1863: Samuel W. Madison to Nancy Madison

I could not find an image of Samuel but here is an unidentified Union private approximately Samuel’s age.

This letter was written by Samuel W. Madison (1840-1864) while serving in Co. F, 13th Indiana Infantry. According to muster records, Samuel enlisted as a private on 19 June 1861 and he died of chronic dysentery at Davids Island, New York, on 14 February 1864.

A claim for a widow’s pension was filed by Samuel’s mother, Elizabeth, after she received word of his death. She contended that relied upon the wages of her son, her husband Robert having died in 1853.

The 13th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment was originally accepted for state service for one year and was organized at Indianapolis for the U.S. service by volunteers from the companies in camp. It was one of the first four regiments volunteering from the state for three years.


Camp 13th Regiment
Folly Island, South Carolina
September 8, 1863

Dear Sister,

I seat myself this morning to write you a few lines to let you know how I am getting along. In the first place, you will excuse my ragged paper as I have no other here in the tent and the sun is very hot and I am too lazy to go to the sutler’s shop to get any.

I have not got altogether well yet and I would state here that you may hear that I got wounded which I did but it was so slight that it is hardly worth mentioning. It was by a small piece of shell—not bigger than a pea. Went in my shoulder. It is about well now. It was on the first night of this month. We was laying in front of Fort Wagner and a shell from there burst over our company and wounded two besides me, but none of us bad enough to stop from duty. So if you hear about me being wounded, you need not be uneasy for it is as I say. It don’t amount to much. I would of not said anything about it but I thought you might hear it and think it is a good bit worse than it is.

There has been five in our company wounded since we are here but only two that is shot bad as to stop from duty. Fort Wagner and Fort Gregg and all Morris Island is now in our possession and today the gunboats have been keeping up a heavy fire all morning—to what effect, I don’t know.

I will close for this time hoping these few lines may find you all enjoying good health. Write soon. I am your brother till death. — Sam Madison

Company F, 13th Regiment, Indiana Volunteers
Foster’s Brigade, Folly Island, S. C.

Please send me a few stamps.

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