1865: Charles Parker to Clara Dyer

How Charles Parker might have looked

How Charles Parker might have looked

This letter was written by Charles Parker (1847-1903), the son of Moses Parker (1809-18xx) and Olive Wright (1817-1911) of North Baldwin, Cumberland County, Maine. Charles served in Co. I, 31st Maine Infantry from March 1864 until July 1865.

The 31st Maine Infantry left for Washington, D.C. on April 18, 1864 and was attached to the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, IX Corps, Army of the Potomac, in which it remained for the remainder of the war. The 31st commenced active campaigning on May 4, 1864 and took its first battle casualties two days later in the Battle of the Wilderness, where it suffered heavy losses. The regiment fought again at Spotsylvania Court House on May 12, again taking heavy casualties: 12 killed, 75 wounded and 108 missing in action.

The regiment fought in engagements at Totopotomoy Creek on May 31 and June 1. Between the 4th and 12th of June, the regiment was before the Confederate works at Cold Harbor, then crossed the James River and fought in the Battle of Petersburg and then remained there for the remainder of the siege. In the July 30 Battle of the Crater, it was the first regiment into the Confederate works and lost heavily in the failed assault.

The 31st was in support during the Second Battle of the Weldon Railroad, followed by the Battle of Poplar Springs Church on September 30. October 1864 was spent on picket duty and drill where it absorbed the 4th and 6th Companies of Maine Unassigned Infantry as companies L and M. On October 27, it was assigned to Fort Fisher, where they remained until the end of November when it was reassigned as the garrison of Fort Davis. The 31st Maine absorbed the 32nd Maine Regiment on December 12, 1864, adding 15 officers and 470 enlisted men to its ranks. The regiment remained in reserve from February 11, 1865 until the early morning of April 2, when it was chosen to provide the initial storming party of three companies for the assault on Fort Mahone. The regiment suffered heavy losses in the attack.. It participated in the occupation of Petersburg and spent the rest of the campaign gathering up prisoners and escorting them to the rear.

After the war, it appears that Charles returned to North Baldwin, Maine, where he engaged in farming. In October 1886, Charles was admitted into a Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Togus, Kennebec County, Maine. At the time of his admission, he was diagnosed with diseased kidneys. In 1889, he was transferred to an Insane Asylum where he lived out his remaining years. He died in May 1903.

He wrote the letter to Clarinda (“Clara”) Claudis Dyer (1845-1865), the daughter of Asa M. Dyer (1805-1868) and Sarah H. Anderson (1806-1885) of North Baldwin, Maine. Clara died on 31 August 1865.

1865 Letter

1865 Letter

TRANSCRIPTION
Addressed to Clara Dyer, North Baldwin, Maine

Camp near Parker Station, Virginia
March the 4th 1865

Friend Clara,

I having a few moments to spare I thought I could not better devote them than in writing a few lines to you.

Soldiers of the 31st Maine greeted by ladies (1864)

Soldiers of the 31st Maine greeted by ladies (1864)

I am in good health and hope these few lines will find you the same.

I ought to make some apology for not writing to you before as I agreed to before I came away but I hope you will excuse me as I hate so much to take up my attention. How does the time pass away with you? To me it seems but a day or two since I left home.

[Your sister] Emma ¹ wrote to me some time ago stating that you had wrote to me but by some mishaps I have not got it.

Our regiment was paid last Wednesday and the saloon is so full that I could not get near it or I would have had an ambrotype taken to send you.

Is there anything going on in Baldwin now. If there is not, I should think it would be rather dull times there.

It is getting late and I guess I have wrote as much as you can find out and will close by bidding you good night. I hope to hear from you soon.

From a true and loving schoolmate. — Charles Parker

¹ Emma Parker (1847-174) was married to D. E. Cottle in 1869. He was the principal of the Le Moyne Normal and Commercial School in Memphis at the time of their deaths in 1864 when they were struck down by “the late appalling pestilence” (Yellow Fever) in the city.

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

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: