The following letters were written by Roswell Asbury Pool (1843-1873), the son of Robert A. Pool (1817-1853) and Mary M. Martin (1820-1884). He had two siblings, Hetty Ann Pool (1840-1915) and Sarah Sabina Pool (1845-1922). All three children were born in Iowa. After Roswell’s father died in 1853, his mother married George Edward Albin (1790-1872) and gave birth to several half siblings, including several children of George’s by former marriages with the surname Albin. They all lived in the same household in Mad River, Clark county, Ohio, at the time of the 1860 US Census.
According to military records, Roswell enlisted as a private in Co. A, 94th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI) on 11 August 1862 when he was 18 years of age. He remained in the regiment until mustering out at Washington D. C. on 5 June 1865. Though he survived the war, he did not live long. He died in 1873 and never married.
Roswell wrote the letters to his older sister, Hetty Ann (Pool) Long, the wife of John Edwin Long (1838-1913). The couple were married on 14 January 1864 in Clark county, Ohio. They settled in Corry, Erie county, Pennsylvania where John worked as a carpenter.
Camp at Tyner’s Station, 1 Tennessee
March 10th, 1864
I take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well at present and that I received your kind letter of the 4th of March and I was very glad to hear that you were all well. We have a very pleasant camp now and fine weather. I am sitting in a room at the residence of a Mr. Robinson writing this. He is a very wealthy planter. He owns over five thousand acres of land and I carry the keys to his house in my pocket (pretty cool, isn’t it sister).
Well, sister, Captain [Amaziah] Winger just came in the room where I am writing and informed me that I am detailed a mounted orderly at Brigade Headquarters on Gen. [William] Carlin’s escort so you see I will have an easy time. I will have a nice horse to ride, a nigger to do my cooking & washing, & my knapsack will be hauled when we march. I say Bully for Ross.
Well, sister, I would like to know where you are going to live & what your husband Mr. Long’s trade is.
Well, sister, I have just been over to see Gen. [William] Carlin about being detailed as mounted orderly and I can’t tell whether I will be detailed or not. I was sorry to hear of the death of Daniel Hertzler. He & I used to be great cronies. Well, our time is going down hill. Tomorrow I will be in nineteen months. You said you would like to have one of my pictures. Well you can have one of those I sent home since I have been in the service.
You ought to see the young ladies here. They all chew tobacco and their teeth are as black as can be—even little children not more than 4 years old chew & smoke like old topers.
Well, I must close for this time for it is getting late & it looks like rain. From your affectionate brother, — Roswell A. Pool, Co. A, 94th O. V. I.
1st Brigade, 1st Division, 14th Army Corp
to his sister H. A. Long—how odd it sounds. My best wishes to all.
1 Tyner’s Station is about eight miles east of Chattanooga on the East Tennessee & Georgia Railroad.
In bivouac 9 miles from Atlanta, Georgia
July 6th, 1864
Dear Brother and Sister,
I take the present opportunity of penning you a few lines to inform you that I am still in the land of the living and am well. I received your letter of the 27th of June on the 4th of July which was the best treat I had for my 4th as we were fortifying on that day. I was very glad to hear from you and to hear that you were well. I was a little surprised to hear of Sarah getting married. I thought she had intended to wait until the Blue-Coats came home. I should have liked to have been at home to attend both weddings but I was afraid Uncle Sam would not give me a furlough so I did not ask him for one.
We have very warm weather down here in the Bogus Confederacy. At present, we are in sight of the great city of Atlanta and we have fought Joe Johnston’s army three hard battles and about a dozen skirmishes on this campaign and whipped him every time. He has now made a stand at this place but it was [only] because he had to. He is hurrying his baggage across the Chattahoochee River as fast as he can. We captured about half of his train yesterday, and we have taken a great many prisoners. Deserters are coming in everyday by the dozen and they tell the old tale—that the Rebels won’t fight. They are discouraged.
We marched through Marietta on the 3rd. It has been a very pretty place before the war broke out but it is mostly destroyed now. Today is the fifty-ninth day of the campaign, and there has not been a single day in that time but what I have heard cannonading more or less and I think it has been a great deal more some days for one day I was on the skirmish line and there was two of our batteries and two of the Reb’s opened out on each other and fired right over our heads. And it kept a Yankee my size pretty busy dodging the limbs and tree tops that were cut off by the shot and shell. But I escaped with “nary a scratch.”
Hoping this will find you in good health, I shall close for the present. From your affectionate brother, — Roswell A. Pool.
To J. & H. A. Long. Please write when convenient.