Private Halsey Bartlett:
A Union Letter
This letter was written to his mother, on April 2, 1862. He was from Killingly, CT and mustered in on August 21, 1861 as a Private in Company A, 6th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry. Private Bartlett was killed in action at Bermuda Hundred, VA on June 17, 1864. The letter is transcribed as it was written by Private Bartlett.
Dawfuskie Island, SC
Sixth Reg Co A. Conn Vol
April 2nd 1862
Thought I would write to you again so I have commited to write. I am well and hope these few lines may find you enjoying good health and may the Blessing of God attend you.
Have not much news to write so you must excuse much news for this time. I wrote a letter to Chris about a week ago. I suppose she has received it before this time. When I wrote her we were encamped about four miles from here on this island and we moved down here to do Guard and Picket Duty and unload Vessels and Boats that bring provisions for the soldiers. This place is called Coopers Landing. Our quarters are on a negro plantation belonging to Union man by the name of Stoddard. He stayed here till the day after we took Hilton Head the Rebels retreating to Savannah by this way would not let his stay but hurried him off with them. He is in Savannah now. All of this Island is owned by Union People who had to flee with the Rebels to save their lives. There is six of our Companies up to headquarters two of our Companies at Mud Island and two companies here. We have to work very hard on Guard either Picket or home guard every other day. We expect to hear the Booming of Cannon soon on Fort Pulaski. We are expecting the Gun Boats up from Hilton Head every day to be ready to go into action and they have two Batteries on Tybee Island, (2) two on an island in front of the Fort with (8) eight mortars each. Those on Tybee have ten mortars to throw shells into the fort. It is only (1 1/2) one mile and a half from Tybee Battery to the Fort and Six Gun Boats and (2) two sloops of war, Wabash and Susquehannah. I guess it will not be so hard work after all to conquer them. After we take Fort Pulaski (if we meet with success) we have 3 small Batteries and Fort Jackson to take and then comes Savannah. In less than a month you will hear that Savannah is taken. I think there was two men Deserted from Fort Pulaski and came over to Gen Vieles Head Quarters and said they were more than half of the men on the Fort Union men and when the fort was attacked there would be a good many blank cartridges fired they would get into a fight among themselves and the fort could be taken easy. They have amunition enough on Tybee Island to fire for eight days all of the time (our men have). As we were coming up here last Sunday we stopped at a church a mile below here and there was a tomb there oposite the church which had been broken open and a coffin broke to pieces and the Bones of the Corpse lay scattered all about and beside the church lay a Human Skull. Is this not inhuman. Expect some one done it to rob the jewels and plate of the corpse.
How is Chris knee now is it any better how is your health now. Ask Chris if she got fooled any yesterday. I suppose you have seen Lieut Blanchard and Pvt Wilborn with this I sent two letters by them one to you and one to Chris yours with ten Dol in it and hers with one Dol in it. Tell Chris to write and write all the news. Clovis is well and likes his new B???? very well. Tell Chris I have forgot whether she is 17 or 18 years old tell her to let me know.
My love to you and Chris and the folks on the hill.
Have not got payed of yet when I do you may expect some more money
Another letter from Halsey Bartlett is housed by The Pearce Civil War Collection at Navarro College
A picture of Halsey's gravesite is available here