1862: Edward Garland to Thomas J. Phillips

bullThis letter was written by Edward Garland (1843-1916), the son of William Henry Garland (1808-1871) and Aurelia A. Cross (1818-1889) of Cape Vincent, New York. He wrote the letter to his sister, Jane or “Jennie” (Garland) Phillips (1842-1903), the wife of Thomas J. Phillips (1838-1914).

Edward enlisted on 3 January 1862 in Co. C, 94th New York Infantry. He was wounded in action in the Battle of Second Bull Run on 30 August 1862. In the battle, the 94th New York bore a conspicuous part. It entered the action with about 400 men, and lost 21 killed, 81 wounded, and 45 missing; total, 147. The regiment, with General Tower, held its position on Baldface Hill after the rest of the brigade had retired. Several hand-to-hand encounters occurred. Pvt. Garland and was absent from the regiment until April 30, 1863. He reenlisted on 19 January 1864 and mustered out as a corporal with the company in July 1865.

Edward’s father was a native of Leeds, Yorkshire, England, where he was born March 11, 1808. Seven years of his life were given to learning the machinist’s trade, but just as he was prepared to make the knowledge profitable, he was pressed into the English naval service. After some years before Constantinople and other ports, he was sent to Canada as one of a body of surveyors working in the mountains, and then his service ended. He first settled at Clayton, New York, but subsequently removed to Cape Vincent, where he built a machine shop and was engaged as its superintendent for a number of years. About 1845 he erected for himself a sawmill at Warren Settlement, New York, and operated this mill during the remainder of his active life. He died July 21, 1871. Politically he was a staunch Whig.

Edward had a twin brother who enlisted a a private in Co. F, 12th Wisconsin Infantry. He died of disease at Memphis on 19 February 1864.


Island Hospital [Harper’s Ferry, Va.]
October 25, 1862

Dear Sister Jennie,

I received your letter last [night] and was glad to hear that you was all well as it leaves me at present. You said you hoped I would get my discharge but I don’t want a discharge. I never was afraid to stand on picket yet. If I can get a furlough, that is all I ask for we have pretty good times here.

There is ladies here from New York and they bring us everything that we want. I am sorry that [my brother] Michael has enlisted but I hope he never will have to go through what we have. No more at present.

To Jane Phillips

From E. Garland

Island Hospital
October 25, 1862

Dear Brother Thomas,

I received your letter last night and was glad to hear from you. I am well at present and I hope that these few lines will find you the same. My [right] leg is almost well and it won’t make me lame any. I want to get a furlough and come home if I can and then I am ready to go in another Bull Run. If I don’t get one, I never will do another day’s duty while I am in the service. I would liked to had you seen the battlefield at Bull’s Run after the fight but a fellow won’t think anything about it when he is in it himself. I did not as much about when the boys was falling all around me as I would when I was at home to see one dead man.

I never received your letter or I would have answered it. No more at present. So goodbye.

To Thomas Phillips

From Edward Garland


One thought on “1862: Edward Garland to Thomas J. Phillips”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s