Private James P. Elliott:

Union Letters



James P. Elliott, brother of George Frederick Elliott, Jr., was from Waterbury, CT and mustered in on June 8, 1861 as a Private in Company I, 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery. Private Elliott was promoted to Corporal March 9, 1862,. He re-enlisted on March 31, 1864 and was promoted to Sergeant on May 10, 1864, to First Sergeant on May 23, 1864, then to Second Lieutenant on December 10, 1864 and transferred to Company D. He mustered out on September 25, 1865. Peter's brother George also served in the 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery, while his brother Edward served in the 5th Connecticut Infantry. Edward disappeared during the War and it is unknown if he deserted or was killed (A letter written to his parents in 1863 from Canada is believed to be from Edward, indicating he probably deserted)


January 22, 1862 (Fort Richardson, Arlington Heights)

September 25, 1862 (Fort Scott, VA)

September 23, 1863 (Fort Scott, VA)



1st Conn. Artillery.

Fort Richardson  Arlington Heights

Jan. 22nd 1862


Dear Mother, Brothers & Sisters

As I received by telegraph the sad information of fathers death. I haste to to send you a line in the form of a letter at the earliest opportunity, expressing my regret that either George or myself were not permitted to pay the last tribute of respect to our beloved Parent, but circumstances are such as to render it impossible at the time, as it is more than probable that there will be an advance of this portion of the army in a very few days perhaps before this reaches you. Perhaps we may go, perhaps not.

As soon as the dispatch reached me I went to see the Col. to see if it was possible for me to get a furlough, he said that word came to him from Gen. McClellan to grant none to anyone for any time, though he (the Col.) would be glad to let me have one if he could.

You may be sure that I sympathize with you all at this trying moment, knowing that we shall be missed more at this time perhaps than any since we left our home to go out to help sustain our government and to fall in so doing if necessary.

The bad news was little expected by us as it was only a week since I recd a letter from him.

I know none of the particulars of his death, all I know as yet is simply the telegram saying he died on the morning of the 21st Inst. wishing George and me to come to attend the funeral Saturday, if we could, it was signed I. F. Abbe. I suppose it meant Randolph.

By this dispensation we as a family are all afflicted; Mother is left a widow and we are orphans; I feel that I can say in this “God doeth all things well, let his will be done.”

The question arises now (in which George and I am interested) how is the family left and how will they get along? I know nothing of your circumstances how you are left but I suppose that you will remain together until Spring certain and then perhaps you may think best to have a change. There will be some expenses connected with this event and I am not able to see how how you will settle them. George and I am willing to do what we can to help keep the family together, you will please send the particulars of your circumstances; and expenses to be paid etc to me. I have a little money by me at the present time and a little in Hartford and which I shall furnish if necessary.


Mother in my absence I can only refer you for comfort to Him who has said he would never leave, nor forsake us, try and keep up your spirit as much as you can. I will wait until I hear from you before I write more, much love to you all.

James P. Elliott

Fort Scott, Va.

Sept. 25th  1862.


My Dear Mother

Once more I am happy to inform you that your kind favor of the 14th has reached me in safety, it came last night, and although it is ten days since it was written yet I was glad to hear from home. I had a letter from Mary last week and she said “Mother was not very smart this fall”, and I am inclined to think you worry about us boys much more than you have occasion to, we are not at present inhabiting a poison swampy region of country like that where we spent the summer months, but we are in one of the best locations for health in this Lattitude, and I was pretty well dragged out at one time during the hot weather but I have been improving for the past two months, and since I came from Harrisons Landing I have gained about ten pounds; the medicine you sent me I dont expect to have to use, as nay diorhea has gradualy worn away during the past few days, I will tell you what I think helped it __

Last winter I used to take the Colonels clothes down to Alexandria to a white colored womans to be washed, and several times I met a Mulatto there by the name of Berry – he had a very bad cough and I told him he had better look out for it, he was a clerk in a large grocery store; well, the first man that called to see me after our return to Alexandria was Berry, he said Mrs. Oden (the washwoman) wanted to know whether I was dead or alive or wounded. I told him I was well except the diorhea, well he said if I could come up town he would let me have some brandy and cloves, but I could not go up town until after we came here to the Fort, and it was sometime before I could go anyway, but when I did go the brandy had been used up but he gave me as much Allspice Cloves & Maice as I could hold in both hands & well I took about half a teacupful of these spices and boiled them and drank the spice tea but it didnot seem to help me at the time but I have been improving every day since—I never felt better than I have for a few days past__ George had a touch of the Ague last week – I have not seen him since but the last time I heard from him he was better and improving. Since I wrote to you the 16th Regt. has been in a fight and I hear that Capt. Fred Barber was wounded in the leg, and several others of the Manchester boys but I didnot hear who Leottie’s Uncle, Henry Annis, was one of them. I think _wounded slightly_

I called over and saw the 21st & 20th Regts. the other day I found Herbert & Charles Galcott[?], they are [ ? ] sons Lieut Parkers nephews [ line not legible ] on guard and I did not see him, they were both well – one man by the name of Loveland was there also he used to work for Esq. Phelps – I went with 600 of our Regt. & escort the remains of Col. Kingsbury (of the Conn. 11th) from Washington to Georgetown, D.C. My kind regards to all. Love to those at home.


(written up the left side and across the top of the first page) Well “Sis” if I write to Mother instead of you it is all the same for the letter is for you all at home – P.S. I see by the paper that Horrace Brown is among the wounded in our 16th Regt. You see it is not those who came out first that are first to be crippled.

Fort Scott  Va.

Sept. 23rd  1863


My Dear Mother

Once more I resume my pen to write you a few lines, it was with pleasure that I learned that you had had such a pleasant time at the salt water only regretted that you were not able to remain there any longer, but I suppose you felt as fall is coming on that you must get home to see to the boys clothes. Well now about money you wrote me that your rent would become due when you got home, and as that is the case you will want some money pretty soon. I was over to see George Sunday and he gave me $40.00 to send to you as


I was thinking of sending my money by express, and now shall send $70.00 Seventy dollars by express to you at North Manchester so you may expect it as soon as you get this letter it ought to get there by Saturday night but may not until the first of next week. I suppose I might have sent you a little more but I like to keep a little by me to use and we cannot say just when we will have some more but most likely in two months again. I think some of getting a pair of boots and they are very high here now as they cost from 5 to 8 dollars a pair if this money we send now is not as much as you need to pay rent, buy wood, coal, potatoes, pork, beef, flour, groceries & besides clothes [ ? ] draw some from the bank, if you please.


I have written to Euphrasia and directed to North Manchester not knowing certainly where she would be but I thought she would be there very soon it may make your work a little harder to have her at home this winter but it will be some company and as we are away I think it will rather more pleasant for you than it would be if she was away and then I presume she will not have another chance as favorable as the present occasion and therefore let us do what we can for the children. George is complaining some of the rheumatism, he is at work upon some building for his company officers. George Roe, Vandah Headge & the rest of the Manchester boys are all well. I had a chill a week ago but got over it very soon, remember me kindly to all enquiring friends, from your son


The money I send will be one twenty and ten five dollar notes.

More hard fighting has been going on in Tennesee, there we escape again while others fall.

Gen. Mead is moving on towards Richmond if he needs us we may go yet.



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