1862: Louis Ferrand to Charles F. Ferrand

The following letter was written by Louis George Ferrand (1840-1921), the son of Jean Pierre (John Peter) Ferrand (1777-1869) and Anne Catherine Marconer (1797-1837) of Cheektowaga, Erie county, New York.

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

Prior to his enlistment in Co. A, 44th New York Infantry (“Ellsworth Avengers”), 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.

Louis wrote this letter to his older brother, Charles F. Ferrand (1836-1921) who served in the US Navy.

[See also—1862: Louis Ferrand to Friend “Mary”]


Patriotic heading on stationery Lewis used

Annapolis, Maryland
August 5th 1862

Dear Brother Charles,

Your letter of August 4th was duly received. I was glad to hear from you again and that you was well. I am well at present and hope that these few lines will find you enjoying the same health and having a good time at home. I wish that I was there so as to see you and more. It brings tears in my eyes to think of you and of some of the rest of the boys from Cheektowaga, some of which are soldiers now, and the way that we are situated now and shall probably never see each other again in this world. But in God, let us trust, and He will be our friend, that we may meet in realms above.

I have received your letter at 2 o’clock and it is now half past 2 and I must mail it at 3 in order to have it go this afternoon.

I was sorry to hear about the two that you mentioned about getting ready to go to Canada rather than to support their country. Men of that disposition have no business in a free country. If they are not willing to fight for freedom, I think that they had better go to Canada and remain there. But poor Fred. I am very sorry for him. That is too bad that that report was not true.

I hope that these few lines will find you well. I’m still at work at the hospital. I have no more time to spare. Now dear brother, wherever you go, do not forget me. I send my love and best respects to you wishing you good luck wherever you go.

From your affectionate brother, — Lewis Ferrand

Should I die on the battlefield or in the hospital, for the sake of human friends C. F. F. [ ] my remains may be found.

Louis’s artwork and signature

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