These two letters were written by 23 year-old Charles Van Der Bogart [Vanderbogart] (1842-1909), the son of Peter Bogart (1819-1888) and Caroline Swick (1823-1894) of Palatine, Cook County, Illinois. The Bogarts relocated to Illinois from Hector, New York State during the late 1840s.
Charles served in Co. G, 18th US Infantry. He mustered out of the regiment on 17 February 1865 at the end of his 3-year term of service. Military records state that he stood 5 foot 7½ inches tall, with brown eyes and auburn hair. After the war he was a member of GAR Post #780, General Willich Post, in Des Plaines, Illinois. He died on 26 November 1909. In 1900, Charles was still single and working as a paper hanger.
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER ONE
Head Quarters 2nd Brigade
November 10th 1863
Again I find myself seated to write a few lines to inform you that I am still alive & well and hearty and I hope these few lines will find you the same.
We are still at Chattanooga yet and are likely [to remain], I think. The word has been that the Regular Brigade was a going north but I guess it is all knocked in the head. We are a getting a little more to eat now than we did a week or two ago. The boys had to suffer very much for awhile but now there is plenty.
I am very sorry to say but I will have to that Poor Gill is out of his troubles and pains. Poor fellow, he got along so well at first and now he is dead.
Where is Mate and Cindy? I have not heard a word of them in a long time. Has Brian and Matt keeping house now? And how does Uncle Charles’ folks get along and where is Pete? I have not heard from him in some time. When you see Grandma Liny, tell her I saw Kyley Carpenter the other day. He says he is a coming back of nothing splits more than is crack[ed]. He is a coming back after her.
Is Frank Bishop at home this winter? I have wrote to him often enough that I should think he might answer. And Matt too. Why don’t she write and let me know where the 12th Michigan Infantry is? The word is now that the 11[?] Illinois is a doing up here to help us. I hope they will for I would like to see some of them.
And where is the 89th? Uncle Eli and all the rest, &c. &c. &c.
I guess I will have to bring my letter to a close for it is after bed time. So goodnight to you all. Please write soon and oblige your son. — C. V. Bogart
Direct to Head Quarters, 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 14th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland
I had forgot to tel you we are expecting our pay in a few days. If we do get it, the next letter will have some dollars in it. I shall have about 50 or 60 dollars for you. Write soon.
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER TWO
Head Quarters 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 14th Army Corps
Camp with[in] 1½ miles from Atlanta
In line of Battle
July 24th 1864
After so long a time I sit down to inform you that I am still alive and well. I expect you thought I was never a going to write again but as old saying is, better late than never.
We are with[in] one mile and a half of Atlanta. We have been here now 2 days. We have to move 3 or 4 times a day some days. I am still at Head Quarters. I am now cooking.
I expect you would like to know what I am a going to have for supper tonight. Well blackberry or cherry pie, warm biscuits, tea and coffee. We have a cow. She gives about 4 quarts of milk. I have 3 officers to cook for. They are all from the 18th [US Infantry]. Oh yes, we have lots of dried fruit too — dried apples, dried peaches, dried currants, and plenty of can fruit of all kinds.
I am having the best time now I ever had. I have to work pretty hard but I am able to do it. I have not been out of hearing of the musketry 24 hours at a time since we left Graysville.
I received your two last letters. The reason I did not write before is because we had not lay in one place long enough to write a letter. I got a letter from Hank about a week ago. He was getting along so well as could be expected. I shall have to close for this time so good bye for this time.
From your son, — C. V. Bogart