I was most agreeably surprised to meet Bro. Wes. coming after me with a horse

Joseph Culver Letter, May 19, 1865, Page 1

Burke’s Station, Va.
May 19th 1865
My Dear Wife

As I was trudging along yesterday evening longing for camp, I was most agreeably surprised to meet Bro. Wes. [Culver] coming after me with a horse & permission for me to leave the column.1 I mounted & we came to this place, where I found Sister Hannah, Mary, Willie & the baby.2 All very glad to see me. We have but 7 miles more to camp.

The column left at 5 o’clock this morning, & I presume are at the place by this time. I will start in a few minutes. I hope to hear from you this evening or to-morrow. We are all very weary but will be recruited up in a few days.

I wish you could be here at the Review next week.3 I will write as soon as we get into camp. Bro. Wes & family are all well, so are all at Mother’s. It rained very hard last night & is cold this morning. I must close for the present with love to all. May God bless you.

Your affect. Husband
J. F. Culver

  1. Wesley Culver was one of J.F.C.’s younger brothers, and he was currently stationed near Fairfax Station. Wesley had been mustered into service on Nov. 22, 1862, as assistant surgeon of the 56th Pennsylvania. On Feb. 26, 1863, he was medically discharged, because of a “dropsical leg” occasioned by an 18-foot fall from a tree at the family home which fractured several small ankle bones. By Oct. 27, 1864, his injury having healed, Wesley reentered service as assistant surgeon of the 202d Pennsylvania Infantry. March 1865 found him on detached duty, near Burke’s Station, with Companies D and I of his regiment. Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers, NA. []
  2. Wesley was felled by “consumption” in March, and his wife Mary had come down from Carlisle to help nurse him, bringing with her their two sons, five-year-old Willie and Charlie who had been born in December 1864. []
  3. It had been announced on May 18 by Army headquarters that there would be “a review with marching salute, of the Army of the Potomac, the Army of the Tennessee, the Army of Georgia, and General Sheridan’s cavalry” on Tuesday and Wednesday, the 23d and 24th. On the 23d would be reviewed the Army of the Potomac and Sheridan’s cavalry and on the following day, General Sherman’s two armies. O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XLVII, pt. Ill, p. 526. []

About Colleen Theisen

Outreach and Instruction Librarian. Lover of coffee, as well as 19th century photography, painting, tourism and print.

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