GEORGE FITCH WILBOR
128th Regiment, Company A
Submitted by: Jane Wood, a
letter was written by George F. Wilbor on April 1, 1865.
Head-Quarters, Third Brigade,
Second Division, Nineteenth Army Corps
Dear Uncle, I feel ashamed that I
have allowed so long a time to pass without having written you and I
shall not try to excuse my self but plead guilty and wait your sentence.
I wrote to Kittie, sometime ago while at Savannah, and should probably
have received an answer ere this had not our movements so deranged our
mail communications. Yesterday for the first time in a month I had
a letter from home. One of Eva's good long detail letters, such an
one that makes a soldier feel good to receive and I think if anyone can
appreciate a letter at all its the soldier. Could you but see the
eager faces when the cry of "Mail, Mail" comes through the camp and the
disappointment when all is distributed, and none form them. I
myself have felt more like going to some corner and there sit down and
cry. Some give their friends a blessing and vow not to write until
some thing is heard from their friends. This causes anxiety at
home, and amoung some classes, immediately write to company commanders
to know why their sons do not write if they are sick and a thousand and
one questions. I also received a letter having on the back this
dipher (-----)which Kittie can translate and know how her wishes have
been carried out. We left Savannah quite unexpectedly and as usual
know not to what place we were destined. We went on board small
river boats at the above place and proceeded to Hilton Head, arriving on
the same day and after working through bales of "red tape" went on board
the steam ship "ERICSSON" and under sealed orders put out to sea.
Outside the "Bar" the orders were opened and we found we were to proceed
to Willmington. The weather was very cloudy and foggy so that we
did not anchor off Fort Fisher until three days had passed. We
laid at the above place nearly two days. No one seemed to observe
us though our signal for a pilot had been flying and a gun fired from
her bow. Our water was getting low and something had to be done.
Capt Kennedy and I volunteered to go on shore in once of the ships
boats. We picked a crew from the soldiers and started for the five
mile row. As we drew near the channel it looked as though we would
have to return. The breakers were roaring and in one continuous
line as far as the eye could reach. But we were bound to go, so
row on, went into them. It was an exciting time, the water boiling
all around and the boat scudding like a race horse without an oar in the
water. We landed safely, found we had to report to Beaufort N.C.
We went on board and immediately put to sea on the 11the we reached
Beaufort, disembarked and by 2 am. the 12 th was bag and baggage at New
Berne, a distance of 36 miles. Expecting to go immediately to the
"front". The morning of the 13 th we received orders to send two
regiments towards Kingston to repair roads and the remaining to proceed
to Morehead City. We arrived that night and the next day the Col.
Comd'g took command of the U.S. Forces at this place, since that time we
have been hard at work doing fatigue duty, forwarding supplies to Gen.
Sherman, clothing, commissery stores----- in quantities that would
surprise a quiet citizen. General Sherman was here on the 16 th,
it is said he went to City Point and has now returned to his command.
Our men work night and day trying to get the supplies forward in time
form Sherman will soon be on the march. Rummors are afloat that
his base is again to be changed further up the coast. It is now
with as a point as to wether we will be left in this department or go on
to join the
Grand Army. Ten days will
tell for I think there will be some movement in that time.
Certainly we shall not feel badly to leave this and heap for in it there
are no attractions. Very few houses and all occupied by government
officials and were it not for the rail road and the cars that are almost
constantly going up and down, making up trains for the "front" it would
be lonesome enough. The wind blows nearly all the time filling the
air with sand, and sifting it into every crack and orvice. We
shall certainly eat our "peck of dirt" for everything we eat, has a
tendency to "grit".
Beaufort directly opposite is
very little more inviting than this place. I sail over nearly
every day to buy mess stores bring "Cateres" ? of the mess and thus make
out to keep myself quite busy.
Recruits and convalescents
returning to their commands are constantly going through. We hear
very little news and only by chance that we get any papers. We are
looking anxiously for some news from General Grant and think the next
two months will make a great change in the affairs of the confederacy.
But I must close. I have nearly recovered from my cold and in the
best of spirits. I shall expect to hear from you soon. Kind
rememberenses to Mr. Van Valkenburgh. Love to Kittie and Aunt
Hoping to see you before another
six months shall have passed. Believe me to be
Yours Very Sincerely
George F. Wilbor