Year's End, 1862

Part 3; Loose Ends

13th MA Letter Book - Executive Correspondence

Pictured is a letter written by 2nd Lieutenant Walter H. Judson to Massachusetts Governor John Andrew in November, 1861.    It is just one of many letters and documents filed away in the care-worn volume of correspondence concerning the 13th Massachusetts Regiment in the Massachusetts State Archives; Executive Correspondence Collection.  The trail of notations accompanying the letter, (on the left) mention Judson's death.

Table of Contents

 Introduction - Whats On This Page

It seemed appropriate to add a few bits of primary source material here, to the End of the Year pages.  The impetus for the page was to share on my website, some of the original Company I records in my files.  Copies of these files were generously sent to me by the owner, Mr. Richard Humphrey.  While compiling the Adjutant General's report of discharged men on the previous page, it occurred to me I had corresponding documents for nearly all of the Company I men listed.  Ten letters of discharge and two notifications of death, are posted here.

To fill out the content, I included a brief biography of Lieutenant Walter H. Judson, whose fate had long puzzled me.  There was much more to the man than the empty record he left with the 13th Massachusetts.  After Judson's story, which kicks things off,  I added the story of Lieutenant Edwin Frost, for contrast.  Frost's story is representative of many.  Several of the original soldiers of the regiment were discharged due to disability in the Summer or Fall of 1862, often caused by chronic diarrhea, or some other chronic ailment, or fatigue, brought on by harsh campaigning.   Often the ailing soldier's affliction  demanded rest, which could not be granted in the field.  If they were lucky enough and recovered, whatever the cause of their discharge, many of the former volunteers desired to re-enlist.  Many did. The war was the epoch event of their era.  Judson never recovered from his pains.  Frost did, but was disappointed in other ways.

PICTURE CREDITS:   The pictures of Edwin Frost came via an on-line auction house. Sylvanus Parker's picture is, I believe from the Mass MOLLUS collection at the Army Heritage Education Center in Carlisle, PA.  BothIMAGES have been EDITED in PHOTOSHOP.

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Lieutenant Walter H. Judson


As part of the end of the year summary, it seemed fitting to add a few bits of information about some of the early officers about whom not much is said on the pages of this website.  Chief among them is 2d Lieutenant Walter H. Judson of Company I, presented here.

There are a lot of “little" stories of personal jealousies between the original officers that have emerged through my ever expanding library of source material on the regiment. These feelings, for the most part faded with the passage of time in the post-war years.  But the effects of these petty jealousies created hard feelings during the war years.   I may aggregate some of these stories into an essay one day, but for now, the following two tales, hint at some of the conditions that caused prejudices among the rank and file during the war.  They also add some perception of the various fortunes that befell many of the eager recruits of the early war.

2nd Lieutenant Walter H. Judson, Company C

Among the names of the original officers who left Boston for the seat of war in the 13th Regiment, is 2nd Lieutenant Walter H. Judson of Company C.  No mention occurs of Judson throughout the early history of the regiment, and then suddenly in November 1862, he is dismissed from the service.  Just as suddenly his name appears in one of Warren H. Freeman's letters home.  On April 20, 1863,  he writes to his father,“Walter H. Judson is dead;  he had been ill for some time past.”  And that is all.

Who was Judson? Two documents concerning him exist in the files of Colonel Leonard's personal papers at the Gilder-Lehrman Institute in New York.  The first is a cryptic letter to Colonel S.H. Leonard from Judson himself dated November 25, 1862.

GLC3393 # 58  Used with Permission.

Annapolis Md
25 Nov 1862

Colonel : —

      I report myself here in the Parole Camp.

     My health is failing Every day instead of improving.  I can obtain no leave of absence although never before now had I applied.  My necessity therefore is to resign.

      My trouble is pronounced to be Enlargement of liver and heart.

      I have written to you many times, beside making regular reports, but with no reply whatever.

Always with high respects &c
Walter H. Judson

Col S. H. Leonard
          13th Reg Infantry Masstts

The second document on file is an extract of General Order #23, dated January 18, 1863.

Rec'd Hd Qtrs Left Grand Division Jan. 18, 1863.

War Department,
Adjutant General’s Office,
Washington, January 15, 1863.

        No 23.


8.  2 Lieut. W. H. Judson,  13th Massachusetts Vols Having tendered his resignation, is mustered out of service on account of disability and desertion from his command October 10th 1862, as reported on the rolls of his company

By order of the Secretary of War:
        L. Thomas
        Adjutant General

I was fortunate to come across a biography of Walter H. Judson, who it turns out was a graduate of Brown University.  His true life story is far more interesting than his service record suggests.  His service with the 13th Mass., proved a sad ending to a stought hearted man.  In hopes of restoring a little luster to his record, I present the biography here.

Brown University in the Civil War
A Memorial

Henry S. Burrage, Providence,  R.I., 1868'
(p. 81 - 86).

Class of 1847.

Biography Written by Reuben Aldridge Guild, B.U. 1847.

Walter Herbert Judson was born in Boston, Massachusetts, February 14, 1824.  In early infancy he lost his mother; hence he was deprived of any of those influences and associations which render childhood happy and home attractive.  During his boyhood he attended the public schools in his native city.  Restless, however, and fond of adventure, he went to sea at the age of sixteen, as a sailor before the mast.  After spending several years abroad, visiting various ports in Africa and in South America, he returned to Boston.  Resolved now to secure a liberal education, he repaired to an academy in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, where he commenced anew his studies, preparatory to a college course.  In the Fall of 1843, he entered the Freshman Class in Brown University.  Notwithstanding the imperfect manner in which he had reviewed his classics and mathematics, he took a good position as a scholar, graduating the twelfth in rank, in a class of thirty-three members.  He was best known among his fellows, however, as a writer.  The sprightly lyrics which he contributed to the “Mirror,” a semi-monthly periodical, established by the men of his class, gave him a college reputation as a poet of no ordinary genius.  His humorous lines, in praise of the Tutor in Mathematics, commencing —

“The Freshmen of New Haven
Count a hundred boys I hear;
Let them take our little catalogue,
And point at it and sneer,”

will long be remembered by those to whom they were more especially addressed.  These “Mirror” papers, which it was my privilege to edit, are now before me, and I find a melancholy pleasure in looking them over, and in perusing the memorials which they furnish of a departed friend.  It is worthy of mention, that Mr. Judson delivered a poem at Commencement, entitled, “The Victories of War and the Victories of Peace.”

The two years immediately succeeding his graduation, he spent in the Dane Law School, at Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was under the direct instruction of Professor Greenleaf and of Chief Justice Parker.  In 1849, he received the degree of  LL.B. at the hands of Edward Everett, then President of Harvard University.  Having passed a year in the office of Ellis Gray Loring, Esq., of Boston, he was admitted to the Suffolk Bar in October, 1850.  He at once opened an office, and entered upon the practice of his profession.  The following extract from a letter dated July 25, 1853, and addressed to the writer, in reply to a circular which he had issued as Secretary of his class, finds a fitting place in this sketch as it tells briefly the story of Judson’s life in his own words: —

“I lost my mother when I was but a few weeks old.  I have never possessed a home in my life.  From my childhood I have been a wanderer, either by sea or land.  The years immediately preceding the commencement of my college life, I passed at sea, as a sailor before the mast.  In this capacity I visited many of the ports of Africa, and of South America.  Entered College with the yellow stains of tar at the roots of my finger nails — stains which at once attracted the attention of Tutor Frieze, who conducted my preliminary examination.  This examination was sufficiently lame and unsatisfactory to the grave Tutor and to myself, for my reviews had been very hasty and superficial, and I was obliged to rely, with only an ordinarily retentive memory, upon knowledge acquired years before. Hence, for a long time after my admission to College, I labored hard, — indeed far more severely than any of my classmates suspected, — to maintain even a respectable position among those who had come to College direct from the drill of the academy.

“My life has been one of labor with my hands as well as with my head.  I have always possessed a taste for practical knowledge of every sort.  I can mow, and rap, and make fences and milk cows.  I can splice a rope, tie a reef joint, steer a ship ‘scudding,’ send down a royal yard, and at a pinch make my own clothes.  I have lived long enough to discover that learning without practical knowledge and good sense is powerless, but that with these it is invincible.  I am now a lawyer, with a growing practice, ambitious, but not impatient, and sure of success if I deserve it.”

About this time Mr. Judson became much interested in military matters, and connected himself with the Boston Light Infantry, — a company more commonly known as the “Tigers.”  At the annual festivals of this company, he seems to have been the popular poet, producing inspiring lyrics similar to those of which he was distinguished while in College.  The following lines were read by him on one of these occasions : —

You have often heard of a wonderful knife,
That was owned by a lady advanced in life,
Which had nine new handles and six new blades,
And excited the laugh of the lady’s maids ;
But the lady declared with obdurate will,
That her knife was the same old jack-knife still.

You have often heard of a wonderful ship,
That sunk Johnny’s cruisers, and gave him the slip,
Which has had new planking, and ribs, and keel. —
And yet she can dance to the storm-king’s reel ;
She has borrowed the oaks from many a hill,
But the ship is the same “Old Ironsides” still!

You have sometimes heard of a wonderful corps,
Equipped by the fathers in days of yore,
Who first wore helmets, and boots to the knee,
And guarded the roots of the “Liberty Tree;”
The war smoke lifted from Bunker Hill,
But the corps was the same old company still !

They borrowed a badge to aid their cause,
A tawny creature with threatening claws,
You may hear his growl at the twilight’s fall
In the lonely jungles of the far Bengal;
     The yeoman’s rife has ceased to kill,
      But the badge was the same “Old Tiger” still!

The veteran corps of Ninety-eight
Have doffed the helmet and boots of late;
They have donned the skin of the Northern bear, —
And the tidy black has a modern air, —
       But change the skin as much as you will,
      The creature’s the same “Old Tiger” still !

There’s talk of a movement, new and grand,
That changes the front of the old command, —
That gives to the corps a separate life,
And widens the field of honor’s strife;
     But whether the change be for good or ill,
     The badge is the same “Old Tiger” still !

An honest purpose, and heart and hand,
Union, a love for our native land, —
This is the standard our wishes crave, —
The spotless standard the yeoman gave !
     And whether in life, or whether in dill,
     The veteran spirit is with us still !

Let us pledge in silence the men who bled —
The Day and the Name of the mighty dead !
A growl for the minions of Old King George !
Nine cheers of the heroes of Valley Forge !
   Then up boys, up ! nine cheers, with a will !
    The “Tiger” spirit is burning still !

Soon after the breaking out of the rebellion, Mr. Judson, with many of his comrades of the Boston Light Infantry, entered the service of the United States.  July 16, 1861, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, and assigned to Company C, Thirteenth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, Colonel Samuel H. Leonard.  The nucleus of this regiment was the Fourth Battalion of Rifles, Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, a favorite corps in Boston at that time.  The Battalion was raised to a full regiment in the Summer of 1861, while at Fort Independence, Boston Harbor.  The Thirteenth was ordered to Washington July 30, 1861.  From the time of its arrival in the field, until the Spring of 1862, the regiment was engaged in patrol and outpost duty.  Previous to January 1, 1863, it was in action at the second battle of Bull Run, at Antietam and at Fredericksburg.  During the greater part of his period of service, Lieutenant Judson was an invalid.  In the Fall of 1862, while attempting to rejoin his regiment at the front, from which he had been absent on account of sickness, he was taken prisoner near Culpepper, Virginia, and carried to Richmond.  In consequence of his failure to report, it not being known at head-quarters that he had fallen into the enemy’s hands, his name was dropped from the regimental rolls.  After an imprisonment of several months he was exchanged, but his health had become so seriously impaired that it was no longer possible for him to resume the active duties of the service. Indeed, it was evident that his life was drawing to a close.  Desiring, if possible, to see his home once more, he started for Massachusetts.

On reaching New Haven, Connecticut, he found himself too ill to proceed further, and left the cars.  Reason was now almost gone, and his strength rapidly failed him.   A classmate, Professor George P. Fisher, D.D., of Yale College, kindly cared for the sufferer so long as life remained.  He died on the 10th of March, 1863, leaving a widow, but no children.

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Lieutenant Edwin R. Frost, Company E

Letters on file at the State Archives in Massachusetts, Executive Correspondence, show that the unecessarily harsh conditions, misguidedly imposed upon the rank and file by Major-General Irvin McDowell, caused more than one officer's resignation due to sickness.  Lieutenants John C. Sanderson, and Edwin Frost both resigned July 22nd 1862, under these circumstances.  Sanderson later recovered and was successful in obtaining a new commission as Captain in the veteran 57th Mass. Volunteer Regiment.  Two letters of 2nd Lieutenant Frost are on file in the Executive Correspondence Collection.  They are dated two years apart. The first shows that Lieutenant Frost tried to re-enter the 13th Mass when he regained his health.  In this first letter he sums up the circumstances of his military career cut short.

Letter of Edwin Frost, November 10th, 1862

Letters on File at the Massachusetts State Archives, Executive Letter Book Volumes 18 & 36.

Boston Nov. 10th 1862 —

To His Excellency John A. Andrew
                                                                Governor and Commander in Chief.

The undersigned would respectfully represent that he had the honor of being commissioned by Your Excellency as 2nd Lieut. in the 13th Regt Mass. Vols., that he served faithfully in that capacity for one year, where in June last he was prostrated by sickness & Camp Fever and unable at that time to obtain a sick leave of absence on account of a Gen’l Order issued by Genl Mc Dowell forbidding all leaves of absence he was compelled to resign although against his inclination in order to obtain proper medical treatment.  The Regt was at that time at Manasses, destitute of tents, with no Hospital Tent, & the Surgeon found it impossible to obtain quarters in private dwelling.  I have now fully recovered

p.  2.

my health and am desirous of again seeing active service.  I would therefore petition Your Excellency to appoint me to a commission as a line officer in any Mass. Regiment.

Very respectfully
                                    Edwin R. Frost

In additon to the accompanying recommendations I can refer to Brig. Genl Robert Cavelin & Col. John Kurtz of the 23rd Regt.

 Governor John Andrew's note filed with this letter states the following :


Edwin R. Frost

App. for recommission
& recommendation

Executive Department.

 Boston Dec. 4. 1862

Respectfully referred to Col. Leonard with the request to report whether Frost could and ought to be recomissioned  and whether he can, if so, have a place in the 13th, without impertinance[?]  to others.*

Please return this to this file of this Dept.

 J. Andrews

Gov of Mass

*Governor Andrews had horrendous handwriting.  Impertinance seems like the most fitting word to the scratchmarks of this note. — B.F.

Frost was not re-instated to his former rank in the 13th Regiement.  Two years later, a second  letter of Edwin's was forwarded  to Governor Andrew by a friend of the family, Mr. Timothy Davis.  Davis must have had some influence, because he personally wrote a foreward to the letter on behalf of Edwin.

Boston Oct 1st 1864

My dear Governor

I have jst been asked to peruse a letter recd by the father of the writer.  I proposed to him to send the letter to you.  I am sure that you will do justice to a very worthy man.  Frost is a worthy man.

Truly & Respectfully

Your Svt

Timothy Davis

Letter of Edwin Frost, September 28, 1864

In this second letter, Edwin laments that he has failed to gain a promotion while serving in the 3rd Mass Heavy Aritllery, posted at Fort Berry outside Washington, D.C.  The letter is interesting for it touches upon the character of some of his former comrades in the 13th Mass., where there existed a lot of jealousy among the original officers.  This was true with Major Gould, mentioned below, and Lieutenant Charles B. Fox, whom with others, were "outside" the 4th Battalion clique of officers.

Fort Berry, Va.
September 28th 1864

Dear Father

2nd Lieutenant Edwin R. Frost, Company E

I received this afternoon yours dated the 26th.  Its contents made me feel pretty bad.  It seems to be my fate to be misrepresented and misunderstood.  I wish that I could have a chance to tell Gov. Andrew of my career in the 13th.  Thank God that I feel that I did my whole duty, never disgraced my uniform, and with a clean concience can hold my head far above those who maligned me and injured my reputation when I was not in the bodily health to defend myself.  It is too bad that I have not some friend at home who is cognizant of the facts to intercede for me and place me rightly before the Governor.  Col. Gould would, for he understood the whole of it, but he poor man, has gone where the malice of those same men, which also directed against him, can never reach him.*  Joe Colburn knows more about it than any one, but even if his name had any influence I should hesitate to call on him again, on account of his selfish indifference.

I have written to Hon. Geo. A. Shaw to speak a good word for me, but if old scores are to be brought against me, he could not refute them as he knows nothing of the matter.

p. 2.

I have given up trying for promotion and shall make no more efforts, but as for resigning in case I am left in the lurch — No!  I will stick to the Co. and I only[?]  hope that we may go to the Front so that Gov. Andrew can see who are the officers that can be depended upon.

I have heard more disaffection expressed by the officers of these Unattached Cos. since we have been out, then I ever heard all the time I was in the service before.  They seem only to care for their precious person and desire to keep out of danger.  There are a few manly exceptions such as Ned Thomas, but I would not give a fig for most of them when it comes to an action.

Addie writes me that she does not wish me to be promoted.  That she had rather have me plain Edwin Frost than a General.  She thinks, poor child, that it higher rank I should have increased danger.  She has just arrived here from Chicago, and begs hard to come out here if only to stay a week.  But it is best for her to wait until it is settled where we are to be.  I am glad that Mr. Dairy is coming out, as Willie has heard nothing from his application as yet.  He gets along very well here though & his expenses will not amount to anything.  I don’t count any on Capt. Whitings influence ever although I know or think that he is very friendly to me, but I have told you my opinion of his character and time

p. 3.

has only confirmed it.  Find out all the particulars if you can about Runney’s care.  What Mr. Emery, is going with you as[?] the Paymaster ?   I suppose you have had a grand time with the S. O. of  O. F. lately.  I wrote to Bill Brabiner about the prospect of my getting a bounty & asked him to confer with you.  I have never rec’d a cent you know, & both Capt. W. & Lt. Ball have received local bounties.  Ask Bill to go to Foster Morse in Roxbury (City Hall) who will help him all he can, as he is an intimate friend of Willie’s.  Can’t think of anything else to write.   Has Georgie got any Rabbits now ?  Willie told me about the loss of his Pets.  Tell Minnie that I have been on the point of writing to her several times but have so much writing to do hat I have repeatedly deferred it.  But she gets all the news probably from my letters to you which must be considered as belonging to the whole family.  I will try and write to her personally though.  How is Mother’s health since she came back from Lynn.  Tell her that I must be thinking of Winter clothes soon.  With love to you all, also to Ned, Custiss, Rebecca &c, in which Willie joins me I remain

Your affectionate & despondent Son


*Colonel Gould [59th MA] referred to in Frost's letter, was formerly Major Gould of the 13th.  He had died of shock in August, 1864,  following the amputation of his leg, the result of  a wound received at the Battle of the Crater.  Joseph Colburn was formerly 1st Lt./Capt. Colburn, 13th MA, Company E.  He transferred to the 59th MA with Gould.

The efforts of Mr. Davis in forewarding this letter to Governor Andrew may have had some effect.  Records show Frost mustered into the 3rd Mass. Heavy Artillery a 2nd Lieutenant, and mustered out a 1st-Lieutenant.

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Notes From Company I

Mr. Richard Humphrey of Virginia, is one of the earliest contacts I made when I began searching for original source material on the 13th Massachusetts Regiment.  He had a collection of original Company I books that once belonged to Captain Moses Palmer.  He came across the collection one day, long ago, when the patrons of a Virginia military antiques dealer showed  little interest in a Yankee unit.  Mr. Humphrey purchased the entire collection at a discount and began his own journey of discovery about this brave man and his brave company of volunteer soldiers.  He generously shared with me several copies of original papers within the books of his collection. He even invited me to his home in 2006, to view the material.

The following letter transcriptions were written from various military hospitals, ordering the discharge of Company I men for disability, or death, during the year 1862.

The Death of Osceola Newton

“Patent Office” Hospital
Washington, D.C., May 21st, 1862.

Sir :

I have to inform you that O.W. Newton, Co. I, 13th Mass. Vols., died at this Hospital Monday, May 19th 1862.  The following is the list of his effects:

1 pair pants
1 Dress Coat
3 shirts.
1 overcoat.
1 drafting case and implements.
2 blankets.
1 towel.
1 pr. gloves.
1 vest.
1 Watch.
$30 in treasury notes.
1 port Coppying press.
1 portfolio.

very respectfully yours,
J.C. C. Downing
Ast. Surg. U.S.A. in charge.

To Capt. com’d’g Co. I, 13th Reg’t. Mass. Vols.

Patent Office Building

The huge Patent Office Building, used as a hospital during the Civil War.

Discharge of John M. Pierce

U.S. Army Convalescent Hospital
Baltimore, June 3d 1862.


I have to inform you that Private John M. Pierce was discharged from Service May 8th 1862 on Surgeons certificate of disability.

I am Respectfully
            Your obdt Servt

R W Pease
Surg. 18th N.Y. Cav.
In Charge Hosp

Comdg Officer
            Co I. 13th Mass Vols

Patterson Park in Baltimore, is located on a bluff that was a fortified miltary encampment that helped defeat the British during the War of 1812. The city purchased several acres in 1850 to add to the public space created in 1827 when the Patterson family donated 6 acres of land to the Mayor. The military again utilized the site during the Civil War.  All parks and open spaces were earmarked for troop occupation.  Camp Washburn was established on Hampstead Hill, and later a hospital - Camp Patterson Park - was set up in 1862.  The 110th N.Y. drew up a plan of the layout.  The property is a State Park today.  Click to View Larger.  The hospital was dismantled in 1864.

Plan of the 110th NY Camp at Patterson Park, MD

Discharge of John F. Rose


July 9, 1862.

Sir :  I have to inform you that Priv John F Rose of Company I, 13 Regiment Mass, has this day been discharged from US. Service on Surgeons Certificate of disability.

Very respectfully,

P I. Conner [?]
Ass't Surg. U.S.A., in charge of Hospital.

To the Commanding Officer
I, 13 Regiment. Mass.

Carver Hospital, Washington, D.C.

Carver Hospital, Washington, D.C.

Discharge of Frank Prescott

U.S. General Hospital, Judiciary Square,
Washington, D.C., July 29 1862

Captain Commanding Company. I   13 Mass Vol
Sir : I have to inform you that Frank Prescott, Company I was discharged from the service of the United States, on the 28th day of July 1862, on Surgeon's Certificate of Disability.

Your obed't Servant,

D.W. Cheen— [?]
                            Or Asst. Surgeon U.S. A.,
                                                           Officer of the day.

The following articles of Government Property were left by him:

One knapsack    Haversack    Canteen

Discharge of William W. Willis

Note the Surgeon's certificate declares the name William “H.” Willis, but the regimental roster and Mass. A.G. say William “W.” Willis.

U.S. Army Genl. Hospl. Fairfax Seminary Va.
August 6" 1862.


I have to inform you that William H. Willis a Corporal of Company ( I ) 13" Regt. Mass Vols was this day discharged from the Service at U.S. Army Genl. Hospl. Fairfax Seminary Va. on Surgeon's Certificate of Disabilty, By Order of Brig. Genl. Wadsworth.

                                                   David P. Smith
                                                        Surgeon in charge


Capt. Co. ( I )
         13: Regt. Mass Vols

Fairfax Seminary Hospital

Fairfax Seminary Hospital

Discharge of Lyman H. Gale

I.  13. Mass. V. I.

Head Quarters Military Commander,

Columbus, O., Oct 4, 1862.


L. H. Gale, of your Company, was discharged on the 3 day of Octbr. 1862, on Surgeon's Certificate, according to the provisions of General Order No. 36 of the War Department.

I am Captain,
             Very Resectfully,
                      Your ob't serv't,

Albert B. Dad [?]
Capt. 15th U.S. Infantry, Military Commander.
                  JWM [?]

Discharge of Private Algernon S. Smith

Headquarters Military Commander.

Philadelphia, Pa., Oct 14 1862.

Officer Commanding,

Co. I         
13th Reg't.
Mass Vols.

Sir :

Private Algernon S. Smith of Co. I, 13th Regt. Mass Vols. was this day discharged from the service of the United States, on Surgeon's Certificate of Disability, by order of Brig. Genl. Montgomery, Military Commander in the City of Philadelphia.

Yours, Respectfully,

J.K. Freese
                                   Assistant Adjutant General.

Death of William H. Christopher

Ascension Gen Hospital
Washington D.C.
            Oct. 22d 1862


Allow me to inform you that Wm H. Christopher of your Company, died in this Hospital on the Eighteenth day of September 1862, of "Compound Fracture of Femur"

            Your Obt" Serv't,

J.C. Dorr
Surg. U.S.V.
In charge

        Officer Commanding
            Co. I. 13th Mass. Vols.

Ascension Hospital was composed of five church buildings, The Ascension Chapel (H Street, between 9th & 10th), the Presbyterian church (9th Street between G and H), the (south) Methodist Episcopal church, (8th Street between H and I, and the Cranch General Hospital, which was itself located in two churches, the Unitarian chapel and the Baptist church.  Each of these buildings had slightly different opening and closing dates of use.  The churches were in use between June 20, 1862 and March 23, 1863.  Source: "Washington and Georgetown, D.C.," Indexes to Field Records of Hospitals, 1821-1912, Manuscript Record Group 94, National Archives. - Civil War Washington, (Dec. 1, 2011).

Discharge of Private Simeon B. Fenderson

Head Quarters Discharging Office,

Fort McHenry, Oct 28 1862.

Sir :

Simeon B. Fenderson Priv of Co. I, 13th Regiment Mass Vols., was Discharged at this Post on Surgeon's Certificate of Disability Oct 3d 1862.

By order of Bt. Brig. Gen'l W.W. Morris, U. S. A.

J. Gottbold Capt. 42d Regt. N.Y. Vols.Commd'g Detach Convalescents.  Discharging Officer

Commanding Officer Co. I 13 Regiment Mass Vols*

*NOTE:   Another nearly identical certificate was filled out two days later by the same officer discharging S. B. Fenderson on Oct. 2d.  The paper work must have been piling up.

Fort McHenry, 1862

Cropped portion of a lithograph showing Fort McHenry, in the year 1862 by E. Sachse; Library of Congress

Discharge of William Weeks

U.S.A. Genl Hospl Fairfax Seminary Va November 3d 1862


I have to inform you that William Weeks Private of Comany ( I. ) 13th Regt Mass. Vol. was this day discharged from Service at U.S. Army Genl Hospl., Fairfax Seminary Va on Surgeons Certificate of Disability  By Order of Brig. Gen. Wadsworth

                        David P. Smith.
                                    Surgeon in Charge

            Capt' Co ( I. )
            13th Regt Mass. Vol.

Discharge of Charles S. Parker

Harrisburg, Pennn'a.,    
Nov. 15th 1862.

Comdg Officer
            Co I. 13th Regt
                Mass. Vols.

I have the honor to inform you that Charles J. Parker, your Co was this day discharged from the Service of the United States on Surgeon's certificate of disability.

I am,
                                Very respectfully,
                                                    Yours obedient servant,

                                    W.B. Lane

Capt 3d Cav'y. U.S. Army, Comd'g.

G M Brayton
1st Lt. 15th Infty
      Post Adjutant.

Discharge of Private Eugene J. Holyoke

College Hospital,

Georgetown, D.C., Nov 18 1862

Sir :

I have to inform you of the Discharge from the service this day of  Priv E.J. Holyoke of your company.

Very respectfully,
                        Your obt. servant,

J. Morris Brown
                                  Assist. Surgeon U.S.A. in charge.

To the Commanding Officer
                      Co. I, 13 Mass Regt.

Georgetown College above the Potomac River

Pictured is Georgetown College sitting atop a hill above the Potomac River, 1861. The college buildings were used as an infirmary during the war years.

Discharge of Sylvanus H. Parker, Company I

Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Boston Dec 9th 1862

Sir, — Will you have the kindness to forward to this office the “final statement” papers of Sylvanus H Parker a private in Company I, 13 Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, now awaiting discharge from the service for disability.

Wm. J. Dale, Surgeon-General.

To Capt. Comdg Co I    13 Regt Mass Vol

Sylvanus H. Parker pictured below.

Sylvanus H. Parker, Company I

Recruiting Volunteer Service in Massachusetts,

Boston 30th Dec. 1862


You are hereby notified that Sylvanus H. Parker of your Company, has this day been discharged from services on Surgeons Certificate of Disability

H. Day
Col. 6 In.
Milt.y Comdr

Capt. or Comdg. Officer
         Co. I. 13th Regt,  Mass. Vol. Inft.y.


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Page Updated August 2, 2018.

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"My health is failing every day...I can obtain no leave of absence.  My necessity therefore is to resign."