1863: Isaac Dyer to Lydia (Emery) Dyer

Col. Isaac Dyer, 15th Maine Infantry (Digital Maine)

This letter was written by Isaac Dyer (1820-1913) while serving as the Colonel of the 15th Maine Infantry. He entered the service as the Lt. Colonel of his regiment on 17 December 1862 and the following year, after the regiment’s Colonel resigned in disgrace, Dyer was promoted to Colonel and led his men in operations in Louisiana and Texas, and in Virginia in 1864. He was brevetted Brigadier General, US Volunteers on March 13, 1865 for “meritorious services,” and was honorably mustered out on 13 September 1865.

Isaac was married to Lydia Emery in 1851. Their son Albert, mentioned in this letter, was born in 1856. Prior to the war, Isaac was a druggist in Skowhegan, Somerset county, Maine.

It’s humorous to find the Colonel writing details of troop strength and movements to his wife while acknowledging at the same time that this information is forbidden to be communicated.

Some of the Colonel’s traps sold at Heritage Auctions


New Orleans [Louisiana]
September 4, 1863

My Dear Wife,

I have just returned from Carrollton from witnessing a review of the 13th Army Corps (Gen. Grant’s). I assure you, it was a big sight. (There [were] 47 regiments infantry, 15 batteries, and a lot of cavalry, but this you must not mention as it is against regulations).

Look out for big news in a few weeks. The 9th Connecticut, 12th, 13th, and 15th Maine, and 1st Louisiana are to take charge of the City of New Orleans and suburbs, so we shan’t see much fighting at present. (Now, while I am writing, steamboats loaded with soldiers are pushing down by. This also contraband).

I am I hopes we shall all be allowed to go home by next spring for it looks as though the rebels would be cleaned out this fall.

Well we all want to see the end of this business for our New England has attractions superior to the Sunny South. We love civilization to barbarism and the luxuries of the North are far superior to the South.

I have not time to write much now. I suppose you have seen May Drew before this time. I have received the box of boots and box of pants all right. All has been received except the box lost on the Marion.

Love tall. Kiss Albert. — Isaac

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