This letter was written by Albert D. Clark (1840-1909) who, at 21 years of age, enlisted on 6 September 1861 as a sergeant in Battery A, 1st Ohio Light Artillery. He mustered out in September 1864. Prior to his enlistment, Albert was working as an iron moulder at Franklin Mills, Ohio.
Albert was the son of John Finney Clark (1813-1901) and Eliza S. Dunning (1814-18xx) of Franklin township, Portage county, Ohio. The following biographical sketch comes from a county history:
“Our subject was reared and educated in Kent. He enlisted April 24, 1861, and served as Sergeant in Company A, First Regiment Ohio Light Artillery, and was Acting Orderly over two years, and commanded the Second Section of artilleries over a year. He was in the battles of Shiloh, Stone River, Chickamauga (he was recommended for promotion for bravery on the battlefield of Chickamauga by Maj. Wilbur F. Goodspeed), and was in many other engagements, and honorably discharged at Chattanooga, Tenn., September 12, 1864, paying a flying visit to friends in Ohio. He then went into the Quartermaster’s Department at Johnsonville, Tenn., serving eighteen months as Assistant Superintendent of laborers of that place, also in the vicinity of Nashville. When Johnsonville, Tenn. was evacuated by the Union forces he went to Nashville, thence to Franklin and Duck River; returning to Nashville took passage on the transport “New York” for Eastport, Miss. On the steamer’s arrival at her destination he accepted and filled the position of Chief Receiving Clerk under Lieut. Samuel W. Treat, commanding river and railroad transportation. On resigning this position he returned to Ohio. He then went West and engaged in railroading, visiting all the principle cities of the West. In 1869 he returned to Kent, and accepted a position as foreman in the brass foundry of the A & G W. R. R., which he held until 1883, when he embarked in his present business. He was married August 18, 1870 to Sarah J., daughter of Harvey C. and Flora B. Newberry, of Kent.”
Albert wrote the letter to Antoinette Longcoy (1842-1910), the daughter of David and Abbie (Woodward) Longcoy of Portage county, Ohio. She later married Samuel Putnam (1835-1909), an older brother of Col. Haliman Sumner Putnam. Col. Putnam was an 1857 graduate of West Point and was appointed Col. of the 7th New Hampshire. He commanded the 2nd Brigade in the attack on Fort Wagner during which he was shot through the head and left on the field.
Headquarters Battery A, 1st OVLI [Ohio Volunteer Light Artillery]
Camp Brough, Nashville, Tennessee
April 24th 1864
Miss Annett Longcoy, Franklin, Ohio,
You will undoubtedly be surprised at my assumed boldness in approaching you as our former acquaintance was very limited indeed, but I assure you there is no offense intended. I have become somewhat acquainted with a plot which concerns you and others that I shall mention before I close. A certain few of the Battery that are noted for their malicious character & gossiping qualities assembled together and concocted the following scheme for the purpose of obliterating the dull monotony of camp life. Each one was to hand in his name and also that of some young lady. The addresses were numbered & corresponding numbers on cheques to be drawn. In this manner your address fell to one that I know you would not want to court acquaintance with, The person that entered your address done so under an assumed name so it is impossible for me to tell you who it was. The other person is Miss Mary Metlin. The person who received her address told me he was not a going to write. But should he do so yet, Miss Metlin & you, Miss Longcoy, must act at your own pleasure in regard to forming a correspondence. I have acquainted you with the characters of these two gentlemen and also the means that were employed in obtaining your addresses. Out of respect for you and Miss Metlin, as young ladies of high standing in society, and also to put you on guard against the approach of these inconsiderate men. The I become acquainted with these proceedings is not known by the persons interested and should you conclude to reply to their productions, I would request that you keep your informant’s name a secret as it will avoid hard feelings.
My respects to all enquiring friends. Yours in haste. From your friend, — A. D. Clark