1864: John Franklin Arnold to Almeda Arnold

This letter was written by John Franklin Arnold (1837-1916), the son of John Herbert Arnold (1807-1879) and Almeda Butts (1811-1891) of Augusta, Kennebec county, Maine. John was mustered into Co. F, 11th Maine Volunteers as a private in July 1863 and remained in the service until February 1866.

“Frank” was wounded on 13 October 1864 in fighting at Darbytown Road, Va. (scalp). He was subsequently promoted to corporal and, following the surrender of Lee’s army, to sergeant in Co. F.

Frank wrote the letter to his sister, Almeda Arnold (b. 1842). After the war, Frank returned to Kennebec county where he married Juliet Richardson (1841-1932) and had at least two children.


Addressed to Miss Almeda Arnold, Augusta, Maine
Postmarked Old Point Comfort, Va.

Deep Bottom [Virginia]
August 22, 1864

Dear Sister,

I received your very kind letter and was glad to hear from you. I am not very well but hope I shall be better soon.

1st Sgt. Thomas Clark of Co. G, 11th Maine Vols.; promoted to Capt. of Co. F by war’s end. [CDV posted by Kurt Luther in American CW Collectors Group]
We have been on the march and fighting for the last 9 days. We have been in 3 charges and we have lost 147 men in killed and wounded. Our brigade lost the most and the 10th [Army] Corps done the most fighting. On the night of the 18th, the Rebs charged our whole line and were repulsed with heavy loss and that night we fell back onto the Malvern Hill Road and held our line until the night of the 20th when we fell back. It rained all the time and the mud was a foot deep.

There has been heavy fighting all round but with what result, I don’t know yet. The 10th Corps lost heavy. My tent mate was wounded in the second charge in the arm. There was 5 shot by my side. I had a ball shot into my haversack and into my box of sugar but didn’t get a scratch.

I have not time to write anymore at present. Give my love to all, — Frank

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