This letter was written by Francis (“Frank”) Denison Avery (1843-1869), the eldest son of David and Prudence (Dean) Avery of East Charlemont, Franklin county, Massachusetts. Frank enlisted in September 1861 as a corporal in Co. C, 27th Massachusetts Infantry and was promoted to a sergeant in February 1863. Just after he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant of Co. C, he was wounded at Drewry’s Bluff, Virginia, on 16 May 1864 and was still at the Point Lookout Military Hospital when he wrote this letter in January 1865. He mustered out of the regiment on 8 July 1865 but died four years later from complications associated with the “rifle ball wound.”
Mentioned in the letter was Frank’s younger brother, Henry “Gardner” Avery (1845-1904) who served earlier in the war as a private in Co. B, 52nd Massachusetts.
January 13th 1865
My Dear Father,
As I have nothing to busy myself with today I though I would write you a few lines. I am getting along quite well now and am as well as when I left home. I guess that box is what did the good. I received a letter from Mother this morning that said that Capt. Welting was at home. I think I shall write to him if he would come this way. His influence might help me about getting transferred. If I can’t get transferred, I am a going to try and go to the regiment. Then thy may keep me as long as they want to. I don’t think I shall take my discharge now this year.
Dr. Hager has been relieved from duty on this Point and is going to Philadelphia. I don’t know the doctor’s name that takes his place.
The weather is quite warm today and it seems as though I never saw a more pleasant day. I suppose that you are having good sleighing. How I should like to be in Mass. and have a good sleigh ride. Mother spoke about Gardner’s thinking about enlisting. Isn’t he afraid of being drafted? I think he should be. I think that if I was in his place, I should go up to the frontier and perhaps get a little over the line rather than be drafted. A drafted man is of no account in the army.
Did you get out the pine lumber that you was talking of? If my back keeps getting better as fast as it has for a few days back, I shall begin to think it is going to get as well as ever sometime.
Well, I can’t think of anything more to write this time. Give my love to all enquiring friends and write as soon as convenient. From your son, — Frank
I was mustered for 10 months pay a few days ago but don’t know as I shall get it for two months. Excuse poor writing.