John Patterson Tours Washington, D.C.

On or about July 19, 1864, John H. Patterson wrote a short letter to his mother providing her an update on his activities since his last letter.

In this letter, John writes about being a guard/escort for Union stragglers.  He seems to enjoy the escort duty and  hopes to escort stragglers to New York or some place interesting.  He goes on to write about a recent trip to Washington, D.C. with his friend Willie Phelps – Washington, D.C. is his favorite place to visit.  On his last trip he visited a variety of places including the White House, the Treasury Department, the Smithsonian Institute, and the Navy Yard.

He closes by indicating that he may need some money, as the cost of going to different cities is expensive.  He also notes that she doesn’t need to send him his “citizens clothes,” as can wear his uniform most places.  (Transcript of John H. Patterson letter, July 1864)









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William Still in Hospital

In this July 16, 1864 follow-up letter to his mother, William Patterson reports that he received a July 8th letter from his mother in which she reported that she was un-well — which he was sorry to hear about.  As reported in his July 13 letter, he is still concerned about the $550 he sent her, which was six months of back pay.  He also again tells her the address to use when mailing letters to him.  If they are sent to the 1st OVI, they will go to the front and then have to be re-directed to him at the hospital.  There is one change to note in this letter, he reports that he is doing fine, but probably won’t be able to return to his regiment for some time.

Transcript of William Patterson letter, July 16, 1864.


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William “Getting better fast”

In this July 13, 1864 letter from William Patterson to his mother, William reports that he is getting better fast in the Nashville Officers Hospital and will likely be sent back to the front.  Because of his improvement, he doubts that he can receive a leave of absence to come home.  The rest of the letter discusses his concern about sending $550 home and not hearing whether his mother had received it and how to send letters to him at the hospital.

Transcript of William Patterson letter, July 13, 1864.


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