Category Archives: 1st Maine Cavalry

1862: Henry H. Folsom to Sumner Father

The following letter was written by Henry H. Folsom (1844-1911), the son of Sumner Folsom (1812-1893) and Eliza Sewall Lemont (1816-1894) of Fayette, Kennebec county, Maine. Henry entered his country’s service as the bugler of Co. L, 1st Maine Cavalry in November 1861. Service records indicate he was with his company throughout the war, mustering out at Petersburg, Virginia, in August 1865.

Henry mentions two of his younger brothers, Frank (b. 1846) and Freddie (b. 1852).


Patriotic Letterhead in Henry’s letter

Camp Stanton
Warrenton Junction, Virginia
May 11, 1862

Dear Father,

We are going away from here tomorrow morning, going to Fredericksburg. We went down to Culpeper Court House. Our company went first as skirmishers. We drove the rebel pickets in and took seven prisoners with their horses. I was with the skirmishers. We went into the town—twelve of us—and found there was one company of rebel cavalry. We run our horses in behind the rebels. We formed in line within 6 rods of them when they began to look about for a chance to retreat. In about 5 minutes they retreated and we right after them. Seven of them we got and 70 we did not get.

We took them to headquarters and found one of them was a spy that they had taken before and swore allegiance. They will hang him. They sent him to Washington.

I have been paid but not so much as I expected. I lost some things coming from Augusta. I dare not send any money for I have wrote three letters and have not got an answer yet. Give my love to Mother and Frank and Fred and tell them I shall be home soon. Tell Frank to write. From your son, — Henry H. Folsom

Camp Stanton, Virginia

Sumner Folsom

I am in a hurry or I would write more. Let me know whether you have got your pay or not.

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.”


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