This letter was written by Pvt. John H. Warren (1841-1905) who enlisted at age 21 in Co. K, 144th New York Infantry in August 1862. John was promoted to a sergeant in October 1862 but was reduced to the ranks in January 1864. He was discharged with the regiment at Hilton Head in June 1865.
John H. Warren was the son of Josiah Warren (1812-Aft1865) and Cornelia Campbell (1818-1869) of Colchester, Delaware county, New York.
In 1870, John was enumerated in Colchester as a 28 year-old farmer. Also in the household was John’s wife, 24 year-old Hettie M. (White) Warren (1843-1920), 1 year-old Josiah B., and 14 year-old farmhand, George F. Keller.
John wrote the letter to his younger brother, Dewitt P. Warren (1846-1868).
Addressed to Dewitt P. Warren, Esq., Downsville, Delaware county, New York
Postmarked Port Royal, South Carolina
Hilton Head, South Carolina
September 17th 1864
I received a letter from you and was very glad to hear that you are all well. In a letter from you, it seems that mother wrote the most of it.
I am mad to think that the town of Colchester can’t pay as much bounty as any other town. I hope that every man that voted against the bounty will be drafted and them that would not go to town meeting [even] if they are 75 years old. It is called the copperhead town. One man, they say, has enlisted for the town of Colchester. Dewitt, why did you not go to some other town and enlist if they would not pay any bounty? I begin to think that the town is all copperheads. But I am sorry to think so but I can’t help it. Sometimes I think that I never want to go back there if there is any chance to enlist, I won’t go to enlist for your brother’s sake — that is, in the army. Don’t be called a copperhead. What is the reason that your town did not pay as much bounty as other towns? I can’t see any other reasons than the copperheads rule that town. I hope that they will draft there, which of course they will, and I hope that they will take some of the men that voted against the bounty and I hope they will send them to Virginia. And I guess that they will wish that they had paid a dollar or two more before their time is out and a man that is drafted can’t go in just the regiment that he sees fit to go in as a man that enlists.
Well, I shall have to close for this time. If you see anyone that don’t like my style, tell them to shut up. Write soon. This from — John H. Warren