1861: Isaiah Foye Haines to Mary Hannah Haines

Hos Isaiah F. Haines might have looked

How Isaiah F. Haines might have looked

This letter was written by Pvt. Isaiah Foye Haines (1820-1879) of Company E, 2nd New Hampshire Infantry. Isaiah enlisted on 1 May 1861 for 3 months but was not mustered in. He re-enlisted for 3 years in June 1861 and was appointed corporal in January 1863. He mustered out of his regiment on 21 June 1864.

The 2nd New Hampshire wore Union gray uniforms with “spiketail” dress coats trimmed in red cord, and “jaunty forage caps” with “2NH” on the crown. The 2nd New Hampshire wore their gray uniforms for the entire war, refusing to switch to the Union blue. [see comment below]

Of the 900 who fought in the regiment’s first battle at the First Bull Run, seven were killed, 56 wounded (seven mortally), and 46 missing (many of them wounded and all of them captured by Confederates). The Regiment’s Colonel, Gilman Marston, had his arm shattered and refused amputation. He went on to recover and lead the 2nd New Hampshire at the battles of Williamsburg.

At Gettysburg, the 2nd New Hampshire entered battle with 353 soldiers. In under three hours, 47 were killed, 136 wounded and 36 men went missing during heavy fighting in the peach orchard on the Emmitsburg Road; of the 24 officers, only three were not killed or wounded. Due to their high losses, the 2nd New Hampshire was assigned to guard duty at Point Lookout, Maryland, with the 5th and 12th New Hampshire Volunteer Regiments. The 2nd New Hampshire returned to battle in time for the Battle of Cold Harbor where it suffered heavy casualties of nineteen killed and 54 wounded. Shortly after Cold Harbor, 223 had completed their enlistments — including Corp. Haines — and returned home.

Isaiah was the son of Josiah Allen Haines (1790-1853) and Mary Foye (1797-1876) of Exeter, New Hampshire. He wrote the letter to his sister Mary Hannah Haines (1841-1920) who married George Carter in January 1862.

TRANSCRIPTION

Bladensburg [Maryland]
September 29, 1861

Sister Mary,

I take this opportunity to write you a few [lines to say] that I am well and hope you [are] the same. I thought I would write as we have got orders not to leave camp today but be ready at a moment’s notice so I judge by that we shall soon have a fight. It cannot be delayed long.

Yesterday our troops took a place called Monson Hill. It has been called a hard place to take but we took it without firing a gun and took the commanding officer and 2 lieutenants.

My hand has got all well but my finger is stiff and always will be, but I have done duty for the five weeks past.

Patriotic Image on Stationery

Patriotic Image on Stationery

I have been to see the 3rd [New Hampshire] Regiment. All of the boys look well. There are a great many men here in most all of the regiments that have known sometimes. They are coming by us everyday regiments as fast as they can. There is but little sickness in camp but a few have got the ague. We have cold nights every eve. Had a frost last night. I suppose you have plenty of them there.

There are a great many slaves here & every Sunday will appear and such things to sell. They are very poorly dressed — some have no shoes. The women have a rag tied upon their head. They bear just the same as the men. They look hardly fit to be seen. They say some of them that they come 14 miles to sell their apples and then take a load of clothes home. They seem very much pleased with them.

Write me. Have the crops come in; how the potatoes and apples are; if the potatoes rot any. Write me all the news. I have got to be real steady since I have been here.

Give my love to Mr. and Mrs. Horis & Mr. & Mrs. Robinson & Lisa.

So I will close. Good bye. From your brother, — I. F. Haines

Write soon. Direct to Washington D. C., 2nd New Hampshire Regiment, Co. E

Advertisements

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

One response to “1861: Isaiah Foye Haines to Mary Hannah Haines

  • DMM

    The 2nd NH abandoned their grey uniforms right around the time of this battle. Regimental Quartermaster Returns indicated they were issued blue sack coats in 1861 and may actually have been wearing them at 1st Bull Run.

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

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

An Honorable Peace

The Civil War Letters of Frank B. Knause, 6th Michigan Infantry & Heavy Artillery

Looking for a Rebel to Give him a Pop

Letters to & from Sgt. John Henry Ward, 93rd PA Inf

Civil War Letters of William H. H. Kinsey

Co. H, 28th Illinois Infantry

Spared & Shared 14

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The 1863 Diary of Thomas Wilbur Manchester

A Rhode Island Soldier in the American Civil War

The Daniels/Stone Digital Archives

A Collection of Family Civil War Era Letters & Ephemera

%d bloggers like this: