The last letter from
Elizabeth H. Tift Wooster
to her son Oren

Lysander, Sept. 24th, 1864

Dear Son

I suppose you will think that I have
forgotten you. I do feel guilty in not writing
to you in a fortnight. I went to Oswego last
Saturday. I began a letter while there but your
Aunt Harriet could not stop talking long enough
to let me write. I give it up until I come home.
We got your letter and picture am very glad to get
it. it looks as you used to only older and more
like a man every one knew it as soon as they saw
it. Mrs. Peek says she wants one if you have some
more taken when you get your pay have them taken
large so as to frame them. I guess you are not very
proud of Uncle Sam's livery I see by your picture
you have slipped out of part of them

They had a letter from Milo while I was there he
was at Washington then but the Reg was going
to City Point right to the front Milo will see
active duty soon I think they will push those one
years men right through and save the others I saw
Mrs. Parsons while there she has what I call troubel
Silas was in the Wilderness fight his Reg was driven
back Several died from exhaustion the last
that was seen of him he cried oh dear put his
hand to his side his comrade asked if he was wounded
he said no but was tired out and would go no
farther he laid down on the ground that was the
last that was seen of him the ground was burned
over where he fell his mother went almost crazy
about it the uncertainty of his fate wether he was
burned alive as a great many wounded were or
died or been taken prisoner wears on his mother.
She is not like the same person. [*]

Uncle Dwight come here last night took supper and
breakfast with us and has gone on to Syracuse
as delagate to a democratic convention what do the
folks down there think of the nomination of Mc
Clellen and the prospects of his success (answer
this question the best you can your father told me
to ask it) I am not very hopefull of his success
there is such an immense power against him Old
Abe will not neglect to use every means in
his power to keep his place

I am sorry to tell you that the drafted State guard
have got out of it thier exemption papers cleared them
it is too bad for they was the right ones they would
never serve thier Country in any other capacity
We are all well at present and hope this will find you
the same I was in hopes you would come home when
the Dr did I hope you will have a pleasant time while
the Dr is gone do you have any duty to do while
he is gone I think you are cutting around with
the upper ten I hope it will be a benefit to you
in the future eleven months and you will be
a free man I have been thinking a good deal
lately about your three years time I am afraid
that they will hold you from the time you was mustered
into the United States when you was on Staten Island
tell me what you think about it. it troubles me
do you think you will get your pay before election
Edith had her fortune told at Syracuse the woman
told her about you she said you had not been payed
in a long time but you would get it this month
or next Edith forgot which your Father has not
gathered his tobacco yet I am afraid it will not
be very good. Ed did not prepare the ground right
Mrs Peek has got a present Jim come by express I
guess it is a set of furs I must go down and see he seems
to be making money at something good bye from your mother
E. H. Wooster

[* Mrs. Parsons' worst fears were realized. Silas E. Parsons was a private in the 147th NY Infantry, and the following is taken from The Annual Report of the Adjuutant General of the State of New York for the Year 1904, Serial #39, Volume #42, Page 154:
"PARSONS, SILAS E.--Age, 19 years. Enlisted, August 23, 1862, at Oswego, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. B, September 22, 1862; transferred to Co. K, December 1, 1862; killed in action, May 5, 1864, at the Wilderness, Va."]
Copyright © Kenneth Jennings Wooster
All rights are reserved.
Last Modified: February 13, 1999; December 23, 2002.