UNION SOLDIER LETTER—PRIVATE KELLEY S. TULLOCK, CO “D”, 115TH NEW YORK INFANTRY

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Dated “Beaufort, S.C / November 7, 1863” . Addressed to “My Cousin Ellen Gregg”. 4 pp. in ink on lined paper. Exhibits fold-marks, ink slightly faded. Else VG and entirely legible

Kelly S. Tullock was a 21 year-old private mustered into Co. “D,” 115th New York Infantry, 8/2/1862, and mustered out at Raleigh, N.C., 6/17/1865.

Private Tullock’s 115th New York Infantry was captured at Harper’s Ferry, VA., 9/15/1862. Coming off parole at Camp Douglas, the unit returned to duty in November and was transferred to the Southeastern Theater, serving in the Carolinas and Florida and at the Battle of Olustee. In the spring of 1864 they were engaged at Bermuda Hundred and Cold Harbor, later taking part in the Siege of Petersburg, VA, before being dispatched with the Fort Fisher expedition, and taking part in the occupation Wilmington before joining in the Carolinas Campaign and the occupation of Raleigh, and being present at the Bennett House for Joe Johnston’s surrender to General Sherman. During service the unit lost 135 killed and mortally wounded and 188 men by disease for a total of 323. This unit is listed in “Fox’s Fighting 300” regiments.

Tullock writes his cousin that he is glad to hear that she and all the folks at home are in good health and then goes on to tell her at length about his health, which is not so good. And then to tell about all the foods he’s been eating. Text excerpts:

“…but my health is not so good at present for I was taken sick on the 6th Oct. with the _____ fever and went to the hospital on the 9th of Oct. and am in the hospital yet but I am on the game a little now but I was pretty sick for a wile…at first I thought they was trying to starve me for even the fever left me…all I got was a cup of tea and a half a slice of toste at a meal and I thought I would starvesure enough but I made out to stand it and now I git all that I can eat for I can go to the table and help myself…

We have roster beef and salt beef pork, mouton beens, rice curry, pickels, cabbage, rice pooden , bread pooden, and coffee and tea and sugar potatoes, first-rate bread. So I say that if a man finds fault with that he woulod find fault if he was to bee hung, but they git all of these things in the company but they have a nuff…the boys have it first rate even when we are on the march sometimes…Well, we must expect that to have some bitter with the sweet…

I wish had some of your butter down here. I could make it fetch a pretty big price, for butter is worth 45 cents a pound heare and eggs is worth 60 cents a dozen and appels is five cents a peace…You said that I might pick two or three bales of cotton and send them home to you but that is two much like work for me to pick cotton. I just come from dinner and will tell you what we had…[take it from the Horse Soldier , what they had was finger lickin’ good]…”

And entertaining camp letter from a High Private of the 115th New York in Beaufort, S.C., November 1863. In a protective sleeve. [JP]  [ph:L]

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