Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Civil War Letter on the Loss of George Holmes

Oct the 17th, 1863

Camp near Chattanooga, Tenn

Dear father and mother,

It is with the greatest of pleasure that I sit down to inform you that I am well at present and I hope you are all the same. I would write sooner but it is been so I could not write and it is so hard to content my mind long enough to write. It is lonesome here to me. You want to know all about George. I will tell you the best I can about him.

On the 20th of Sept about three o'clock we went in the fight and about four o'clock he was shot and I fell back to hunt him. I hunted about one hour and I found him and I ran and found a blanket to spread over him and I tried to git somebody to help me to bear him away but I could not get anybody to help and our men was a falling back and I had to leave him and the rebels got him and had him ten days and they fetch him to the lines and our men went after them and I found him the first day of Oct and was with him til he died. He died on the 10th of Oct a Saturday and was buried the 11th at five o'clock. He still thought that he would get well til about 24 hours before he died and he told me that he was not a going to ever see home again. That was awful sad to me. I asked him if he wanted to be took home and be buried at home and he said he wanted to be buried in that graveyard to the chapel. The night before he died he told me to go and tell the steward to come and pray with him and I went and told the steward and he came and prayed with him. Poor George prayed for his self. He was in so much misery he could not hardly pray but he prayed. I never was in such a fix in my life. It seemed to me I had no friends in the world of a night that would come and tell me he was a dying and I could not get to sleep for I was pretty near sick myself. I was up with him so much I could not sleep when I would lay down. He thought he would get well enough to go home in three weeks. He said he was a going to go to Nashville, telegraph to father to come after him. He told me to go and see Mitchell and get him for father and to hurry back and I started and I was gone but a little while and when I got back he was dead. He said that maybe father could get here before he died. He said that he called for father and said he was a sailing in a ship. Was the last words he said. I have got his clothes but I don't expect I can get to send them home. I haven't seen any chance yet. If I can get his coat and belt and sash home I don't care so much about the rest for the rebels took his money and all the other things they could find. I will have to close my letter this time. I want you to write some and often to me and let me know what you was doing the 10th and a Sunday in the afternoon. I will close my letter so goodbye from

William H Holmes

To his parents
Nimrod and Frances Holmes

George W Holmes (28 Apr 1841 - 10 Oct 1863)
1st Lt. Co. C. 113 Reg. O.V.I.

William H. Holmes (1843-1906)
Corporal Co. H. 113 Reg. O.V.I

As you can see his parents did put up a monument for George at the graveyard at the chapel as he wished. His stone is at Wesley Chapel Cemetery in Hilliard, Franklin County, Ohio.

George and William Holmes were elder brothers to my Great, Great Grandmother Martha Holmes Romick

1 comment:

Ann Marie said...

You can feel William's anxiety at not being able to comfort his brother. His question to his parents about where they were and what they were doing when George died is bittersweet.