1864: Charles R. Mosher to Augustine Sackett

Charles R. Mosher, 3rd Assistant Engineer
(Ronald S. Coddington Collection)

This letter was written by Charles R. Mosher (1842-1867) who served in the U.S. Navy as a Third Assistant Engineer from 20 May 1863 until 3 March 1866. He was the son of John William Mosher (1811-1863) and Eliza Ann Meek (1812-1882). He is buried in Fishkill, Dutchess County, New York.

Mosher wrote the letter to Augustine Sackett (1841-1914), the son of Homer Sackett (1801-1871) and Flora Skiff (1808-1859). Sackett served in the Regular Navy, as an assistant engineer, doing duty on the ships WissahickonChippewaAscutney, and Mattabesett. He was with the Gulf Squadron in the blockade of Mobile and capture of New Orleans; was with the North Atlantic Squadron in the sounds of North Carolina; was in the Roanoke River service, and in the conflict with the Confederate ram Albemarle. At the close of the war he resigned from the service and has since resided either at Lee, Massachusetts, or New York City.


Addressed to 2nd Asst. Engr. Augustine Sackett, U. S. Gunboat Ascutney, New York City

U. S. S. Chippewa
Broad River, South Carolina
January 28, 1864

Friend Sackett,

Your kind letter of the 19th and 20th ultimo have arrived today. I am glad to hear you are so well pleased with your ship for I am sure that adds much to the comfort of one in this life. To be  pleased with the ship and officers makes the time go smoothly by.

We are still down at Broad River doing our old duty—viz: going up and down the river—though last week we had a little fun shooting at the Rebs up at their picket station. We ran up within about 1,000 yards and anchored. Soon we commenced firing. We fired about an hour and a half. When failing to receive a reply, we ceased firing and started down the river to our anchorage.

Things remain about the same as they did when you was here. Our cabin affair turned out all right. We go up the river a short distance, anchor, go ashore, and dig clams, shoot birds, and yesterday we tried to fish a little but our net is too small so we did not get any fish.

I am still on the Glorious old Mid, but I think I will soon have a Dog watch so that the other Engineers will not think that I wish to do them out of the fun of standing the “Mid.” I saw by the papers that [Henry P.] Gregory was on the “Vicksburg.” [Thomas] Heenan ¹ thinks with you that Greg swore when he found who was in charge—“But such is life.”

Augustine Sackett
(Src: Anne Murray)

Sackett, you must not expect a long letter this time for I have so many letters to write and a very short time to do it as the mail boat is behind time.

You had a good time home and are still having a good time. Well, old boy, I wish you success though I hope they won’t send you off on the Chickopee for I want to see you enjoy yourself in New York as long as you can. Our mail is not all distributed yet. And I want a letter from Myra Burr to find out whether she is home or not. If I find she is home, I will send you a letter of introduction and where she lives so that you can call on her which I wish you to do if you have time for my sake as well as for your own amusement. She will give you some music and sing for you. Besides that, you can give them my history. ²

Oh, I almost forgot. Mr. [Robert B.] Hine who went out with this boat on the first cruise wrote to Heenan to find out where Mr. [William] Musgrave was as he (Hine) says Mr. M. owes him the sum of $50. It seems Mr. M, got in debt with all who knew him and run off without paying them. But you know more about him already than I can tell you, so I may as well stop for I can hear but little good of him.

Last Sunday I went on a visit to the Wabash. Had a good time for almost 2 hours. After leaving the Wabash, we went to a revenue cutter which had just come in on the previous day from New York here. We had a good time. (I say we, for there was four of us here.) Each of us found someone that he knew. The only fault I could find with the officers was that they “drink strong drink” which I don’t like to see.

I must close though. Before this leaves the ship, I will add a P.S. Success and the best wishes of — C. R. Mosher, Chippewa

P. S. Well Sackett, I have had a letter from my cousin. She is still at Washington so I cannot send you to see her. She will not be home for some time yet. We are having splendid weather down here now. In fact, have had all winter.

You spoke about those pictures. Don’t forget to send one. Give my kindest regards to Mr. Nones. The steerage officers all send their respects to you. Sackett, please excuse this for I don’t know when I ever wrote a letter so full of blunders. Yet I must say, I have been in a great hurry. Please write soon again and I will try to give you a better letter the next time. This is my sixth letter by this mail and I have one more to write. So you will see I have been kept quite full of business since the mail arrived. Excuse this for I have not another moment to spare. Write soon and oblige.

Yours truly, — C. R. Mosher, U.S.S. Chippewa

Part Third. Mr. [Robert H.] Thurston has just come down in the Engine Room. I asked him if he has any word to send to you. He says he wishes to be remembered to you and waits patiently to hear from you. He says he thinks the letter must have gone astray. Write to him for he is a good fellow.

— C. R. Mosher, U. S. Navy

¹ Thomas Heenan entered the US Navy as an Acting Third Assistant Engineer from 23 November 1861. He was promoted to Acting Second Assistant Engineer on 17 October 1863 and to Acting First Assistant Engineer on 28 April 1865. He was honorably discharged on 4 February 1866.

² Myra Clarke Gaines Burr (1844-1907) was the daughter of Samuel Jones Burr (1809-1885) and Caroline Chickering Read (1812-1877). They resided in Williamsburgh, Kings County, New York on Long Island. She married Dr. Henry Harrison Lowrie (1841-1916) on 16 November 1864 at Garden City. From the letter, we learn that Mosher was Myra’s cousin.

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