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Beautiful Hand-colored Capitol Stationery; Mentioning a Deserter from Another Regiment
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the one that deserted his name is George Freeman of Saratoga Spa  he is in the bullston Jail  now I dont think that they will shoot him though they both belong to co K

CHARLES E. PLACE. Autograph Letter Signed, to Frank, January 25, 1862, Headquarters, 77th Regiment, NY Volunteers, Co. K, 3 pp.

Inventory #21265.14       Price: $200

Transcript

Headquarters 77th Regt., N.Y. V Camp Hill House Co. K

                  Washington Jan 25th 1862.

Dear Frank,

            I received your letter of Monday and was very glad to hear from you  today and yesterday the wind has somewhat dried up the mud, but it is about a food deep yet  it is very chilly to day  after awhile we have got our pay  the man under arrest for threatening the captains life name is Lewis Burke of Schenectaday  he is in the guard house yet  he will probaly go to penitentionary for 2 years  the one that deserted his name is George Freeman of Saratoga Spa  he is in the bullston Jail  now I dont think that they will shoot him though they both belong to co K  right smart Co. K is I think <2> so can cross is running Since Evans is he  well tel him I saw George Ely and Eleazer his bro  they have been done here about a week  the captains tent got afire last night and burned it about ½ down  how is Charley Cheedul & Charlie Phelps  the story down here was that Charlie Phelps was dead. tell Nate I will meet him in Utica and then we will go west to gether and see our aunt  if you see Angeline Martin ask her if she would like to see Senaca and see what she will say  don’t want to go to Amsterdam  do you  Frank I see [Dane?] ?? in the city the other day the one Angeline was after  what does John Ecker say about staying in the [ville?] I weigh 155 Pounds this morning and am so homesick. I cant hardly eat my rations over the Capt  Ed Dunson has gone home  tell Prudence she need not send me any Pillow  what upon earth does a soldier want of one  I should like to come and take that ride over that we too with that <3> baulky Horse wouldent you Frank  I looked all over the city of something worth sending but I could not find any thing that suited me so I had to take that book  I sent something to hat  you will please deliver it to her  it was done up in the book  I sent it to you by Adams Express in care of John Hyman  if you dont receive it  Please inform me  give my Respects to the girls  mate & Emily & to [Intred?] & Mary Jane & tell hat to write to if she is ever a going to  if I like to forgot  Give my best Respects to Miss Franky E.  You know her I guess  please answer as soon as Recd

                                                                        From Your Friend

                                                                        Charlie P

Frankey

Write Soon

Historical Background

The 32nd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment was mustered in for a two-year enlistment on May 31, 1861, at Staten Island, New York. Company C largely came from Johnstown, where Delavan C. Place enlisted. The regiment left the state four weeks later and traveled to Washington, D.C., where it was initially part of the Army of Northeastern Virginia. On August 4, 1861, it joined the Army of the Potomac. Five days later, Delavan C. Place deserted and returned to New York.

The 77th New York Volunteer Infantry organized at Saratoga Springs, New York, in the fall of 1861. Charles E. Place enlisted as a member of Company K, which was recruited at Gloversville, New York. The 77th New York left the state at the end of November 1861 and was on duty in the defense of Washington, D.C. until March 1862. Place wrote this letter during this early period of the regiment’s history. Apparently, on May 1, 1862, authorities discovered that “Charles E. Place” of the 77th New York was deserter “Delavan C. Place” of the 32nd New York, and returned him to his original regiment. The 77th New York went on to participate in the Peninsular Campaign, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor, and the siege of Petersburg. It helped repulse the Confederate attack on Fort Stevens and the defense of Washington. It returned to the siege of Petersburg and was involved in the Appomattox Court House campaign at the end of the war.

Meanwhile, the 32nd New York participated in the Peninsular Campaign from March to August 1862, when it returned to Alexandria, Virginia, outside Washington. It participated in the battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg, then went into winter quarters at Belle Plain, Virginia. In early 1863, the 32nd New York was part of the Chancellorsville campaign, before the two-year enlistees were mustered out in New York City on June 9, and the three-year men were transferred to the 121st New York Infantry.

Charles E. / Edward / Delavan C. Place (1840-bef. 1908) was born in New York and enlisted as a private in Company C of the 32nd New York Volunteer Infantry as Delavan C. Place in May 1861. He apparently deserted in August 1861 in Virginia. He then enlisted in Company K of the 77th New York Volunteer Infantry in November 1861. In May 1862, he was returned to Company C of the 32nd New York Volunteer Infantry, where he served until being mustered out with his company in June 1863. In 1870, he was a painter and lived in his mother’s household in Johnstown, New York. In 1875, the sheriff seized Place’s property because of several outstanding debts he owed. Later that year, he filed an application for a patent for scaffolds.

Lewis Burk (1833- ) enlisted as a private in Company K of the 77th New York Volunteer Infantry in October 1861. He transferred to Company F in October 1862 and was dishonorably discharged in June 1863 by general court martial.

George S. Freeman (1835-) enlisted as a private in Company K of the 77th New York Volunteer Infantry in October 1861. He was discharged for disability in January 1864.

George Ely (1842- ) was a mitten and glove maker in Johnstown, New York.

Eleazar C. Ely (1821- ) was a dry goods merchant in Johnstown, New York.

Charles E. Cheedell (1839- ) enlisted as a private in Company K of the 77th New York Volunteer Infantry in October 1861. Later, he was promoted to corporal and transferred to Company F in October 1862. He was discharged for disability in January 1863, but later served in Company F of the 2nd Veteran Cavalry.

Charles S. Phelps (1843- ) enlisted as a private in Company K of the 77th New York Volunteer Infantry in October 1861. He transferred to Company F in October 1862, and was sick in the hospital in May 1864. He was discharged in October 1864.

Edgar W. Dunson (1827-1869) enlisted as a sergeant in Company K of the 77th New York Volunteer Infantry in October 1861. He transferred to Company A in October 1862, and to Company F in December 1863. Wounded in action at Winchester, Virginia, in September 1864, he transferred to Company E in November 1864, and mustered out in July 1865.

Prudence W. Place (1804-1871) was born in Massachusetts and lived in Johnstown, New York, from 1832 until her death. She was likely Charles / Delavan Place’s mother. He is listed in her household in the 1850, 1855, 1860, 1865, and 1870 censuses.

John Hyman (1808-) was born in London, England. In 1860, he was a paper box manufacturer in Johnstown, New York. Angeline Martin was a servant in Hyman’s household. Also in his household were Mary Putnam, Eliza Ouderkirk, Emily King, and Andrew Higgins, who were “making paper boxes.”


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