1862: Louis Ferrand to friend “Mary”

I could not find an image of Louis as as young man but here is one of Willie Rexford who enlisted in Co. D, 44th New York Infantry (Richard Ether Collection)

This letter was written by Pvt. Louis (or Lewis) Georges Ferrand (1840-1921) of Co. A, 44th New York Infantry (“Ellsworth Avengers”). Prior to his enlistment, Louis had completed his three-year apprenticeship to learn the trade of a blacksmith. He enlisted with the regiment in August 1861 and was with the regiment until they arrived in Yorktown, Virginia, where he contracted typhoid fever. He was eventually transported to the U. S. General Hospital at Annapolis, where he regained his health sufficient to work as a hospital nurse, and then returned to his regiment in time for the Battle of Gettysburg. It was at Gettysburg where he took buckshot to his cheek, this time sending him to the hospital in Philadelphia. He recuperated enough to rejoin the regiment near Petersburg. At the battle at the Weldon Railroad, he was once more wounded, in his left hand and left knee. His fighting came to a halt once and for all. He was sent to Slough Barracks Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. He was mustered out of the regiment with an honorable discharge in October 1864. Due to the wounds to his hands and knees he would remain a cripple for the rest of his life.

This letter was written from the regiment’s winter encampment at Hall’s Hill, Virginia, on 8 January 1862.

To read letters by other soldiers in the 44th New York Infantry that I have transcribed & published on Spared & Shared, see:

John Gurnsy Vanderzee, Co. A, 44th New York (1 Letter)
John T. Johnson, Co. C, 44th New York (2 Letters)
John H. Lewis, Co. D, 44th New York (1 Letter)
Peter Mersereau, Co. E, 44th New York (1 Letter)
Charles Robinson French, Co. E, 44th New York (1 Letter)
Anthony G. Graves, Co. F, G, H, 44th New York (38 Letters)
Isaac Bevier, Co. E., 44th New York (2 Letters)
Albert Nathaniel Husted, Co. E, 44th New York (1 Letter)
Samuel R. Green, Co. I, 44th New York (6 Letters)
George W. Arnold, Co. K. 44th New York (1 Letter)


People’s Ellsworth Regiment
Col. [Stephen S.] Stryker Commanding
Camp Butterfield
Hall’s Hill, Virginia
January 8, 1862

Dear Mary,

I take the pleasure to write these few lines to you to inform you that I am well and hope that you are the same.

I received your letter with much pleasure. I was very glad to hear from you. I have but little of time to spare and I have nothing now to say to you so you must excuse the short letter. I have had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Years. I hope that you enjoyed yourself as well as I did. I had a very nice time. I was sorry to hear that you was unwell. I hope that you will be well again when these few lines reach you.

We have not had any snow yet. The [ ] here is very fine.

That man that slept on his post is a nephew to the one that I learned my trade with.

We are under marching orders now but I don’t know whether we are going or not but I am in hopes that we will move soon. I have seen two men that was taken prisoners at Bull Run and they got away and got back safe. They told me that the rebels was not any nearer starving than we was. They said that flour was only 17 per barrel and everything accordingly.

Captain [Edward P.] Chapin is promoted Major and [George M.] Love is now our captain. Major McKown has resigned.

There is an artillery regiment just formed here and I shall probably get transferred to it if I can get a chance to work at my trade. U have not heard from my brother in some time. Tell him that Mr. Joseph C. Monin [of Floyd county, Indiana] sends his respects to him and he says that he would like to hear from him. He is in the 12th Indiana Regiment [Co. A.] about forty miles from here in Maryland. They are doing guard duty on the Potomac. The rebels took 8 privates and one captain prisoners a short time ago. He says that it is all they can do to keep them from crossing the river.

[illegible] — Louis Ferrand

Don’t forget to answer this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s