Walter Greenleaf Brackett

Born in Epsom, NH October 22, 1844, son of John L. Brackett and Mirriam Louisa Lane. Enlisted from Epsom Oct. 18, 1862. Took part in siege of Port Hudson in May 1863. On the return of his regiment to Concord, NH, he was left sick at Memphis, TN where he died Aug. 14, 1863, age 18-9-0.

Letters home during the Civil War


Union Course Jamaica New York
November Sunday 16, 1862

Dear Parents you wanted me to write you as soon as I got out here we are on Long Island and came here night before last. We took the Cars at Concord Thursday last and had a pleasant ride to Allens point where we took the Boat and steamed away to New York (we took the boat at night and left it in the morning) and marched about a mile and a half where we stopped all day nearby this in the city there was a fountain nearby it was a nice place. When we left here we march a little ways and took the boat for Williamsburg Long Island and then marched on to Jamaica where we are now. We sleep in tents 12 feet long and 6 feet wide. There are 6 in out tent. I expect we shall go from hear next Thursday but where I cannot tell. I am well and in good cheer, have enough to eat and to drink so don't worry about me. I hope you will not think hard of me if I say that was glad that you did not come up when we went off for if you had I don't think I should be as contented as I now am. Aunt Sarah came to see me off and gave me some good advice together with a bunch of flowers. Give my love to Grandmother and kiss Louisa for me.
I must close now for want of more time. It will be no use for you to write until you hear from me again. Goodbye from your Son, Walter G. Brackett.
(excuse this bad writing and all mistakes for I have a bad place to write in)


Camp Parafet
Louisiana February 8, 1863

Dear Parents, I am well but my cough still clings to me but it is only one of the trials of life. It looks like rain this morning and I guess it will before night. I have been on Inspection, out second Lieutenant is not so strict as our first one is. My boots have give out and I have drawn a pair of Army Shoes. They are sowed (?) ones and easy to the feet. Calvin Brown is in the hospital, he is pretty sick.
Feb. 9 to day is pleasant very warm. I got your letter today and the stamps but I have got enough of them now. I was sorry to hear that Mr. Seavea's (?) family are so afflicted, hope they will not be long. I was glad to hear that you are all well and at present I am able to do duty. We do not drill any today for we had orders to change our ground but the order was countermanded.
February 10 very warm today. Battalion Drill this forenoon. We are now Brigaded under Neal Dow, he is an oldish man, rather small in stature, but I guess he is some Pumpkins. I have got to go on guard at three this afternoon and stay on till three tomorrow. My cough today is better and I am in hopes to get rid of it soon. I do not have to drill this afternoon because I am on guard.
Feb 11 I came off guard not long ago, weary enough for I had slept but little through the night. We had little shelter but the weather was pleasant for the most part. We have now to salute Officers by a motion of the hand, it came a little odd at first, but I soon got used to it. If our Major comes along when we are sitting we are obliged to rise and salute him. Three out of out tent are on guard tonight. I have just been to carry some gun oil to one of them. Our Captain is some better but still weak and feeble, our Drummer was buried today, two have died out of our Company and a number are sick. For the most part I have been blessed with good health. I think I will close now. Good night.
Friday Feb. 13, 1863 Two of our Company were sent to the Hospital yesterday. Albian Bean that lives by Pleasant Pond was one of them, he had been sick for some time. It is very warm here today, while sitting in my tent the sweat starts out of me in drops. I have just come off from Battalion Drill. We did not have a very hard one. The Major sent one man to the guardhouse from out Company for talking in the ranks. I was sorry for it for is a disgrace to the Company. There is talk that we shall be started home in May, but I do not think that such will be the case but I do not think that we shall move far from here.

Put this rose bud in Louise hair.
Camp Parafet Lousiana March 6, 1863
Dear Parents, As I have nothing to do today I thought I would write home. I have not heard from home for some time and I would like to know the reason. I got two papers the other day. One from home I suppose and the other from Martha and Mary. They wrote a few words in it saying that they would write as soon as she, Martha, was better. I hope she will be soon for it is hard for them to be so afflicted. It rains today and it will be muddy enough before long. One of my tent mates is sick and in the Hospital, his name is Dockun. We miss him much, he is a good fellow. I hope he will soon get well, There is seven or eight in the Hospital now, some of them have been there a number of weeks. I can go a fishing every day if I want to, but cannot get any very large ones. They look very much like the Hog Backs that I used to catch out of Short Falls River. They are very good to eat. I am troubled some with the Back door trot. This seems to be the prevailing complaint here and I think causes the death of not a few.
Saturday 7, 1863
The mud not having dried up we do not have to drill today, so I have been a fishing and caught about eight or ten small ones. I did not cook them, but gave them away. I am as well as usual and can do my duty right along. The grass is growing finely out here, the Clover grows very rank. I have not seen any of the red-blossomed kind, it is all white top, such as we call honey suckle. The cherry trees are leaving out and other fruit trees are blossoming out and things look like spring, or about Planting time.
War-like preparations are being made here. Troops are moving up the river and Fort Hudson will probably be attacked soon. I do not think we shall have to go, though we may, and it is my opinion that if the 15 regiment does have to go that the rebels will be cleaned our short meter. Fort Hudson is some ways up the river, perhaps one hundred and forty miles above here. A number of troops have gone from near us. There must be an awful battle soon.
Sunday 8, 1863
Dear Parents, it is Sunday, but not the quiet Sabbath that you are enjoying at home, but when Sunday comes here, there is a marked change. No playing Ball or any drill, showing that the Sabbath is not altogether forgotten. The mail came in today and I got Grandmothers letter, well filled with lozenges. I will close now, write soon, much love to you all. From your son W.G. Brackett

Letter written home to his grandparents, Greenleaf C. Brackett and Sally Marden.

15th Regiment New Hampshire VolunteersCamp Carrollton Louisiana Wednesday 14 1863.

Dear Grandparents how do you do I wish I could step in and see you this morning and get a bitefrom your cupboard it seems to me that I can see you now about your work Grandmother and you Grandfather reading by the windows or cutting wood under the shed if I were there I would cut it for you. Is Tiggers health good he will be taken care of I have no dout the dogs are thick around here but I have not seen a lot since we came a soldier was buried yesterday it was the first death out of the Regiment I believe he died of typhoid fever thear are quite a number in our company that are sick diarrhea is the prevailing complaint caused by drinking the river water mostly fill a pint dipper half full and you cannot see the bottom for dirt some of the company's filter it throug sand and charcoal which makes it cleer I must close now write soon much to you all and next fourth of July if I am alive I shall expect to be at home good by

Walter G. Brackett

Direct to Banks Expedition 15th Regiment Company D New Orleans put it all on

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