1862: George Llewellyn Fassett to his Brother

I could not find an image of Fassett but here is Capt. Jonathan Prince Cilley of Co. B, 1st Maine Cavalry, who was seriously wounded at Middleton, Va., on 24 May 1862. (Andrew German Collection)

This letter was written by George Llewellyn Fassett (1844-1915) of Abbott, Maine, who enlisted on 31 October 1861 to serve in Co. M, 1st Maine Cavalry. He enlisted as a private and rose in rank to at least a corporal in 1863. George was taken prisoner on 24 May 1862 at Middletown, Virginia, and was presumably exchanged shortly after this letter was penned in late October 1862. He mustered out of the regiment on 20 June 1865 with the rank of sergeant. After his discharge, he returned to Piscataquis county where he earned his living as a carriage maker.

As stated previously, George was taken prisoner on 24 May 1862 in what has come to be known as the “Middletown Disaster.” The loss to Companies A, E, and M was severe, a large number of men being wounded or taken prisoner. The events of the battle are best summarized by the National Park Service in an article entitled, “The Running Fight/The Battle of Middletown—May 24, 1862.”

Transcription

Camp of Paroled Prisoners
Camp Banks
Alexandria, Virginia
October 19, [1862] Sabbath morn.

Dear Brother,

I was very glad to learn yesterday where you was and should be happier still if I could only see you.

I was at Washington a few days ago but I could not find where you was. H. T. Whitaker and myself went over to get our ration money. It took us three days to find where things were, &c., but we at last got it.

We received 18 cents per day and we were prisoners 112 days which amounted to $20.16 and I am sorry that it is all gone. Ha ha. Why it is so? I owed a good deal to the boys and I paid them and bought me a nice pair of boots which I paid a $5 bill for.

I have not received a single line from home since I was released nor from any one else, save one from Susan and one from John. He was at home then but expected to go to his regiment in a few days and I have wrote as much as three times a week. I’ll bet I have wrote more than 50 letters since I was released and have not got but two letters and there was no answer for any that I had wrote.

We were all mustered for pay a few days ago and expect to get paid off in a few days. If we are paid off before we are exchanged, I shall try my best to go home—take a French furlough. There is nine out of ten that has gone home since we came to Alexandria. I would like to go home and see the folks once more.

I suppose you have heard the death of little Freddie. Poor little fellow is no more. He died quite a spell ago. “May he rest with [ ].” And I heard by Sull Hall that Alton was very sick with the fever. I should like awful well to hear from home.

I will not write any more this time but look with anxious eye for an answer. I remain your dear brother, — George L. Fassett

Camp of Paroled Prisoners, Camp Banks, Alexandria, Va.

1st Maine Cavalry, Co. M

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