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John Henry Ward (1836-1908) of Lebanon county, Pennsylvania, enlisted on 21 October 1861 as a sergeant in Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry. He was wounded during the Battle at Fair Oaks on 31 May 1862 and was discharged on surgeon’s disability on 29 November 1862 .

In 1860, John was enumerated in Swatara, Lebanon county, Pennsylvania with his wife Catharine (Fox) Ward (b. 1837-Aft1880). Catharine was the daughter of Amos and Catharine Fox of North Lebanon, Pennsylvania. John’s occupation was given as “coach blacksmith.” John and Catharine had two children — Agnes A. Ward (1859-1903) and Annie Grace Ward (1863-1943).

John was the son of Jacob Ward (1795-1881) and Maria Gruber (1800-1879) of Annville, Lebanon county, Pennsylvania. Jacob and Maria had several children:

William Gruber Ward (1825-1899)
Maria Ward (1826-1903)
Jacob Gruber Ward (1829-1918)
Rose Ward (1833-1918)
John Henry Ward (1836-1908)
Simon Gruber Ward (1839-1899)
Cyrus Ward (1842-1844)

Simon also served with his brother John in Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania.

There are a total of 21 letters in this virtual archive. Twelve of the letters were written by Sgt. John Henry Ward, five by his brother William Gruber Ward, three by his wife Cather (Fox) Ward, and 1 by his brother Samuel Gruber Ward.

heraldic-eagle


Sgt. John Henry Ward wrote this letter to his wife, Catharine Ward. At the time, the 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry was camped near Fort Good Hope, Maryland in the outer defenses of Washington D. C. They were located there from 2 December 1861 to 22 January 1862 when they marched to Tennallytown.

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER ONE

Camp Mary
December 17, [1861]

Dear wife,

In having a few leisure moments and feel it my duty to drop a few lines to you stating that I feel no so very well. I have had a very bad cold these three [or] four days although I feel that it is fast leaving me.

Yesterday I heard bad news from home. J. Bowman received a letter from brother William stating that [Bowman’s] father died with a very short illness on Saturday morning last.

I left our camp for the 7th Pennsylvania Volunteer Regt. [or 36th Penn. Vols.]. I saw brother Edward and a good many that I knew. They are all well and getting along very fine. Edward ¹ and all the rest were very happy to see me over there. Next morning Capt. [Elijah G.] Lantz’s company [C] was one among the pickets. We got up about 4 o’clock [and] made ready. I went out with them on the picket line about 2 miles from camp. They always have to keep three days rations in their haversack. After I came back to camp, it was about 10 o’clock. We soon afterward left for our own camp.

chain-bridge
The Chain Bridge over the Potomac River

The guards are very sharp on the Chain Bridge. No soldier nor citizen can pass without a written signature from Gen. McClellan’s Headquarters in Washington. When we got our pass, we got the first from our colonel, then we went to another camp and got a general to sign it. From there we went to the city to Gen. McClellan’s Headquarters and got a printed pass. There was about 50 citizens there before we came there for their passes but they had to stand back and leave the soldiers get theirs first.

Yesterday we had pay day. Received pay for 1 month and a few days. It was about half past 9 o’clock till our company got paid last night. Capt. [William W.] Murry [of Co. C] left here this morning for Lebanon. I gave him twenty dollars that he shall [leave] with brother William. If you did not receive it yet there, you can get it as soon as you receive this letter. And that money, let me know it. Brother Simon sent 13 dollars to William.

I must close for this time. My best respect to all enquiring friends. Write as soon as possible. Let me know how you are all getting along.

Your affectionate husband, — John H. Ward

Direct your letter to Sergt. John H. Ward, Company K, 93rd Regiment Penn. Vol., Washington D. C.

¹ Edward Fox (b. 1833) of Co. C in the Pennsylvania Reserves (discharged on surgeon’s certificate in October 1862) was the brother of Sgt. Ward’s wife, Catharine.


Sgt. John Henry Ward wrote this letter to his wife, Catharine Ward. At the time, the 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry was camped near Tennallytown “in a regular mud hole” where they were assigned to Peck’s Brigade of Smith’s (subsequently Couch’s) Division. Ward writes that he and the boys were anxious to “get a chance at those Black-legged Rebels.”

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER TWO

Camp Edward [near Tennallytown]
January 28 [1862]

Dear wife,

I sit down to write a few lines to inform you that I am well at present hoping these few lines may find you all in the same state of health. Excuse me for keeping silent so long. The reason of not writing any was that I expected to come home but I couldn’t get away on account of the marching orders. We did move last week. We had a awful move. We traveled over 12 miles and in the mud sometimes almost to the knee. It was the ugliest and muddiest road I ever came across although it was raining and snowing for 3 or 4 days.

We have now camped down here below Tennallytown in a regular mud hole. How long we stay here, we do not know. We are still yet under marching orders. I wish that [we] would go forward and finish the work. If we get a chance at those Black-legged Rebels, we’ll give it to ’em.

I enclose you $5 dollars in here. As soon as you get this letter, you will let me know. If it goes safe, I have some more to send, although I will come the first chance I get. But for these times, there is no hope. How is [our daughter] Agnes getting along? I would like to see her but I very willingly stay here and protect the flag of our country and let me know how you are getting along. If you need more money than what I have sent you already, let me know. I gave some to Simon to [buy] a pair of boots. You can get it there at home if you need it. He sent, he said, too much home.

About spending money here is not so great a show. I heard that you have a rig on our Capt. [Eli Daugherty] in Annville. That it is said that he took some butter out of our box. It seems to me very strange. Who wrote such things home? I am sure I didn’t [write] any such thing. It don’t just hurt his feelings, it also hurts his men. I said we didn’t get the butter and didn’t want to make a fuss about it, and I believe you at home has the fuss. The captain was mad about it and it is no wonder. He thought I wrote it home and he didn’t know about any box. We get dozens of boxes and he don’t find anything out of it. The sutler fetches the boxes from the city and we pay him to bring it and the captain don’t know nothing about it. Therefore, you all at home would do me a great favor if you tell me and write where this fuss comes from and put an end to it because it is not so.

I have to stop off now. I wrote in double quick time. We are kept pretty tight here. Give my best respects to all. Do not forget to write when you get this. Direct your letter just as before. It will reach me anyhow no matter where we are.

Yours, — John H. Ward


aacivwardy96-version-2Sgt. John Henry Ward wrote this letter to his wife, Catharine Ward from Camp Edward near Tennallytown. At the time, the 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry was attached to Gen. J. J. Peck’s Brigade in Gen. Darius N. Couch’s Division of Gen. Erasmus D. Keye’s Corps. Though a “mud hole,” the 93rd Pennsylvania did their best to lay out their camp in “company streets” and to tastefully decorate them with “beautiful festoons of green” across each street upon which the letter of each company was hung. [“The Knapsack”]

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER THREE

Camp Edwards
February 17, [1862]

Dear wife,

In coming to a conclusion this afternoon to drop a few lines to you informing you that I am well at present, hoping that you are all enjoying the same privilege.

I received your letter last week. Was glad to hear you all get along in harmony and health. Here it is raining all day today. Yesterday it was snowing. We will just have the mud increased to about 3 inches more. Tell [my sister] Rose that I received those things — the butter & chocolate was very good. The sausages was none of the best. They didn’t keep so well. Yesterday we devoured the last of the chocolate. I felt good on it.

I don’t know hardly what to write about the war. I think you know more at home than we know here. Today 8 of our men from the regiment left for the sea. They wanted so many men as sailors but they are scarce in our regiment. Capt. [Eli] Daugherty is a sailor himself. He would have went with the whole company but they wouldn’t allow it. There is none of our company left for the vessel — all from strange company. I guess Capt. [Daugherty] would have went but the Col. would [not] leave him. ¹

How long we stay here, I don’t know. The rumor is just now that we leave for Kentucky. I don’t know whether it is so or not. There is something up every day but I hope we will get out of this mud hole before long.

I must close for this time. Answer this if you received. Tell Angy [Agnes] to be a good girl and send a kiss to papa.

I was on picket last week. I was at a house where 2 or 3 such nice little girls was. It is about 3 miles from camp. The people are very accommodating. If we stay here, I will try to come home next month if I can. I am getting tired of writing.

Your husband, — J. H. Ward

¹ Soldiers with sailing experience were being sought to join a gunboat expedition on the Mississippi river. Ultimately only four soldiers from the 93rd Pennsylvania met the qualification requirements and were accepted — Levi Dehart (Co. B), John Southam (Co. C), Sgt. Eugene Callacher (Co. E) and Aaron Low (Co. E). [Source — “The Knapsack.”]


aacivwards3Sgt. John Henry Ward wrote this letter to his wife, Catharine Ward from a camp near Newport News, Virginia. At the time, the 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry was attached to Gen. J. J. Peck’s Brigade in Gen. Darius N. Couch’s Division of Gen. Erasmus D. Keye’s Corps. The 93rd Pennsylvania was transported by the steamer John A. Warner to the Peninsula on 26 March 1862. It was posted in the vicinity of Warwick Court House until after the Confederate evacuation of Yorktown in early May 1862. While here the regiment was employed in felling trees and constructing breastworks and forts. Sgt. Ward tells his wife, “I am just looking for a Rebel to give him a pop.”

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER FOUR

Army of the Potomac
Near Newport News, [Virginia]
March 30th [1862]

Dear wife,

With pleasure I take the privilege to drop a few lines to you to inform you that I am well at present, hoping these few lines may find you in the same state of health.

I let you know that I received your letter on the 22nd and was glad to hear from home that you are all well. About that picture you mentioned in your letter, I had [not had] any particular chance to get it taken or I would have done so already.

We had a great moving since I wrote last. We were on the ship three days. We rode about 250 miles and came on shore at the town of Hampton. The secessionist’s burned that town down — only 2 or 3 houses that old people is living in [remain]. It was a very nice town — pretty near as big as Lebanon. All brick houses except a few. I was walking around in it yesterday. Everything is burned — fence and all — except a few trees. And among these was was a fig tree. I took a few leaves which I will send — one for you and one for Agny and one for sister Rose.

mss5-1-sn237-1-vol1_0507
The ruins of Hampton sketched by Robert Knox Sneden in March 1862

Just now we lay about 6 or 7 miles from Fortress Monroe on the road leading to Richmond. We have about 40 or 50 miles to Richmond. How long we stay here, I don’t know, but only a day or two till the soldiers are all here. As much as I can understand, there shall be 250,000 soldiers here together.

We had a fine ride and saw much we never saw before and was well pleased with the sail. Excuse [me] for not writing any sooner. The reason is that I wanted to see where we landed. I think that we go on to Richmond.

There was a man living here when the troops came. He set his house on fire and burned it down and left. Where he went, we don’t know.¹

Give my best respects to all and a kiss for Angy. I must come to a close. I don’t know how much more to write. I am just looking for a Rebel to give him a pop.

Your husband, — John H. Ward

¹ According to “The Knapsack” (a publication of the 93rd Pennsylvania), the regiment reached Hampton at about sunset and marched to near Newport News where they camped “on a large farm, the house of which was destroyed by the owner before his departure. The camp was pleasantly situated on a level plain surrounded by beautiful pine timbers, with plenty of good water and not far from the Roads.”


aacivwards8Sgt. John Henry Ward of Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry, wrote this letter to his wife, Catharine Ward from a camp on the eastern shore of the Warwick river near Warwick Court House, Virginia. The camp was located on a peninsula running down to the Warwick river, bounded on the right and left by Stony and Lucas creeks. Sgt. Ward tells his wife that they have been exchanging shot and shell with the rebels who are on the opposite bank of the Warwick river within shouting distance of each other “but they haven’t hurt any of us fellows yet.”

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER FIVE

[Camp Winfield Scott]
[Warwick Court House,] Virginia
April 29th [1862]

Dear wife,

With pleasure I sit down to write a few lines to inform you that I am well at this present moment and still hoping these few lines may find you all in the same state of health.

I received your long looked [for] letter that was dated on the 8th. I was very glad to hear that you are all well but sorry that you had [a] fire and was so much scared & sister Rose burned herself.

As I am writing this, I am sitting out at my post. I am on duty today and we have to watch the Rebels pretty close for fear they will try to cross the Warwick creek. At the place where I sit now a few days ago, the bullets whistled over our heads and dodged in the trees long side of us and some behind. The pickets was firing at full till at us. They throwed only a few shells that howled over us and buried behind us a few hundred yards. They didn’t hurt any of us fellows yet. Yesterday they shot two of the [55th] New York boys but just succeeded to wound them slightly. If the Rebels will make a stand here, we will have a desperate fight as we understand they are very strong here.

Our company is away from the regiment these three weeks as pickets in the night and watching the Rebels through the day. None of the other companies had the spunk at first to come out here but now they want to cut us out and be out here themselves being they have to work so much cut[ting] down woods and throw[ing] up entrenchments in the night.¹

I have some money. I would like very much to send you some but it is pretty dangerous to do so from here. But I will try and send some $20 once. If you get it, it is good. If not, it cannot be helped. I don’t want to carry it in my pocket and I think you can make use of it.

I must now come to a close. As soon as you get this, write immediately and let me know. If it is at Fortress Monroe, it will go safe, no doubt about that. It is pretty far from here to Fortress Monroe. Don’t forget to answer immediately. Give my best respect to all and a kiss for Angy.

Your husband, — John H. Ward

Direct your letter — let somebody else that can write better direct your letter. Half the postmen can’t make out your writing.  Sergt. J. H. Ward, 93rd Regt. P. V. Company K, Peck’s Brigade, Couch’s Division, Fortress Monroe, Virginia

¹ According to The Knapsack ( a publication of the 93rd Pennsylvania), companies D, F, A and G of the regiment were put to work throwing up earthworks along the Warwick river.


aacivwardy93This letter was written by William Gruber Ward (1825-1899) of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, to his younger brother, Sgt. John Henry Ward of Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry. It appears to have been the first letter acknowledging the intelligence that Sgt. Ward had been recently wounded. Though Sgt. Ward survived the fighting at the Battle of Williamsburg where the 93rd lost 6 killed and 20 wounded, he was not so lucky at the Battle of Fair Oaks fought on 31 May 1862. While engaged with the 93rd in desperate fighting for over an hour, Sgt. Ward received a wound to his jaw that took him out of action — a wound that would plague him for the remainder of his life.  During the fighting at Fair Oaks, the regiment’s loses were 20 killed, 84 wounded, and 22 missing.

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER SIX

Lebanon [Pennsylvania]
June 6, 1862

Dear Brother,

I am sorry to hear that you got wounded but trust that you will be well taken care of and soon be able to be about again. If you can possibly write me a letter, please do so for we are all anxious to hear from you.

Aunt Ward died at Isaac’s in Schuylkill county. Her body will be brought to Annville and be buried next Sunday.

There was a tremendous freshet on the Swatara, sweeping away everything before [it] even down to Middletown. Good many lives were lost. Henry Moyer at the waterworks was drowned in attempting to save some of his lumber.

Your brother, — William

To J. H. Ward, Co. K, 93rd Penna. Regt. in one of the Military Hospitals, Washington D. C.


aacivward98Sgt. John Henry Ward of Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry, wrote this letter to his brother, William Gruber Ward of Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He wrote the letter from a Union hospital at Judiciary Square in Washington D. C. where he was convalescing from a wound received at Fair Oaks on 31 May 1862. Sgt. Ward complains of his treatment by the Union doctor attending his ward whom he insists is “not fit to be around wounded dogs,” much less wounded soldiers. The Judiciary Square General Hospital hospital opened in April 1862 (built on the site of the City Infirmary which burned in November 1861). It was considered at state-of-the-art hospital in that it featured separate wards, or pavilions, radiating from a central corridor. This design facilitated ventilation which was deemed necessary for preventing the spread of disease. A note is added to the bottom of the letter by William G. Ward addressed to his parents indicating that Sgt. Ward’s letter was forwarded to their parents in Annville, Pennsylvania, which explains the envelope. 

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER SEVEN

[Undated — Early June 1862]

U. S. A. General Hospital
Judiciary Square
[Washington D. C.]

Dear Bro.,

I will try to drop a few lines. I can hardly hold the pen. I will do as good as I can as I can if you can only make it out. My wound isn’t — nor was — so very dangerous although I feel as good as I did when I came here. I am in the fourth ward. The doctor we have is not fit to be around wounded dogs, I believe, and some more because he don’t tend ¼ like he ought or don’t know nothing. When I left the ship, the doctor said in two weeks I am as well as ever but it seems to be the contrary. It is too bad how we get used. I would report him as sure if I could [but] I wouldn’t like to be in his hands afterwards. I don’t like it at all now.

If you could send J. W. Killinger ¹ here — if he is in this city. There was a Congressman in the other day. He said Killinger went away [and] he didn’t know exactly where. He will tell him to call around if he don’t forget.

I must now come to a close. I wrote longer than I thought I could, I think you can make out. David Gruber ² is also here.

Your brother, — John H. Ward

You can tell my wife that I am not dangerous because I daren’t write so much. Just know it makes me too weak.

[Another hand]

Lebanon [Pennsylvania]
June 12, 1862
Dear parents,

Enclosed is a letter which I received from Bro. John. From it, it apears that he is not as well as he could be expected. He says that he remains about the same since he is there. Greatly complains about their doctor attending them. Yours, — W. G. Ward

¹ John Weinland Killinger (1824-1896) was born in Annville, Pennsylvania. He attended the public schools of Annville and the Lebanon Academy in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the Mercersburg Preparatory School in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1843. He studied law in Lancaster, was admitted to the bar in 1846 and practiced in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, from 1846 to 1886, He served as prosecuting attorney for Lebanon County in 1848 and 1849. He was a member of the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives in 1850 and 1851, and served in the Pennsylvania State Senate from 1854 to 1857. He was a delegate to the 1856 Republican National Convention. Killinger was elected as a Republican to the Thirty-sixth and Thirty-seventh Congresses. He served as a chairman of the United States House Committee on Expenditures in the Post Office Department during the Thirty-seventh Congress. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1862. He served as assessor of internal revenue from 1864 to 1866. [Source: Wikipedia]

² Orderly Sergeant David Gruber of Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania, was a cousin of Sgt. Ward’s.


aacivward93This letter was written by William Gruber Ward (1825-1899) of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, to his younger brother, Sgt. John Henry Ward of Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry. At the time, Sgt. Ward was recuperating from a wound in the jaw received at the Battle of Fair Oaks on 31 May 1862. William mentions their brother Simon Gruber Ward, still serving with the 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry in Virginia.

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER EIGHT

Addressed to Mr. John Ward, Annville, Lebanon county, Pa.

Lebanon [Pennsylvania]
June 12, 1862

John H. Ward
Dear brother,

Yours mailed on the 10th of June came duly to hand. I was glad to hear from you though it would have given greater pleasure had you said that you are getting better fast. As soon as I saw your name in the paper that you arrived at Washington, I immediately wrote a letter and sent it on (which was last Friday) to the General Superintendent of the Military Hospital at Washington thinking that you would get to hear from us and we from you the soonest but it appears that you did not get that letter which I wrote to you then.

By this time, J. W. Killinger no doubt has been to see you for he was not at home over Sunday and left on Tuesday for Washington again. I told him to go and see you. He promised me he would do so, giving him your name, company, and regiment you belong to.

Write soon again, your brother, — William

[Our brother] Simon writes that he is well. He was anxious to hear how you were.


This letter was written by Simon Gruber Ward (1839-1899) of Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry, to his older brother, Sgt. John Henry Ward (1836-1908) — same regiment. At the time, Sgt. Ward was recuperating from a wound in the jaw received at the Battle of Fair Oaks on 31 May 1862. Simon wrote the letter from a camp near Seven Pines, Virginia, just before the Seven Days Battles.

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER NINE

Camp Seven Pines
June 17th 1862

Dear Brother,

I received a letter from [our brother] William today. He had [heard] from you and [cousin] David [Gruber] and said you are getting along tolerably well. That’s what I like to hear.

Our company [is] very low. They [are] pretty near all sick. Lieutenant [David C.] Keller is [sick] and went home on Saturday. We got paid on the tenth of June. Now Lieutenant [Solomon] Yeakel has command of the company. George Fierstein is dead by this time. ¹ The way William had [written] in his letter, his [Fierstein’s] wife was in Philadelphia to see [him] and they left him [in] a dying condition. John Shenk was wounded in the leg — his leg taken off right below the knee. And so no-one is missing except Noah Troxel and [George A.] Guernsey.

They are building fords here. We are in rifle pits near and soldiers are coming in every day.

Cousin David Gruber, I will take your letters and send ’em to you. David, there is ____ is rascality ____ one. They miss you very much. I wish you was here. It’s getting too dark.

David has two letters here for you — one from your Father, they said, and the other from your sister. But that must be a lie. I asked for ’em and I did get ’em. I must come to a close for tonight. write soon as you get this — you and John — and leave me know how the rest are.

Your brother, — S. G. Ward

Address the old way.

¹ Pvt. George W. Firestein (1840-1862), of Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry, died on 4 June 1862 of wounds received at the Battle of Fair Oaks on 31 May 1862. George is buried in the South Bellegrove Cemetery in North Annville Township, Lebanon county, Pennsylvania.


aacivwards93Sgt. John Henry Ward of Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry, wrote this letter to his wife Catharine Ward in Annville, Pennsylvania. He wrote the letter from a Union hospital at Judiciary Square in Washington D. C. where he was convalescing from a wound received at Fair Oaks on 31 May 1862. He mentions his cousin David Gruber, the Orderly Sergeant of Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania, who was also wounded in the fighting at Fair Oaks.

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER TEN

Addressed to Mrs. Catharine Ward, Annville [township], Lebanon county, Penna.

July 1st [1862]
Judiciary Square Hospital
[Washington D. C.]

Dear wife,

With pleasure I take up the pen to drop a few lines to let you know that I am fast recovering although I am weak. I can hardly write. I would have wrote sooner but I couldn’t write. As you see, it goes hard enough now.

David Gruber is pretty good. He wasn’t wounded near as hard as I was. If I am well, I will try if possible to come home. I don’t know whether I can or not. I am tired here. I wish I had another home. Our doctor just look half after.

I must come to a close. I don’t know what to write. No more. Write soon. I looked already for a letter. Papa sends a kiss for Angy.

Your affectionate husband, — J. H. Ward


aacivward95This letter was written by William Gruber Ward (1825-1899) of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, to his younger brother, Sgt. John Henry Ward of Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry. At the time, Sgt. Ward was recuperating from a wound in the jaw received at the Battle of Fair Oaks on 31 May 1862. William mentions their brother Simon Gruber Ward, still serving with the 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry in Virginia.

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER ELEVEN
Addressed to John H. Ward, 4th Ward General Hospital, Judiciary Square, Washington D. C.

Lebanon [Pennsylvania]
July 8, 1862

Dear John,

I have just returned from Father’s this morning. They are all well at home and should like very much for you to come home if you can possibly get away. When I was [with you], I thought that by this time you would be able to come home, but as I understand you are not any better, which makes us all the more desirous of having you here.

Enclosed find a letter to your attending Physician which please hand to him and I trust that he will do for you what he can in obtaining a furlough or discharge.

Your brother, — William

aacivward95-version-2


aacivward91This letter was written by Catharine Ward of Anneville, Pennsylvania, to her husband, Sgt. John Henry Ward of Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry who was recuperating from a wound received at the Battle of Fair Oaks on May 31, 1862. Sgt. Ward was in the Fourth Ward of the Judiciary Hospital in Washington D. C. From the letter we learn that Sgt. Ward’s brother, William G. Ward, had recently visited him in Washington D. C.

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER TWELVE
Addressed to John H. Ward, Fourth Ward General Hospital, Judiciary Square, Washington D. C.

July 8th [1862]
Annville [Pennsylvania]

Dear Husband,

I take my pen to drop a few lines to let you know that we are all well. I received your letter today. I was in Lebanon and just came home today and was very glad to hear from you. I seen your brother Will when he came back [from Washington D. C.] and I expected you to come with him. Oh, I felt sorry that you wasn’t so well to come along with him. Brother William said that on the road back, Captain [John S.] Long [of Co. F] came with him and he said that they had a great battle. They fought seven days and two days [with] nothing to eat. And the last was the hardest.

Your brother Simon came [home] safe. William Auchenbach is in [a] New York hospital. ¹

I must come to a close. Take good care of yourself [so] that you get well enough to come home. I am very sorry that the doctor done [give you] attention. Oh, indeed, I would like to see you. Here is my love and a kiss for pop from Angy.

Your wife, — Catharine Ward

Answer my letter as soon as you get it.

¹ Cpl. William Auchenbach of Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry died on 15 July 1862 from wounds received at Fair Oaks on 31 May 1862.


aacivwards1Sgt. John Henry Ward of Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry, wrote this letter to his wife Catharine Ward in Annville, Pennsylvania. He wrote the letter from a Union hospital at Judiciary Square in Washington D. C. where he was convalescing from a wound received at Fair Oaks on 31 May 1862. Sgt. Ward tells his wife he is fit enough to travel home but is not permitted to leave the hospital.

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER THIRTEEN
Addressed to Mrs. Catharine Ward, Annville [township], Lebanon county, Penna.

Washington [D. C.]
July 13th [1862]

Dear wife,

With pleasure I take my pen to drop a few lines to let you know that I am getting along very well. I received your letter the other day and was very glad to hear from home and that you are all enjoying good health.

Did Bro. William say that I wasn’t fit to go along with him home? I was fit enough but we can’t go when we please. I will try to come home but whether I will succeed, I don’t know. I would very much like to come home.

I don’t know much to write and it goes a little hard to write yet. I must come to close. Give my love to all and write soon. A kiss for Agnes.

Your affectionate husband, — John H. Ward


aacivwardy2This letter was written by Catharine Ward of Anneville, Pennsylvania, to her husband, Sgt. John Henry Ward of Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry who was recuperating from a wound received at the Battle of Fair Oaks on May 31, 1862. Sgt. Ward was in the Fourth Ward of the Judiciary Hospital in Washington D. C.

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER FOURTEEN

Annville [Lebanon co., Pa]
July 20 [1862]

Dear Henry,

With pleasure I take my pen to drop a few lines to let you know that we are well but grandmother wasn’t right well. She laid in bed all day on Sunday. I received your letter yesterday. I was very glad to hear from you but I would be more gladder to see you. I wish [you] would come home. Try your best to come. What is the reason they don’t want you to go home? Henry Fegan [Co. K] is going to start on tomorrow and Daniel Fegan [Co. C] came home last Friday a week. He is getting along very well. John Troxel [Co. K] came home too. Showers was here too and the constable came to fetch him this week.

I must come to a close. I heard that they think my brother Edward [Fox] is catched by the rebels.

Angy said if Pop will come home, she will run and romp. Angy sends a kiss for Papa. Here is my love and all rest.

Your wife, — Catharine Ward

I wish you would send me an answer back as soon as you get this letter.


Sgt. John Henry Ward of Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry, wrote this letter to his wife Catharine Ward in Annville, Pennsylvania. He wrote the letter from a Union hospital at Judiciary Square in Washington D. C. where he was convalescing from a wound received at Fair Oaks on 31 May 1862.

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER FIFTEEN

Washington [D. C.]
July 29th [1862]

Dear Wife,

I received your letter last week. Was glad to hear from home. I also received a letter from Brother William yesterday. He was at home on Sunday [and] saith you are all well.

I am getting along very well again. I would like to be at home. I expect [to] get my discharge. If I don’t get it here, I hope to get it at the regiment. I will not stay long here no more. If I keep well, I will come home or go to the regiment. David Gruber left yesterday for the regiment and I am tired of laying around here.

I [have] no news to write. We wrote a letter to [brother] Simon two weeks ago and no answer yet. I don’t know where he is or whether he did not receive the letter. I can’t see where my letters stay so long. You said that you had received mine the day you wrote yours and that was 5 or 6 days later than I wrote it.

Write soon. A kiss for Agnes. Your husband, — J. H. Ward


aacivwardy4This letter was written by William Gruber Ward (1825-1899) of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, to his younger brother, Sgt. John Henry Ward of Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry. At the time, Sgt. Ward was recuperating from a wound in the jaw received at the Battle of Fair Oaks on 31 May 1862. In the letter, William advises his brother not to seek a medical discharge or he will lose his pay and other veteran benefits. He cites the example of William Hartman of Co. C, 93rd Pennsylvania.

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER SIXTEEN
Addressed to Sergt. John Henry Ward, Judiciary Square Hospital back of the City Hall, Washington D. C.

Lebanon, [Pennsylvania]
August 7, 1862

Bro. John,

I am glad to hear that you are improving slowly. About two weeks ago I heard that you were getting worse, so I made it my business to write to your physician and also the Corresponding Secretary of the Penna. Relief Association of your place, in order that if you are not improving to have you brought home as speedily as possible, as mother was very much alarmed about it. I received two letters from Washington — one from the Association and the other from your doctor — both stating that you are a getting better and would soon again join the regiment at the seat of war.

As to making application for a discharge, I would advise you not to do it, for if you get a discharge, you will be cut off from all pay — even from a bounty and pension. Some have done it already to their regret. For instance, William Hartman ¹ of this place — who was not well — applied for a discharge and got it, and on his way home he died. His widow cannot draw the bounty of $100 nor his children become heir of 160 acres of land because he was discharged — such is the law.

As long as one is not discharged, though not able to do duty, he is considered in the services and will be treated as such until one has been in the army for the space of two years. Then a discharge has no effect on a bounty, land, or pension.

Your bro., — William

This letter and papers &c I will send with Capt. Samuel Harbeson who will make a visit to Washington to bring home a nephew of his who is lying sick at Alexandria.

¹ Pvt. William Hartman (1815-1862) served in Co. C, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry. He was discharged on a Surgeon’s Certificate on 13 July 1862 and died one week later. He is buried in the cemetery of the First Reformed Church in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.


aacivward2Sgt. John Henry Ward of Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry, wrote this letter to his wife Catharine Ward in Annville, Pennsylvania. He wrote the letter from the Soldier’s Retreat in Washington D. C. where he was waiting for orders and transportation to return to his regiment in Virginia after recuperating from a wound he received in the Battle of Fair Oaks on 31 May 1862.

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER SEVENTEEN
Addressed to Mrs. Catharine Ward, Annville, Lebanon county, Penn.

Washington [D. C.]
August 13, 1862

Dear Wife,

I received your letter on the 6 inst. Was glad to hear from you [and] that you enjoy good health. I am also getting along well. I am going to my regiment just now. I am at the Soldier’s Retreat. How long we stay here, I don’t know. This morning we were started to go [but] the order was countermanded so we went back again to the Soldier’s Retreat. We are pent up here like criminals. Can’t get out at all.

Yesterday morning, I went — to get out — to see Capt. [Eli] Daugherty. He came here last week and told me that he was going to the regiment yesterday. Then on Monday I told my doctor that I would like to go with him so he made out the papers and sent me down here to Soldier’s Retreat. [The] captain didn’t know that I was here when he came here and took me with him. It is a very hard place here. There is pretty near a whole regiment here to go to McClellan’s army from the different hospitals.

My jaw is still stiff. I expect to get my discharge when I get up there. I don’t believe that I ever can eat hard crackers.

I must come to a close. This is hard writing here. I borrowed a knapsack to write on. Mine the Rebels has got with everything that I had except what I had on during the fight. Yours and Agnes’ likeness was in it. I was sorry when I seen that you and Agnes’ likenesses were gone. Write soon. A kiss for Angy. You write to the regiment if you write although I don’t know how long we stay here. I hope not long.

Your husband, — J. H. Ward


aacivward6Sgt. John Henry Ward of Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry, wrote this letter to his wife Catharine Ward in Annville, Pennsylvania. He wrote the letter from the Union Convalescent Camp near Alexandria, Virginia, where previously wounded or sick soldiers were sent to await orders and transportation back to their regiments in the field. Sgt. Ward tells his wife that he has been deceived. Apparently he was told he would be discharged from the service but he was instead being sent back to his regiment. The letter was written at the same time the Battle of Second Manassas was being fought (28-30 August 1862) and Sgt. Ward informs his wife that the wounded are already flowing into the hospitals near Alexandria.

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER EIGHTEEN
Addressed to Mrs. Catharine Ward, Annville, Lebanon Co., Penna.

Convalescent Camp [near Alexandria, Va.]
August 29th [1862]

Dear Wife,

I take the pen to detain a few of the idle moments we waste here awhile. We are waiting to hear where our regiment is. I am well at the present, hoping these few lines may find you all in the same state of health.

The other day I was surprised to see P. Flower, Daniel Funk, Samuel Walters, S. Flaak & W. Horn and some more of our company and regiment. I was glad to see all these that came from our Regiment or belonged to it. It seems to me a little more like home at this time [than] when I left the hospital. But I was deceived. They don’t give no discharges here. I will go to the regiment as soon as I can get off and try to get along. If I can’t, I’ll just stay back or try to get it then.

I would like to see you and Agnes. But if it is no other way, let ’em rip. I will try to serve my country as long as I can and be able.

I hear recruiting is going on very fast in Lebanon county.

I must come to a close. Indeed,  I don’t know what to write. There is nothing new to me around here excepting the Army of the Potomac is passing here towards Gen. Pope. They have hard fighting there. The cars are coming in every day with wounded and dying men.

No more at present. write soon. A kiss for Agnes. Your husband, — John H. Ward

Direct your letter to John H. Wood, Alexandria, Convalescent Camp near Fort Ellsworth, Va.

Write soon.


aacivward96This letter was written by William Gruber Ward (1825-1899) of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, to his younger brother, Sgt. John Henry Ward of Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry. In the letter, William informs his brother that the Democrats have won the fall elections in Pennsylvania though Lebanon county gave a Republican majority. He resists sharing his opinion of the war, adding only that he thinks the government has already had more than sufficient time to put down the rebellion.

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER NINETEEN

Lebanon [Pennsylvania]
October 20, 1862

Dear Bro.,

The letter acknowledging the receipt of the box with provisions has come duly to hand. The box was longer on the way than I had any idea as I shipped it on Friday and only received on Tuesday.

John’s wife and Agnes were in Lebanon and I presume are here yet as much as I know. The letter I sent to Father’s the same day I received it.

Enclosed please find a list of those who were drafted in the county. It goes tremendous hard for some to leave their home. They are getting substitutes and are offering from 300 to 1,000 dollars.

There is nothing new going on just now. The election is over and the Democrats are crowing wonderfully on account of the State going for them for it can not be otherwise for the majority who volunteered have been Republicans. Lebanon county, however, gave a Republican majority of 850. The people are too much quarreling [?] again with party politics and the war will not soon cease until the North shows one united front against all Demagogues and Rebels.

I can not give you my opinion of the war this time but shall try to do so ‘ere long. I think, however, the Government had long enough time to put down the Rebellion — but I can see no end as yet.

Yours, — William


aacivwardy98This letter was written by Catharine Ward of Anneville, Pennsylvania, to her husband, Sgt. John Henry Ward of Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry who was at the Union Convalescent Camp near Alexandria, Virginia, awaiting a medical discharge. She tells her husband that they have heard from his brother Simon G. Ward who was still serving in Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry.

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER TWENTY

Lebanon [Pennsylvania]
October 20 [1862]

I take my pen to inform you that I and Angy are well and so are all the rest. Your brother William received a letter from [your brother] Simon last Saturday. I am in Lebanon just now. He said he would send it to Annville. I was very glad to hear from you again and I was very glad to hear that you got the box with them things. How did that cap fit? Let me know. I let you know again that I would like to have a likeness. Don’t forget. Get it.

Let me know how your wound is getting along. Let me know how soon you will come home. Can you eat any crackers? And is your jaw stiff yet now?

They did draft now all about Lebanon ___ but not in the _____. I must come to a close.

Excuse my errors and my bad writing. Love and all. Agnye sends a kiss [to] papa John H. Ward.

Write soon. Your wife, — Catharine Ward

I am gone home again. Direct your letter to Annville.


Sgt. John Henry Ward of Co. K, 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry, wrote this letter to his wife Catharine Ward in Annville, Pennsylvania. He wrote the letter from the Union Convalescent Camp near Alexandria, Virginia, where previously wounded or sick soldiers were sent to await orders and transportation back to their regiments in the field. He tells his wife that he is unable to be discharged until his paper work is completed, including his Descriptive List (pay and clothing account).

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER TWENTY-ONE

Headquarters Convalescent Camp
October 30, 1862

Dear wife,

I take the opportunity to write again a [few] lines to inform you that I am well at present. [I] hope these few lines may find you all in the same enjoyment of health.

I received your letter and also sister Rose’s. I was glad to hear from her. You was saying about my likeness. I will get it taken as soon as I get my money. I didn’t get any pay for this good while. I think you are in need of money too.

I was in Washington last week but I could not get my pay. The paymaster wasn’t at home. I expect some one of these days. Brother Simon is here yet. Rose was enquiring of him. He is getting along very well and so am I with the exception of eating. I can’t eat anything hard or open my mouth very wide.

We have a lot of Lebanon ladies here now. They came last Friday. A. Hess’s wife and S. Reed’s family and also Cyrus Beamersderfer’s family.

I made no application for my discharge. It is of no use unless I have my Descriptive List and I wrote a few times to the regiment for it. I don’t get no answer. They must not receive my letters although I am contented here — all that is I would like to come home once for a week or two after it gets a little colder that the business is stopped off a little. I will try to get a furlough for home.

I must come to a close now. I don’t know hardly what to write. Write soon and let me know of how you are getting along.

I am pretty near tired of this war. I am sure if we had some of our leaders here or any other places. Since I am here, I have seen more than what I would have believed if the President would have told me. Short off, we have no Union army or the men would be patriotic enough but the leaders — the most of them — are Black-hearted Rebels. Here is plenty of them and I believe any other place. I seen our men treated too bad. I can’t see that the government don’t look after things a little more.

Write soon. A kiss for Agnes. Your husband, — J. H. Ward


 

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