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

picket Fort. Near Richmond
Va. June 8th 1864
My Dear Wife

            A few lines on a dirty piece of paper to let you know I are quite well & hope you are the same. I came out on picket last night was on foot all night & relieved this morning & are now with what is called the reserve picket. we expecte to return to camp this evening & so I thought I would write to loved one this afternoon & send it in the morning    alfred was well yesterday when I saw him     he is tough & feels well     your mother wrote like she thought he did not tell her the truth about how he was & how he felt but he told me he wrote nothing but the truth & he does feel well & his feet stand it well     alfred wrote the besieging of richmond had begun     that is not so, we are not near enough for that     he was told so but it was not so .. Now darling keep up good courage & I do not see whats to hinder your coming out all right about that baby     if that old fellow did say what he did I hope you will look to the lord for guidance in all things & for the forgiveness of all your sins & for comfort & put your trust in christ as the Savior of sinners & I hope the Lord will bless you & me & grant to spare your life & mine till I return & may we live many happy years together    give my love to your folks & I hope your father will continue to grow better till he entirely recovers & now I dont want you to work out doors & if your mother goes out to work I dont want you to work & hurt yourself in the house    take good care of yourself    if I was there you would see I would be carefull what I had you do but I are not & you must be careful off yourself    our regt is laying behind entrenchments at a pretty safe distance off except from shells & we have cross works to protect from them    but god directs every bullet ball & shell & I leave it with him    now darling good bye god bless you & keep you & save you is the prayer of your affectionate Husband



Charles H. Austin (abt. 1843- Jan. 10, 1910) enlisted on December 21, 1863 in Vernon, Oneida County, New York. He was 20 years old at the time he enlisted and was listed as being 5'8" in height, with a light complexion, blue eyes, and light hair. He was mustered in as a Private in Company E, 14th New York Volunteer Heavy Artillery Regiment on January 04, 1864.

Charles Austin had previously immigrated to America from England about 1850 and married Frances M. Sanders of Clinton, Kirkland Township, Oneida County, New York sometime between 1860 and 1863. In the month leading up to this letter his regiment had seen action in the Battle at Wilderness, the Battle at Spotsylvania Courthouse, and the Battle at Cold Harbor; seeing heavy action in the last two of these engagements.

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. 346.