With much of the U.S. focused on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, it seems letters and diaries from soldiers are being discovered in attics on an almost daily basis. Obviously, however, not all letters are alike. That is why we were particularly excited when we learned that a letter written by a soldier serving with the 29th Connecticut Regiment of Infantry (Colored) was available. There is little known documentation of this historically significant regiment, so we were anxious to add it to our collection.
Lewis Hazard was born in Winchester, Connecticut, about 1840. He enlisted in Company G of the 29th Regiment on January 5, 1864, describing himself as a farmer living in Glastonbury, Connecticut. This particular letter was written from Beaufort, South Carolina, on May 20, 1864, to his mother Louisa who was living in New Hartford, Connecticut.
The letter reads, without any spelling or grammatical changes, in part,
“my Dear mother, i now take my pen in hand to Let you kno that I am as well as usal and bill is to and i must say to you that i am rdused [reduced] to the ranks [from corporal] and i Like my persisian [position] much better i am as i must say to you that the privates get the same pay as the oncomissioned officers do and i think that i had rather be a private for the oncomissioned officers have it heard [hard] to be running hear and there on gard and so on first corpral of the gard one day and corpral of the perleise [police] the other and so it keeps you A going and they say that Richmond is taken [untrue] we got the news yesterday the 19 teenth and the battries fired their cannons and the artilary fired to and they say General Butler took it with 12 thousands Blacks and yesterday we sined the pay rolle for 700 dollers from the Government and they say the state of connecticut is to pay us 600 and that will make us 13 dollers . . .”
Lewis was killed in action near Richmond on October 27, 1864.
We have a large collection of letters and diaries from Connecticut men who served in the Civil War. You can check our web site at http://www.chs.org/finding_aides/kcwmp/index.htm to read a description of some of our collections, or check our library catalog and eMuseum databases on our web site http://www.chs.org to see what other materials, including more diaries and letters, as well as photographs, uniforms and military accouterments that we have available for research.