This letter was written by Dexter Jewett (1846-1913), the son of saddler Oliver Jewett (1805-1873) and Elizabeth Underwood Hubbard (b. 1809), of Chelsea, Suffolk County, Massachusetts. Dexter joined Co. G, 13th Maine in September 1864 and transferred to Co. H, 30th Maine in January 1865, mustering out in June. The Jewett’s resided in the rear of 124 Pearl Street in Chelsea.
Dexter had two older brothers who also served in the war. George Oliver Jewett (1837-1929) was a corporal in the 1st Massachusetts. He later served as a sergeant in Co. D, 17th Massachusetts, and transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps in February 1864 before mustering out in May 1865. William Mellow Jewett (1842-1900) joined Co. H, 1st Massachusetts as a private in May 1861, serving briefly before being discharged in July. He later enlisted in the one year 42nd Massachusetts becoming first sergeant of Co. H before mustering out in August 1863.
Addressed to Mrs. Elizabeth U. Jewett, 39 Walnut St, Chelsea, Mass.
Camp near Washington [D. C.]
May 16, 1865
I received your kind letter last night and was glad to see that you answer my letters so quick. I have written two letters to Lizzie but have had no answer to them yet but I will write one more and if I don’t get an answer to that I shall not write again.
The capture of Jeff Davis is a big thing and I hope they will hang him as soon as they get him to Washington.
There is some talk of the 1st Brigade of our Division being ordered to Alexandria with sealed orders not to be opened till they get to Alexandria. Probably it is for them to go home. If it is, it will come our turn soon. I am going to have a picture of our Colonel, Lieut.-Colonel, Major and Adjutant and also part of our company and I will send them home as soon as I get them.
Last Friday we were reviewed by our old General Sheridan and you should have heard the cheers ring along the line for he is liked the most of any General by us for last summer this division was with him through all of the fights up in the Valley. He give us the name of being the best drilled regiment in the division.
We have now got new guns in our company for our old ones were almost unfit for service and we have now got some Springfield guns and you would take us for regulars instead [of] “booyaws” and countrymen.
I wrote a letter to George last Sunday. I suppose he has got it by this time. The man whose ground we are stopping on has entered a complaint that we have spoilt the ground and everything since we have been here but we can’t help that. We must have somewhere to stop if it is on another man’s property be it Secesh or Union.
I suppose that everything is the same as usual in Chelsea. I shall have to close now so goodbye for the present.
From your son, — Dexter Jewett, Co. H, 30 Maine Vols, Washington D. C.