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Follett Brothers' Letters in The Civil War


John, William and Melville (Mel) Follett were three brothers whose lives were touched by the Civil War. Two of these brothers "from Illinois", John M. Follett and William Follett, wrote several letters that are still in existence. Mel for a time kept a diary he "inherited" from a missing soldier.

John Follett was born in Crown Point, Essex, New York on March 18, 1832 to Abraham Follett and Lorraine Meacham Follett. John married Hortense B. Hill in 1857 in Knox, Illinois. He wrote his wife Hortense some wonderful letters, as did his brother William Follett ("Bill"), who in one letter referred to himself as Hortense's "Aff Bro" which probably means "affectionate brother." I cannot see that William was related to her other than by marriage. But perhaps he felt like a brother to her through her marriage to his brother John.


William wrote his sister-in-law Hortense and his parents frequently, but he did not survive the war. A letter was written by a superior to his father, "A.Follett", announcing Williams' death in the battle of Resaca, Georgia in 1864. (NOTE: The reference to "A. Follett" has been a difficult point in researching this family as public records have recorded the name as Abraham, Abram and Aram at different points. Because of this I have had difficulty in locating A. Follett's parentage and whether it links to my family tree. And I have used the name Abraham for convenience only, not being certain of his actual name.)


John had two daughters with Hortense that are referred to in his letters, Fanny and Flo (Florence). I have no reason to believe that John did not survive the war and return to his family.


A brother "Mell" is also mentioned in the letters. This was the younger brother, Melville Follett, born June 7, 1836 in Moriah, Essex, N.Y. Mell was in poor condition in Chattanooga, Tenn., as described in an 1863 letter written by his father who visited him there. His diary indicates illness during the war, a capture by the Rebels and a wound in the left leg at the knee which caused him a great deal of pain. He did mention that the Rebs did treat him with respect during his confinement, treated his wounds and eventually discharged him, although he did complain that he would likely be crippled for life. He survived and married Jennie D. Jackson on Oct. 11, 1871 in Rock Island, Illinois.


These letters truly bring this period of history to life. They make wonderful reading.






More on this Follett family:


The father of John, William and Melville was Abraham (or Abram or Aram) Follett, born April 30,1808 in Pittstown, Rensselaer, NY to John Follett and Sarah Follett. His wife, Lorraine Everest Meacham, was born Oct 14, 1807 in East Poultney, Rutland, Vermont to William Meacham and Keziah Howe.


Abraham Follett married Lorraine Meacham on February 1, 1829 in Essex, NY.  The 1850 U.S. Census recorded the family of "Aram H. Follett" living in Knox County, Illinois.  The U.S. 1880 Census found the family of "Abram Follett" (age 72) in Atkinson, Henry, Illinois.  He was listed as a retired farmer, living with his wife "Leraine" and a divorced daughter "Maria I. Everett."  Other records I found some time ago showed that he died on January 26, 1896.


The following are their children which includes three (John, William and "Mell") who served in the Civil War and one (William) who is known to have died in that War at the battle of Resaca, Georgia.


(Information was found on the LDS site based on the International Genealogical Index (IGI) for North America. See that site at:

The Children of Abraham and Lorraine Meacham Follett:


1. Maria I. FOLLETT - Gender: F Birth: 16 Aug 1841 Henry, Illinois

2. Martha E. FOLLETT - Gender: F Birth: 14 May 1843 Henry, Illinois

3. Alan FOLLETT - Gender: M Birth: 1845 Henry, Illinois

4. Mary Jean FOLLETT - Gender: F Birth: 22 Dec 1829 Rensselaer, New York

5. John M. FOLLETT - Gender: M Birth: 18 Mar 1832 Crown Point, Essex, New York

6. William FOLLETT - Gender: M Birth: 18 Mar 1834 Essex, New York - Died: 1864 Resaca, Georgia

7. Melville C. FOLLETT - Gender: M Birth: 7 Jun 1836 Moriah, Essex, New York - Died: Jan. 9, 1903.

8. Sarah Francenia FOLLETT - Gender: F Birth: 30 Oct 1838 Essex, New York

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