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Civil War Genealogy Database
Unit Type
State

15th Connecticut Infantry (USA)
Ancestor Info
Name: Horace F. FarnsworthRank: Private Company: A

I have in my possession thirty long letters in fairly elegant copperplate script sent from the field covering the time from 1862, when the unit was formed, to 1865. These have been transcribed several times but not published. Twenty letters are to his first wife, Frances Wolcott Farnsworth (and infant daughter), living in Connecticut, and ten letters are to his brother, Henry Farnsworth, living in New York City, with whom he was very close. An eleventh letter, not in my possession, to Henry was forwarded to and published by the New York Times, as it was current news in 1865 and gives a vivid account of the Battle of Wyse's Forks, North Carolina, one of the last major battles of the Civil War, which had very nearly cost Horace his life. A rich modern discussion of this battle is now available in the recently published researches of Wade Sokolosky. H.F. Farnsworth enlisted rather precipitately (his only daughter by Frances, Henrietta, was born December 25, 1862; his only son by Frances, Whitcomb Horace, was not born until well after the war, on January 16,1869) and was enrolled in Company A of the 15th Connecticut Volunteers ('Casey's Pets') as a Private. By the end of the war he was acting as the Company Clerk. Almost all of the letters are very circumstantial and provide very good background information. Most of them are quite intimate appraisals of soldiering and of the camp life, including the observations and opinions of himself and his fellow soldiers. He was comfortable with writing, quite literate, and usually wrote four pages of narrative and description on the lined, folded letter paper of the time. He returned at the end of the war and lived until September 2, 1920. His beloved second wife survived him by eleven years. There is some collateral material as well--two envelopes, one of which is a 'patriotic cover,' photographs of husband and wife, a photograph of Etta as a child, two of him marching in uniform with the G.A.R., a wedding announcement for Etta. He was my maternal great great grandfather, and the letters descended to me through my mother.

Contact Info
Contact Name: Douglas W. Reynolds, Jr.
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