1865: Nancie Anne Jones to Alvin D. Howard

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How Nancie might have looked in 1865

This letter was written by Nancy (“Nancie”) Anne Jones (1846-1932), the daughter of farmer Henry C. Jones (1801-1893) and his wife, Keturah Bond (1806-1885) of Albion, Oswego county, New York. Nancie married Albert Sterns Barker, an emigrant from Derbyshire, England, on 4 July 1866.

Nancie wrote the letter to her friend, Pvt. Alvin D. Howard (1845-1920) who enlisted at Albion on 21 December 1863 in Co. K, 14th New York Heavy Artillery. Alvin was wounded on 20 August 1864 at Weldon Railroad, Virginia, while serving as infantry in the 9th Army Corps but returned to service and was mustered out at Washington D. C. on 26 August 1865. After the war, Alvin married Mary L. Jennings (1849-1884). After her death, he married Margaret L. Cole (1844-1921).


Addressed to Mr. Alvin D. Howard, Co. K, 14th N. Y. Heavy Artillery, Washington D. C.
Postmarked Sand Bank, New York

Sand Bank, [New York]
April 7th 1865

Esteemed Friend,

With pleasure I embrace this opportunity of answering your kind and welcome letter bearing date March 25th which found us all in usual health and enjoying the fine weather pretty well.

The papers state that Richmond is at last ours but I fear it is too good to be true. I am anxious and yet afraid to hear from the boys from Albion. We have already heard that John Mosher ¹ was wounded in his right hand. It is too bad that Deveroux Barber ² got back just in time to be taken prisoner. I hope he will not have to suffer as long as Henry Wilcox ³ did. He was a prisoner in a Georgia pen for about eight months.

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Pvt. Alvin D. Howard, Co. K, 14th N. Y. Heavy Artillery

Phina is well. She and her mother have been up here today. Mrs. Faucher is quite sick—also Sarah Balcom. She has got the diphtheria. But it is getting so dark I shall have to stop for now.

Mother has just come from Mr. Spaulding’s. She brings the news that Deveroux Barber is in Parole camp. Mr. Parmenter has had a letter, I believe. I suppose there is no doubt but what Richmond is ours. The celebrated the glorious event at Oswego very highly. Have you seen any soldiers swallowing cannon balls lately? I presume you have had a chance to.

They have filled the quota without the drafted men. Most all the boys in Sand Bank were away and went to Oswego and enlisted. Min sends her respects. I have written all the news that I can think of and I dare say this will be no news so I will close hoping to hear from you sooner than I did before. I will close wishing you a good night and good luck.

From your friend and schoolmate, — Nancie Jones

to Alvin D. Howard

¹ John Mosher (1835-1887) of Albion, New York, served in Co. F, 7th New York Heavy Artillery.

² Deveraux P. Barber was 23 when he enlisted at Albion on Co. K, 14th New York Heavy Artillery. He was wounded on 20 August 1864 but returned to his regiment only to go missing in action on 25 March 1865. He was finally returned at musted out with his regiment on 26 August 1865.

³ 21 year-old Henry C. Wilcox enlisted at Fulton, New York, in August 1862 to serve three years in Co. A, 12th New York Cavalry. He was taken prisoner on 20 April 1864 at Plymouth, North Carolina.  After he was paroled, he returned to his regiment at Goldsboro, North Carolina. Henry was born in Oswego. He stood 5 feet 4 inches tall. 

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