay Long, 11th Maine Infantry

"This is a dreadful war"

The Civil War Letters of Jacob Bauer, 16th Connecticut, & his wife Emily

Spared & Shared 16

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Lloyd Willis Manning Letters

3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Co. I

The Yankee Volunteer

A Virtual Archive of Civil War Likenesses collected by Dave Morin

William Henry Jordan

Co. K, 7th Rhode Island Infantry

No Cause to Blush

The Bancroft Collection of Civil War Letters

William A. Bartlett Civil War Letters

Company D, 37th Massachusetts Infantry

The John Hughes Collection

A Virtual Archive of his Letters, 1858-1869

The Civil War Letters of Rufus P. Staniels

Co. H, 13th New Hampshire Volunteers

This is Indeed A Singular War

The Civil War Letters of Henry Scott Murray, 8th New York Light Artillery

The Letters of James A. Durrett

Co. E, 18th Alabama Infantry

Spared & Shared 15

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The Civil War Letters of George Messer

Company F, 107th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Jeff's Prayers are as Effective as Abe's

The Civil War Letters of George S. Youngs, 126th New York Vols

Soldiering is a Very Uncertain Game

The Civil War Letters of Lemuel Glidden, Co. K, 145th Indiana Infantry

Tough as a Pitch Pine Knot

Letters of John Whitcomb Piper, 4th Massachusetts Heavy Artillery

%d bloggers like this: