Captain Frederick E. Ranger:

Union Letters

 

Copyright 1998-2009 Mike Northway, from his private collection.

All Rights Reserved. Copying or publication of this material is strictly prohibited without the written permission of the copyright holder shown above.

 

These letters were written to his wife. He entered the service on 5/7/1861, from Glens Falls, NY, as a 2nd Lieutenant in Company F, 22nd New York Infantry. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on 8/18/1862 and then to Captain on 11/5/1862. He mustered out on 6/19/1863 at Albany, NY.

 

February 25, 1862 (Camp Augur)

March 7, 1862 (Camp Augur, Uptons Hill)

November 30, 1862 (near Brooks Station)

 

 

Camp Augur

Feby 25/62

Tuesday Eve.

My Darling Wife,

I must say that I do feel a little worried either that you are sick or something else. The only thing else I can lay my not getting a letter to night is that something's the matter with the mail. The last letter I rec'd was Friday night & it was written Tuesday the 18th & probably finished Wednesday morning. So it's no wonder if I have got the blues a little. But I expect 2 or 3 tomorrow night so I await that with a good deal of anxiety.

Yesterday morning about 10 o'clock the wind commenced blowing & blew a regular hurricane till in the night. There was some fun. Tents went over & everything moveable was flying in every direction. It was almost impossible to walk against it. Our house never shook a hair, but it blew down some buildings in the city. Today has been a beautiful day. Skirmish drill forenoon & afternoon. I sent to the city today by Jimmy Schenck & bought me a pr of blanket straps 12/- Lantern 4/- Washdish 21/ Candlestick 10ct Basket 4/- & Hair Pomade 2/-. He also brought back news that we should move next week & I do wish I had that old carpetbag I thought of bringing. If Schenck has not left, send it down by him, if he has, I will make my valise answer. The Capt. & I propose sending our trunks to Alexandria to be stored till we get somewhere. We expect to go to Centreville when we move & so on towards Richmond. Genl McClellan told Gen. Augur that we should be in Richmond the 20th of March.

The Capt. wants I should go to making out Muster Rolls, and as I am officer of the Guard tomorrow, I shall have to give you a short letter. All I hope & pray is that you are well. Kiss the Darlings for me & accept the warmest love of your husband.

Good Night Fred


Camp Augur Uptons Hill

Friday Eve, March 7/62

My Darling Wife,

I read your letter of March 4th to night with one from Father enclosing notes which I have signed & return in this. It has been a pretty cold day. This morning skirmish drill & a good long one I tell you. I had an appetite for dinner when we returned. This afternoon target firing at 350 yards. I bet the oysters with Smith that our Co. would beat the party & it did so Smith furnished 4 or 5 of us with an oyster supper tonight. The wind has blown so today that come to sit down in this warm room it makes me sleepy. I think from all accounts you must have about 900 feet of snow there now. If it continues I don't see what will become of you. Hoe high above the snow is the town clock now. I had a good hearty laugh when I read of Fathers putting on a one horse express to Morran. I tell you it pleased me much. That just suits me. All I have got to say is dont he beat. Tell Gregory to put em through by daylight. If my old customers only stand by me, he'll get sick of the News business. Bless Floys little heart, how I do want to kiss the little witch. I saw little Anna P. out before the Col. quarters to day & her furs made me think of Florence right off. And Darling as I am sleepy now, I must bid you good night. With a great deal of love for all & many kisses for Wifey & children will write again Sunday if we do not move. Now for apiece of cake & to bed.

Your loving husband,

Fred


Camp near Brooks Station

Sunday Afternoon Nov. 30/62

My Darling,

It is so lonesome nowadays that although I wrote you a letter yesterday I can find nothing so pleasant as spending the time with you & this afternoon have again taken pencil in hand to commence a letter. At any rate, the sun shines to day but the wind blows cold. I laid down & tried to take a nap after dinner but my thoughts were too full of home to allow my eyes to close & the wind kept the tent fly flapping to such an extent that it made me nervous so up I got & grabbed my old portfolio & dated my letter.

Lt. Fitch of the 93rd came up & stayed with me last night. Capt. Wilson has gone home on furlough. He tells me perhaps you may see him. There is no news in camp & day succeeds day monotonously enough. We can not fix up for winter because we do not know but we will move every day & probably that is the way it will be all winter.

Tomorrow is Carries Birthday. Tomorrow she makes the high old age of five years. Bless her little heart how Pop would like to see her. Kiss her for me "Many happy returns of the same". The air must be cold in G.F. today & I imagine you all in Fred's room with a good warm fire. Grandpa & children frolicking Grandma tending "lastly" Mamma reading the paper. Fran at church& one of the Aunties dropping in every now & then to see what's going on. I suppose Aunt Sally don't stir round much yet but she must get well so when I come home she can make warm biscuit mince pies & all those style of things. "Tho lost to sight, to memory dear". Vision of Mothers Fricasseed chickens loom up occasionally to my imagination like a mirage in a desert & I wonder if the making of Oyster stew has become one of the lost arts.

Doct. WF. Hutchinson of our Regt was dismissed the service a few days ago for incompetence (Pretty rough) he may possibly get reinstated but I doubt it, however don't mention it. Dr. Holden still remains in Washington.

Does Smith wear his uniform in G.F.? Do you ever see his wife of Mrs. Capt. Cameron or Jimmy S. wife. I heard Col. P. wife was on the way to Boston & she would not be able to visit this winter.

Do you ever go to the Episcopal Church. I suppose the Methodist is your style now. Well dearest when I get home I hope we will be able to go together once more. Wouldn't it be nice if we could go to day with Floy & then come home and spend an evening together. My head in your lap building castles as of yore. It is nearly time for dress parade & we shall have service by the Chaplain abbreviated on a/c of the cold. It is not much like the dress parades we had a year ago when we opened ranks, 30 officers stepped to the front & now only four or five, as there goes the drum I shall have to adjourn for the present.

Tuesday afternoon

Well dearest, I have been quite busy for a day or two fixing up company accounts & today have to get mustered out as 2nd Lieu. and musterd in as First. I had a present some time since of a pair of 1st Lt's Straps & have been wearing them. Our Regt. just received orders to go on picket tomorrow morning to guard the RR. We are in hopes it will be a winters job but that would be too good a luck for us but are in hopes it will last. We have got to have a Brigade drill this afternoon. (Plaque take it) just got orders and now must don my sword & turn out my company, will finish this tonight.

Tuesday night 9 pm

Again I have got a chance to write. We had a pretty good drill for about 2 hours, have played a few games of Old Sledge with Capt. Cameron. Mail has just come & I have read 2 letters & enjoyed them & am now seated in Lt. Burgey's tent, he writing to his wife & I to the Dearest Wife in the world. Yours was written the 26th & came with one from Father. Tomorrow as I said afore, we are detailed to guard the R Road and shall probably hold the place at least while the division remains here & perhaps longer. We shall have guard duty to perform instead of drilling & are inclined to be pleased but can tell better hereafter & will let you know. I hear Officers in high places say they think the Campaign for the winter over. Though perhaps they don't know for you know little Mac is removed & Burnside is going straight to Richmond. As you say of course, the people will soon blow against Burnside but why don't they "come in out of the draft". Let them hear the howl of a hungry soldier for bread when he is out of rations & then march through the mud of Va. for many a weary mile & then see what they think about pushing an army of over a hundred thousand without supplies & talk about moving artillery. When I saw an empty wagon with 6 mules drawing it, stuck fast going down hill today (fact) and it hadn't commenced raining yet.

What sad news, the deaths of Mrs. Alden & poor Dick Wilson I can hardly realize that she is dead. This is the first of our old associates who have gone. Is it very sickly up there. Be careful of yourself darling. Seems to me to change the subject to the other extreme, that Glens Falls is doing a large business in the line of twins. If girl babies are a sign of peace, I guess G.F. will fetch it. I think we have done our share & that fewer at a time will last longer. Do you attend any of the Society's Poor Ladies that cannot see their names in print? They don't belong to the party that don't let their left hand know what their right hand giveth. I wonder if we should get into winter quarters if they would send the 22nd anything nice. I see by the papers that the 118th are the recipients of two large boxes. Did they send them? One of the boys rec'd a pillow. I would like to see what one of our boys would do if they should have a present of a pillow. Most of them use a knapsack as a substitute & I have found them very comfortable however I use my coat now.

Tell us about your nice new shawl. You know dearest how much I would give or rather what wouldn't I give if we were certain of remaining anywhere, of having my little wife with me, and if wishing would do it you would be here tonight but you would hardly enjoy going to bed in my cold tent & sleeping on some cedar poles with blankets. The duce of it is that No 3 forbids any such enjoyment for you darling & by the way has No 3 got any name yet & when will it be time to wean her.

Tell Carrie Pop would like to come home very much & see her & Floy & they must be nice little girls & mind Ma Ma & save lots of kisses for Papa when he does come. I will write again as soon as we get located on the railroad and will answer Fathers Letters. And now dearest with all your husbands love and kisses innumerable, I must bid you good night.

Your loving husband

Fred


  

 

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All Rights Reserved. Copying or publication of this material is strictly prohibited without the written permission of the copyright holder shown above.

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