1864: George D. Anson to Serena (Spear) Anson

I could not find an image of George but here’s a great ninth-plate tintype of Henry A. Burr of Co. H, 1st Vermont Cavalry (Dan Binder Collection)

This letter was written by George D. Anson (1839-1902) of Essex county, New York, who enlisted on 17 September 1861 to serve three years in Co. A, 1st Vermont Cavalry. He was take prisoner by Mosby at Broad Run, Virginia, on 1 April 1863 but was paroled a week later. He mustered out of the service in November 1864.

George was the son of Amos Anson (1786-1842) and Serena Spear (1800-1807). After George returned from the war he married first Caroline Margaret Stower (184701877), and second Etta J. Anson (1860-1931). Though he told his mother he thought of studying to be a doctor after the war, I don’t see any evidence that he did. He was a merchant in 1880.

See also—1863: George D. Anson to Serena (Spear) Anson published on Spared & Shared 22 in November 2020.


Head Quarters 6th Army Corps
Brandy Station
February 24, 1864

My dear mother,

It is some time since I received a letter but as I had just wrote to Ed Anson, I didn’t think that it was necessary to write so soon and now there is nothing to write. Everything is as still here as can be.

We have very little to do and are enjoying ourselves right well. Don’t know how long it may last though. We may be ordered to the regiment at any time. I understand that no detail is allowed to stay away more than six months and we been here six months today. They like us very well. We will probably be sent back. I hope though that we will remain here until our time is out. It is much easier than being with the regiment.

You must not expect to receive an interesting or long letter from me this time for I am just getting over one of my old fashioned headaches. I caught a dreadful cold and it settled all over me. I am getting over it now though and feeling pretty well tonight. Shall feel perfectly well in a day or two.

I received a letter from Nellie two days ago. She tells me that they have lost their little boy and she seems to mourn its loss very much. I cannot feel as I should if I had ever seen their children and formed attachments for them. Albert is not well. Has been bleeding again. It don’t seem as though that he could stand it long. I pity them all very much. How very unhappy they all must be. Poor Nellie, I think that she is a splendid woman. She has shown herself noble and worthy of praise. I cannot blame her much for her supposed misconduct. If anyone deserves blame, I think that it is Mrs. Meech and next to her it is Albert. I cannot blame Nellie. Mariette was quite unwell when she last wrote me but Nellie told me that she was well again. I wish that none of them had ever gone west.

Has Juliette and Ed got back from Vermont yet? I wrote to them some time since but have received no answer.

One of our soldiers that reenlisted and went home to Vermont has just got back. He tells me that he was Erv Rowley and that he (Erv) told him that he was going somewhere one evening with his wife and saw people from York State and that his horses run onto a wood pile and hurt them all pretty bad—Erv’s wife broke her fingers—and that the other woman broke her leg, and he thought that they called the woman Juliette. I feel anxious about the affair and would like to have some of you write and tell me how it is. I expect that that is the reason that Ed & Kate do not answer my letters. If they have broken their arms and legs, it is a good excuse. I have not heard from [ ] in some time.

I understand that Charlie and Frank have gone home on a furlough. Expect that they are having a great time. Did they come to see you? We are to be paid off tomorrow. I shall draw six dollars.

Reuben is with us. He is well. We had a Corps inspection yesterday and we understand that there is to be an inspection of the army by President Lincoln next week.

There are any quantity of women in the army now. They are supposed to be officer’s wives, but probably that a great many of them are what are called fancy women.

Well, Mother, I did not reenlist. Are you glad or sorry? I am glad. I would not sell myself for 3 years longer for all of their bounties put together. Those who did reenlist have just returned to the regiment. Some of them look as though they had had pretty hard times. They have all spent between two and three hundred dollars. I would like to see the war finished before I go home and hope that it will be ended now before I go home. I suppose that you never hear from P____, only by Ed Anson, do you. What do you think that I have determined to study for when I get home? I will tell you but for I may change my mind. I think now of being a doctor. Doctor Anson. Only think of it. This letter cannot interest you but I can do no better this time. you see there is nothing to write but nevertheless I hope that you will answer soon and believe me very truly your son, — Doctor Anson

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