Skip to main content
 Previous Next
  • Zoom In (+)
  • Zoom Out (-)
  • Rotate CW (r)
  • Rotate CCW (R)
  • Overview (h)
John McCoy, letter, to Martha McCoy, 1864 January 17
McCoy, John

My Dear wife
no doubt
you will reasonably be surprised to
to receive this letter from me dated in
the sunny south however fate has decreed
that it should be so. I am both ashamed and
afraid to write to you now after the elapse of so long a
time but when I take into consideration the
distances between us your just [illegible][guess (MKR): reprimand]
the sound of which cannot reach my ears at
present therefore be good enough to keep
cool until I return home and I will tamely
submit to all. believe in the course I
have taken was duly taken and considera
-tion before I enlisted. I suppose you
have heard before now that entered the
U.S. Service. but to come to the most
essential part of the business. I enlisted
in Danvers for the sum of $627 dollars
Bounty 352 dollars to be paid down
before leaving the state of which sum
I recieved 27 dollars on the 5th instant
and on the eighth the further sum of
325-dollars said money I left
with the paymaster to be forwarded to
you and also your address, the 325
dollars was to be sent to Chateaugay to the
Town clerk or Treasurer and to be there
on or about the 12th of this month subject
to your order. it may be that you have
received the money before now if not
on the receipt of this attend to it with
-out delay as I feel very uneasy
concerning it on account of the way
in which I left you, when you get
it pay John, the Boss and Nancy and
no more to any other person until you
hear again from me. buy for yourself
and the children what will make
you all comfortable but at the
same time use frugality although
I consider the above caution needless
I could send you some money
enclosed in this only that this is
the first day in Fort Totten and
military dicipline is very strict
here I cannot ascertain as yet what
will be needed to make a full Kit
however on receiving an answer to this
I will risk enclosing a little money
to buy a present for my little Pip
that I dream so much about —
I feel very uneasy about you all as
on the nights of 14 and 15th Thursday
and Friday I dreamed several times
each night when stopping in Norfolk
harbor in the state of Virginia my
sleeping imagination carrying me back
to my old home amongst my little children
a spectator of their mirth and jolity
that sounded to me far more harmonious
than any music I ever heard either vocd
or instrumental I was carrying Pip in my
arms happy beyond all description when
Alas the spell broke I was awake Ah
disapointment thou art ever an
unwelcome messenger. I became
conscious of where I was when I heard
the heavy step of the sentinel who comes
there, the countersign &c, all was told
the rest of the night I passed in
pacing the deck of the steamer to and
fro I am happy to inform you
that my health never was better I have
plenty of food victuals and I assure
you I do the cook House ample
justice this letter only commences the
fun the next will require two or three
sheets in order to give you a few of the lines on
my minute Book incidents of travel
climate the service my experiences &c
lend me a kiss for my three little pets and
I will amply repay you when I get home
Albert Archy & Johnny be good to mamy and
I will send you money to buy cloths-
give my love to all without Distinction
Instead of a signature, McCoy drew a sun symbol.
HomeJohn McCoy, letter, to Martha McCoy, 1864 January 17
 Text Only
 Text & Inline Image
 Text & Image Viewer
 Image Viewer Only