4th New York Infantry Soldier William Stow Sends Home the Most “Colorful” Souvenirs We Have Seen
Writing from the U.S. Army Hospital in West Philadelphia, Pa., William Stow writes home to his parents. He’s an old guy, 40 years old when he enlisted… and he didn’t last very long. The 4th New York was stationed at Fort McHenry in Baltimore. William got sick there and was eventually sent to the hospital in West Philadelphia. It was at this hospital that he had a memorable, “patriotic” experience that our letter describes. The content:
- U. S. Army Hospital West Philadelphia, Penn. Oct. 10, 1862. Dear Father and Mother, This morning I will try to answer your letter that you mailed from Troy. I have neglected writing to get a letter after you and Lewis got home. I am anxious to hear from him. I was very sorry you had left. When I got back, I was gone longer than I thought for after that rubber pan for Lewis.
- My health is about as it was when you was here. I haven’t heard from Dr. Ide yet. I want you to write often and when you can’t write, please send a paper. I can’t hear from my Regt. I see that the 7th Maine Regt. in our Division is going home and recruit.
- I haven’t heard how many our Brigade lost in the last fight they were in [Antietam].
- WE HAD A FLAG PRESENTATION AND RAISING DAY BEFORE YESTERDAY ON THE FLAG STAFF THAT WAS RAISED HERE WHEN YOU WAS HERE. WHEN THE FLAG WAS UNFURLED TO THE BREEZE AT THE TOP OF THE STAFF, THE AIR WAS FILLED WITH THOSE LITTLE FLAGS THAT ROLLED UP IN THE BIG FLAG. I GOT 2 OF THEM. THESE ARE THE TWO WHICH YOU HAVE IN THIS LETTER.
- If you can find out when the 13th Regt. is coming out this way, I would like to know and I will try and get to the cars and see them. Emily, I am very much obliged to you for your picture you sent me. I will keep them.
Hannah, I thank you for yours, too. Lewis, I want you to keep up as good courage as you did when you was out here and be careful what you eat. Your Ward Master keeps coming to see if you are getting along well, but I can’t tell him because I haven’t heard.
- I am expecting to get a letter from home every moment. Father, wasn’t you almost sick when you got home? I knew it would be a hard journey for you both. Did you go all the way by rail? When did you get home, Father? Did you know that this Dr. Hays is the man that was with John Franklin in his exploring expedition in the northern world (he is). I suppose the folks are finishing their fall’s work. Is George Ainsworth going to be a soldier or not?
- Father, perhaps you have heard where our brigade is. I would like to hear from them, and I don’t know of any other way to find out where they was, only to write home for information. I shall wait till 3 PM. and see if I don’t get a letter from home, and then I shall mail this. I have waited in vain for a letter from home, and so I will close by saying good bye for this time. This is from your son, William Stow.
- To A. Stow, Oct. 11th. I have waited as long as I can for a letter from you, and so I will put this in the office. Please write often. Wm. Stow
Obviously the way to display this piece is to have the two little flags, which William encloses on top of the letter. This makes for a great display.
#L10-10-62NY – Price $395