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About Samuel H. Bassitt Civil War Letters
Tombstone of Samuel Bassitt (b. 1795), Sam's grandfather
Sproat Cemetery, Wolfe Rd., Bath Twp., Allen Co., Ohio
Foster's General Hospital, Division 16,
Newbern, North Carolina,
April the 6th, A.D., 1865
Most respective Grand Father & Grand Mother:1
It is with the greatest of pleasure that I take my pen in hand to inform you that I am still on the land amonst the living and sincerely hope and trust that these few unworthy lines written by the feeble hand may find you enjoying the same state of good health. I am now in the hospital at Newbern North Carolina. I came on the morning of the 2nd of April. I am not as well as I was before we left Goldsboro. The Fever has come back again and I have got the chronic diareah and I am getting rund down pretty low although I am up and around most all the time. In writing this letter I haft to write a line or too and then lay down but iff I keep up courage and spunk I think that I will get along yet. The is only 10 or 12 Patients here now all that were able were shiped north yesterday. They went to New York. I think that I will be able to go in a few days or at least I hope so for it is lonesome staying here in this place.
April the 8th, A.D., 1865.
I will now endevor to scribble a few more lines. I still remain about the same but better in Spirits. The is exciting news about the Army of the Potomac. The report is that Richmond and Petersburg have at last fallen with the loss of 23 thousand prisoners, 5 hundred pieces of artillery and three ironclads in good running order and that Lee is retreating down the Shenandoah Valley where he will meet Sheridan and his force in intrenchments. The news came here on the 6th of April about 10 oclock A.M. and less than 10 minutes the air was filled with shouts and yells sent forth from one of the most brave and victorious armies that ever trod on the American soil The is a piece published in the papers stating that Sherman said that the war would be over and that he was agoing to be redy to discharge his army within four months. I tell you Grandfather we have seen some pretty hard times since we started out on this last campaign. We had to fight nearly every daywith the rebs more or less. Some days wading Swamps wast depe. Some days we had to wade swamps where we had to take our catridge box off and put them around our necks to keep them from geting wet, and then we had to stand in the watter and skirmish with the rebs besides. I tell you that was hard on the boys. Coming through on the march nearly one half of the boys were barefooted and were sick and used up.
I am nearly out of patients. My clothes is dirty and I cant draw new clothes and I am not able to wash what i have got. And I cant hire them washed for I hant got any money and therefore I haft to remaind with my dirty clothes which is not verry agreeable to my health and a great deal more to my fealings .
The news has just been received that General Lee has surrendered his entire army to general Grant. I hope such is the case. I think that this war is pretty near played out Or at least I hope so. If I ever live to get well and haft to stay in the army till my time is up I am agoing to spend the rest of my time in Souldering. I never was more lonesome than I have been since I left the regiment in my life. I want to go to my regiment as quick as they will letme off.
The was some boys out of our regiment went out aforageing the other day and when night came they diddent come in. And in too or three days the was some more went out and they found them hung up to a limb on a tree. When we was coming through on our raid the was lots of the boys found with their throats cut laying along side of the road. Where ever they found one kiled they would just take a rebble prisoner out and shoote him down. But if i could have my way I would shoote every Cussed rebble that I could get my eyes on And then maby they wouldent be so keen to kill.
Well Grandfather & mother I must bring my scribbling to a close hoping to receive an answer soon. I guess Father has forgotten me entirely for I haint received the scratch of a pen from Father or Mother since communications has been opened to Sherman's Army.
From Samuel Bassitt
To Grandfather & Grandmother
Write soon and excuse my scribbling. Direct
Foster General Hospital, Division 16
Newbern, North Carolinia.
[Transcripts from Civil War Letters binder in Allen County
(Ohio) Museum library, c. 1975]
[Original letters in the Allen County (Ohio) Museum archives]
1. Sam's grandparents, Samuel and Elsie Bassitt, could not read and signed documents with an "X".
Land sale by Samuel & Elsa Bassit, 3 May 1827, Solon, Courtland Co, NY