William Skellie letters to Emma Coe

Suffolk  Nov 16  1862


Dear cousin

          it is Sunday morning and I thought i would answer your letter i recived from you this weeak  I was glad to here from you and here that you ware all well  we are all well here  i be leve i have not seen Rob(Robert L.Coe) or Jim(Rhodes) for  most a weeak  Ebb (Skellie) and me aint with the regment now  thay was three taken out of each company to go and gard a fort this winter and we dont have a chance to see one another every day  Ebenezer and myself was the ones that had to go out of our company  the other one was a boy from Kiantone  the fort is about a half a mile from camp  it aint so far but we can run over and see the boys most eny time  when we aint to woork  we have ben pretty bizsey this weeak a building us a house  we have not got it done yet  you said in your letter it was raining  we had a snow storm here last weeak and it was cold and nastay for to or three days  this weeak it has been very plesent and warm  the wind bloes very hard here this morning and looks as if it was going to snow I hope not til we get our house done  we have got a good cloth tent  but it aint as good as a log house shingled  thay have all got log huts in the regment and fire places built  when we get ours done we shal have a fire place in it

Emma I dont think of much new to write  Mr Eddy was here this last weeak and if you see him he can tell you more news than I can  you said you had a good time a going to school  sometimes i most wished that I was there to go to school this winter but I like soldiering first rate so far  thay is a grate many says that thay are a going home in the spring but I wont say that  then if thay dont I shant be dis apointed   I should like to be in some of your sellers long enough to get what apples and ciders i could drink and eat a little while and I wished that you could see the darkes that we see every day  thay is more of them here then eny thing elce   Mr Eddy thought it was quite a site to see so many nigers  when we first got here i thought it quite a site but ihave seen so many that i dont think nothing about it now   it done me the most good to stand gard down in the viledge in front of Col Fosters quarters  thay was a large flag hung over the side walk where the lades would come a long and i would make them walk under the flag and how thay would sputer  thay was white lades but it made them so mad because thay had to walk under the flag  I dont think of eny more this time  so good by for this time  write soon  when you write a gain direct your letter to  Suffolk Va regment 112  in care of Capt Curtis Co D insted of Washington

This from WR Skellie



Suffolk  Dec 19  1862 


          Dear Cousin Emma  it is Sunday morning and I though I would answer your kind letter I recived from you last night  Roby(Robert) got a letter from your folks last night  I was glad to here that you wure all well  I am well and all the rest of the boys is well  the regment has been off on a three days march  thay got back yesterday morning  the boys was very lame and sore  thay said the shelles flew pretty clost to some of there heads  thay was one of the 6 Massachusets Leutenents was killed and one man in the Indiana regment  was killed and one of the horses had his foot shot off  thay wrant eny of our regment hirt  thay took 13 prisners  one of the boys come over to our shanty this morning  he told me that thay had got marching orders but did not know when thay had got to start  thay may not half to go  I hope not for thay camp just a crost the street from us now  When I wrote to you before  I told you it was bout a half a mile to ther camp; thay mooved over where thay ben now last weeak  If thay should move for good Ebb and me could not go with them  I suppose we will half to stay here to the fort as long as thay ceeping force in this place that is what thay tell us  if we do we wont have such a hard time of it  as them that is in the regment  but never mind  we are all coming home next sumer that is a live   that is what the boys say  we may and we may not  thay are driving the thing along as fast as thay can  Gen bunncide has got fredrekburd  he sheld the place and burnt it down some herd last night   I hope it is so and I geas it is.

          You said you wished that us boys was ther  I would not cair if we was  I would like to have one or to Slay rides  it is warm and plesent here through the day  the nights are cold  I cant think of much news to write  Rob has jus com over to our house   he wants me to go up to the old camp and so I shal half to bring this to a close so good by for this time 

Plese excuse all the mistakes and I will try and do beter next time


When you write again direct your letter to fort McClellan   Suffolk Va

We donít be long to the company any longer that is all you will half to put on


Write Soon

This from your cousin

W R Skellie




Fort McClellan

Feb the 2 /63


          Dear Cousin Emma

I recived your kind letter last night and I now take my pen in hand to let you know how we all get a long  we are all well and was glad to here that your folks ware well  I was sorry that Anna mary had to leve her school on the acount of not having good helth   Emma you said you suppose that Eby and me had and easer time then the boys did in the Company  we do  the boys had to go out on a march last Fryday   thay was to companys went out Thursday night wit artillery and some other regtment   thay had a little fite them that went out at night   them that went out the next morning did not see eny fiting  thay drove the rebs  thay was one man killed that be longed to our regtment  I dont think thay will try to come here   thay got up with in 12 miles of here  then stoped and waited for our men to come and atack them  and I gues thay got enough of our men  the re port is the rebs lost some over a hundred men be sides some wounded  and we lost about 85 wounded and killed but we cant tell much a bout it   the rebs sent in the flag of truce to burrie ther dead   Emma it seems hard to think of it but it cant be helped  Emma I had to leve this to go and drill and I have got through  and my supper eat now I will try and finish it  you said that you had some good times there this winter  we have some good times down here but taint the kind I like so well as I did at home  but I live in hopes that this war wont last all ways   it did not seem much like new Years to me  we plaid ball most all day to pass of the time but I do as you said  Keepe up good courage  I dont think of much more this time so I will bring this to a close and wish you well

                                                                             write soon


This from your Cousin

W R Skellie

Give my best

Respects to all  good by




Camp Suffolk

April 19


          Dear Emma

I recived your letter this morning  it found me as you wished  well  Emma I shal have to tell you that we are having a bit little fun with the rebels now  thay are around us in most all sides   thay drove our pickets fast away a week a go tusday night  we have lived in the fort ever sence a watching them  last monday morning thay drove the pickets clear in and fird at them  thay come up in with in a mile of us when we shot at them from our fort  when we shot we broke there big gun  then thay run back in be hind the woods and have laid there ever sense  our pickets went out again in the after noon  after thay had been drove in  thay rebel pickets and our pickets shout back and forth at one another  thay has been to men killed in our regt  one of them was a corpril Baker from Co E  the other was the ordly Shargent of Co H  thay both was killed out on picket  our boys yell at the rebs & call them all sorts of names  one of our boys exchanged Knews papers with one of the rebels pickets last night  and of our boys had a paper out on picket  he see one of the rebs had one so he got up and shook the paper at the reb and the reb done the same so thay both laid down their guns and went and met each other 

Emma all we want is for them to come up where we can get a good chance at them as less clear out for I dont like to lay out dores nights and wait for them to come in where we are  for we wont leave the forts and rifel pits to go where thay are   thay has 8 companies got to go out some where  out of our regiment with one days raceion   Emma you said that you had made some knew sugar and wished that us boys was at hom so we could have some to eat  I wish so to  but I pruty contented where I am  we have some good times here  but I would like to be at hom a while  I think I could enjoy my self prety well for a while 

I will bring this to a close by wishing you all well and telling you Robert aint here now  thay sent the sick to fortres moneroe  so if you did have a file here thay would be a safe up here  write as soon as you git this


From William Skellie



Ft. Reno July 4 1863


Dear cousin Emma

          I now take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well & that we have left Suffolk   we left there last Sunday  we are now stationed five miles from portsmouth & 6 miles from Nor folk  I went to nor folk & to portsmouth yesterday  thay are very prety placeses  boath of them Emma  the regt left suffolk last sauterday thay have gon kneer Richmond  the last I herd from things  thay was 15 miles from richmond  I hope thay will have a good time  if thay should go in to a battle that thay is some of the boys that you or I will ever see a gain  Emma I supose that you have had a good time to day  if you have  I am glat that thay is some that could celabrate the forth of July  it has not seemed eny like the forth to me but I hope be fore an other forth of July comes that this war may be beat to an end and all of us boys that is in the army may be at home.  Emma I cant think of much to writ but I thought that I would let you know where I was  Eb is with me yet  he is well  it is geting dark so I geass that I will brigh this to a close by wishing you all luck  give my best re spects to your father & mother 

Plese write and let me know how you all get a long as soon as you recive this

direct your letter to Fort Reno

Portsmouth Va

in cair of Lieut Robort Bett

This From Your Cousin

William R. Skellie




Folly Island Nov 1st  1863


Cousin Emma

          it is Sunday night & I have been to meating & have just got back & I now take my pen in hand to answer your kind letter that I recived from you some five weeks a go  I hope you will excuse me for not writing before & I think you will when I tell you my excuse  I was sick when I recived your letter & I have just a round so that I am a doing duty a gain  I cant think of much to write   the boys are all well I went over to Co H yesterday to see rob & Jim  thay was well  Jim was over here last night  I said the Gorge Eddy is not very well  Emma we have to get up at four Oclock & stack our guns in the company street & set up until day lite  I dont lik that much & we have to drill one hour every after noon  we dont have it near as hard as we did when we first came here  O wont I be glad if this war would come to & end before long  I would like to be at home once more where I could see some thing be sides men  I have not seen but one white woman since I have been on this Island  it would seem kinda good to be where I could see some of you folks up there  I guess that I have writen enough of this so I will bring this to a close by wishing you all well  give my best respects to all the folks   plese write as soon as you get this

dont wait as long as I did

This from you Cousin

WR Skellie

to Emma



          Camp Folly Island  Jan 7 1864


Well cousin Emma 

          I recived your kind letter the 5th  I am glad to here from you & that you was well  I came off from guard this morning  I thought it would be a good time to answer your letter for I would not be on duty this four noon  the boys are all well  I went over to company H a little while ago to see Robby & Jim  Jim was on picket  he will have a cold nasty day and night of it for it is raining  I seen yours & your fathers likeness  it looked very nice  i think how I would like to be up there where I could see you all   to have a little sleigh ride with some of you girls  it would seem kinda good to see some of your folks once more   Emma dinner is ready & I shal have to stop writing and go & get it  then I will try & finish your letter   Well Emma I have got my diner  we had beans & coffee & bread for dinner   I have told you what I had for dinner  now I will try to think of some elce to write  but I cant think of much for thay aint nothing  an here it is same as it is there you say that thay want eny knews up there  you say that you are a going to school this winter  I wish I was where I could go to school too  but I aint so thay is know use of talking about it  thay will be a day some time if I live that I shant be tied up quite as close as I be now  so never mind  I dont know but I shal have to stop for the want of something to write  if I could be there I could tel you more there  I can think of to put on paper in a weeak so I will  bring this uninteresting to a close by wishing you all well  give my best respects to all the folks & keep a shair for your self  excuse all poor writing & I will try and do beter next time

plese write soon

from your cousin William

to his cousin Emma



Base Hospital    Jan 9  1864

                             Point of Rocks Va


Cousin Emma

          I have just recived your kind letter & I now seat my self to answer it,  it found me as you wished  well  you wanted to know what for a time I had Christmas  not a very good time  not so good as I should if I could have been to your house  Emma I am glad that Melissa has gon with Johnie for she wanted to go so bad I told her if she could not go with him  if she would wait till I got home a gain  She mite go with me if I live to get out of this war  I am going out there  you said that your folks thought thay could not let little Emma get so far a way from home  maybe thay will make up there mind to let you go when I do  I just got a letter from Anna Mary  She said she was well & haveing a good time  I got one from Melissa a few days a go  She told me that she was a going with Johnie   I had one from Sarah yesterday  She was well & atending singing schools

          Emma  I have gone at my old trade a gain  that is nursing  I herd that the Corps that my regt is in has all left the front here  I dont know whether it is so or not for my part I dont cair  Emma thay have preaching here every night  I have been to Church most every night since I got back here  it does to pas of time  I shall be glad when eight months more rolls a round  then I think my soldering will be done for a while  Emma thay aint much a going on here for one to write a bout

          Emma I think you got your shair of babeys in one night  I dont know as I think of eny more this time  Pleas excuse all mis stakes & poor writing Pleas write soon

This from WR Skellie

to Emma

remember me when you sigh  if it be at mid night  Silent hour and remember me and know that I return that sigh and feel its power

to Emma




  Hampton Hospital,  Sept 7th  1864


          Cousin Emma

it has been a long time since I have hurd from you so I thought I would write you a few lines  I come to the hospital the 25 day of June  I was sick fore or five weeaks when I got better thay set me to nursing.  I have been nursing ever sence  I have had to woork prety hard some of the time  we have had some very sick men in this ward  it was a good deal of woork to take cair of them  we have not got but 21 in the ward now  we have had 50 sick and wounded here  thay have been sent north  I have not felt very well for the last two days  I have had and ouful hard head ake  and in pain in my rite side  I feel a little better to day  I have not hurd from the regt for some time  I dont know what the boys are up to now days but I supose that thay are laying be hind the rifel pits up in front of Petersburg  Emma I cant think of much knews to write  I suppose that our folks have taken .Ö.  thay has been some hard fiting lately  it seems that our side gains every battle latly I would be glad if this war would come to an end this fall  I am in hopes it will  I dont know as I think of much more to write  so I will bring theese uninterestings to a close by wishing you all well  give my best respects to all the friends

plese write soon    Direct your letters US Gen Hospital Hampton Va


This from your cousin WR Skellie


The 112th Regiment was in the fighting at New Market, Chapins Farm, Ft's Harrison and Gilmor.  On September 29th, William and Ebenezer Skellie were wounded in the fighting advancing on Ft. Gilmor.  Ebenezer was 'shot causing immediate amputation to a leg' and continued forward with the colors of the Regiment, he was shot twice more in this attack and finally fell at the enemy breast works.  For this action Ebenezer Skellie was awarded the Medal of Honor.  Eb Skellie was in the Color Guard, and in Hydes' History of the Regiment, on this day he says, " The color guard were severely cut up". Ebenezer survived the war and spent many months in the New York City Central Park Hospital.  William was wounded in the arm and was able to get a furlough home.


Base Hospital  Point Rocks Va  Dec 7th  1864


         Cousin Emma

I now seat my self  to write you a few lines to let you know that I have got back to my Southern home a gain  I got back last Sunday after noon  I left home the next tausday after I was to your house  We went to Singing School from your house  we had a good time after  I carried Nelisen home & went home with Bill Eddy & staid all night.  Emma I had my picture taken when I got to Elmira & sent it to you  when you get this write & tell me if you got it or not  Emma I have had a good time a coming back home

I stopped to see Ebenezer  he is geting a long first rate  Emma it tires my arm so to write that you will have to excuse me if I dont write you a very long letter this time  Please excuse this poor writing & I will try and do better next time

Pleas write soon

this from WR Skellie

Direct your letter to the

Base Hospital  Point Rocks Va

Emma  I want you to send me your picture if you will



After the 112th fought at Ft. Fisher North Carolina, Jim Rhodes had been wounded by a shell fragment to the thigh, and Bill Skellie is back in the hospital.


Feb 19th  1865

US Gen Hospital  Hampton Va


Cousin Emma

       it is with pleasure that I now tak my pen in hand to write you a few lines to let you know where I am & how I am   I am well with the exeptions of my arm  it has broke open a gain & thay has been three pices of bone come out  Emma Jim Rodes is here  he was wounded just a bove his knee  he is so he can walk a round some it was done with a pice of a shell  thay is a good many boys here that was wounded at fort fisher  I come here from the Base Hospital last monday  thay was a bout 5 hundred come from that hospital down here & thay was a lot more come to day  Emma I am a notion to try to get an other furlough for 30 days  Emma I have not much knews to write  I supose that you are having lots of snow & cold weather up there this winter  I should like to be there through the sugar season  it is warm & plesent here to day  Ebenezer has gon north  he is at Central Park New York City hospital   Emma I dont want you to forget a bout that picture you primised to send me  has Melissa got home yet   I have not hurd from her since she went east  I supose that you are waiting to go out to see Sarah   when I get home next fall if I get home with a hook hand  I intend to go out there next winter

I shall be glad when 7 months more passes a round  I guess I aint the only one that longs for that time to come  I dont know as I have eny more to write so good by  give my best respects to your folks       Write soon & except this from your Cousin William R Skellie

to Emma Coe 




                                         March 4th  1865

                                  US Gen Hospital  Hampton Va


Cousin Emma

        I recived your letter this after noon  I now seat my self to answer it  Emma I all so recived one from Mother  She said that Ebenezer had just been there & John had gone to carry him up home  Emma just as I had got this commenced I had to stop & go to supper but it want hardly worth going after   it was only a cup of tea & a slise of bread & bout a half a spoon full of apple saus   I was down to see Jim a little while a go  he got a letter from your father to day  I was glad to here that Ebenezer had got home  it has been some stormy here to day  I went to church a while this after noon  thay is going to be a lecture here this evening  it is a bout our last victories  the brass band is going to play & sing  When you see Melissa  tell her that I should like to hear from her

              Emma  I had another pice of bone taken out of my arm last night  I told the docter that if he kept pulling me to pices every little while that I could soon send my self home in a letter  I supose that I could get a furlough & come home a gain if I reley set a bout it  I hardly think it will pay to come home a gain till my time is out  it is only six months more now  I think its a chance if I can cary a gun with my arm a gain before my time is out  you said that you was having a good time this winter & wished I was there  I wish so to  but it wont do no good to wish  so I will take it cool till next fall   I dont think of eny more this time  so good by

Write soon

From William to Emma 




                                       April 11  1865

                                 Hampton Hospital Va


Cousin Emma        your long looked for letter come to me to day  I was glad to here that you was well  yours found me well  Emma we get good knews from the front every day  the knews came Sunday night that Old Lee had Surrndred his army & the news come here to day that Johnson had Surrndred his army & thay are firing salutes over the knews now  Emma I think this war thus been going on now for the last fore long years is bout wound up at last  if it should be settled up I dont exspect to get home till my time is out & have got just fore months more to stay from to day 

Emma we have had rather raining wethers here for a day or so  I hurd to day that Gen Grant had isued an order that thay should not send eny more of the soldiers that was in the hospital to the front  but I dont beleve it  I receved a letter from my regt to day  thay has been a good meny changes in the Regt since I left there

Jim Rhodes is here yet  Emma I have told you all the knews I can think of  so I will bring this to a close by wishing you  well  My best respects to your folks so good by  write soon & I hope it wont be a grate long while when we shant have to write to each other to find out how each is

except this from your

cousin WR Skellie to Emma 



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