This letter was written in part by Pvt. William M. Hill (1839-1878) and the other part by his brother, Pvt. Noah G. Hill (1843-1902) of Co. K, 123rd New York Infantry. The regiment was mustered into service in September 1862 and served in the defenses of Washington D. C. until October 1862 when they were posted at Sandy Hook, Maryland. Both brothers served through “the whole campaign” and were described as “good & faithful soldiers.” The whole campaign would have included Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Atlanta Campaign, and the Carolinas Campaign.
William and Noah were the sons of George W. Hill (1816-Unk) and Jane Foster (1824-1911) of Granville, Washington county, New York.
[Note: This letter is from the personal collection of Greg Herr and was transcribed and published on Spared & Shared by express consent.]
October 19 
Sandy Hook Camp
I thought I would write a few lines to you to let you know that we are all well here at present and I hope these few lines will find you all the same. I have sent a letter to father but if he don’t get, you must tell him not to enlist for he would not stand it very long. He is not tough enough to come down here for it needs tough men down here.
Tell John I wouldn’t cut that tree down if I had to hear John [ ] to help me. We don’t stand about trees down here. You must write and tell me how you all get along up there.
I suppose you are fixing up for winter. It is cold enough down here to freeze a man to death but we get along very well. That box has not yet come but I think it [will] be here before long. When we get into winter quarters, then you can [send] anything you wish to but what you send now may never get here. I have written a letter to [sister] Ella and put it inside of father’s. I have thought I should enlist into the Regulars and if I do, I shan’t be to home any less than three years anyway but if I don’t, I may be to home sooner. They enlist them out of any regiment. I don’t know but it would be better for me to stay here but if I do go there, it will be some time before you will hear from me again but I shan’t go till I hear from you again. Ask father what he thinks about it and write and tell me what he says.
I had a letter from Eunice and she talked of going West and if she goes, I hope she will have a good time. Tell John to write to me for I would be very happy to have him write a few lines to me. Tell him to write how the colt gets along and tell me how old gray looks.
I have seen Pluck Hall and he is just as fat as a hog. You must write as often as you can. Noah is well and looks very tough. William R. is well and most as hearty as I am. Tell cash to come on for we are waiting for him.
I must now say goodbye for this time. We are to fight any time when they want us to, my dear mother.
From your son, — William M. Hill
Dear Mother, I take my pen in hand once more to let you know that I am well [as] can be expected & I hope this will find you all the same. Your letter that you wrote to me, I hain’t received it yet. Father wrote too. He thought he would enlist but I think he is as well off where he is so you can give him my advice [even] if it is a poor one. It is better than none. The box is coming tonight, I think.
Write and let me know how you all get along & I will do the same. If I am sick, I will write & let you know. This is all just now. Give my best respects to all. I shall have to stop. So goodbye. — Noah G. Hill