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Pvt. Charles H. Austin
Company E
14th New York Heavy Artillery
Volunteers


11 oclock & alls well

U.S. Sanitary Commission.


Saint Johns College Hospital Annapolis
Maryland Feb. 23

My Dear Wife, Father & Mother

            A few lines informing that I are a prisoner no more     thank god for that & that he has spared my life through it all for I think I can say truly I have seen some Hardship     but I will not undertake to tell you aything about it in a letter     wait till I get a furlough which I shall be able to do in 6 weeks time     I think it will not take longer than that     anyway they give all paroled men a furlough now - so I are sure of one & I hope to find all my Dear friends alive & will     I are anxious to hear from you all & you must write immediately & let me know all the news that you can possibly think of     who is dead   who is who married   who is born     where is Alfred & John & where is Tom Padgham & where is the 14th H. Artty     May I never more see it     How all the folks are   has father sold His Hops   how much he got & Every thing you can think of     tell Ed & Eliza to write     give my love to all     I will write to Hatty myself     I got a letter from fannie Dated Nov 23rd is the latest I heard from you     I sent you a letter Dec 16th was the last I wrote you
          Now you must not think because I are in a hospital I are sick     I are not sick but I are reduced by starvation & Hardship to a skeleton almost     some say I will not weigh over a hundred pounds but I guess I will a little more than that     but I feel well only of course I are weak     but I could not be in a more comfortable place if I was at home     last night was I think as comfortable a night as I ever spent     we got here yesterday & they give me a chance for a good warm bath & then clean clothes & then anice soft bed in a comfortable room with anice fire in & three other beds in     that is all & we 4 men dont know how to take comfort Enough & they give us good nourishing food here & that is all is wanted     to fetch us up it is not medicine I want     it is good grub   an article the confederacy is destitute of Entirely     the poor miserable wretches   they are worse than barbarians     they are capable of doing anything inhuman & low lived & mean     but I will stop for this time     write soon     Direct

Charles H. Austin
Saint Johns College
Hospital Ward 18
Annapolis   Md


P.S. I guess you may let Hatt know I are paroled alive & well     I wont write to her then     good by
god bless you
I shall get pay in about a week

(in pencil) mouchley died in Hospital in Danville     Fannie I got aletter last summer saying you had sent me your likeness but I never got it     if was a photograph & you have got another send it in your letter but dont get any taken on purpose



EDITOR'S NOTES:

Alexander Mouchley (a.k.a. Mitshler) enlisted on August 20, 1863, in Utica, New York at the age of 25 years. He was mustered in as a Private into Company E, 14th New York Volunteer Heavy Artillery Regiment on October 18, 1863, to serve three years.

Alexander Mouchley and Charles Austin were both from Vernon, New York, and both served as Privates in the same company and regiment. They were also both captured on the same day (July 30, 1864) in the Battle of the Crater at Petersburg, Virginia. Both were sent to Danville Prison in Danville, Virginia. Alexander Mouchley died and was buried at Danville Prison in February, 1865, the same month that Charles Austin finally obtained his release.

Annual Report of the Adjutant-General of the State of New York for the Year 1897, Vol. 4, Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co., State Printers, New York and Albany, 1898, Pg. 650.


Charles Austin was released on February 21, 1865 at Aiken's Landing, Virginia.