Woolsey Family during the War.

Eliza Woolsey Howland to her Mother.

Fishkill, Aug. 15.

Dear Mother: In answer to my letter Dr. Draper came up yesterday noon and stayed till this afternoon. . . . The visit was part professional and part for pleasure and was satisfactory in both ways. He finds Joe improving, though more slowly than he had hoped, but he says he must not think of returning to camp. That if fever got hold of him again he would stand very little chance of recovery. It would permanently break down his constitution, if it was not immediately fatal. . . . It is very disappointing. He hoped to gain fast enough to go back the end of this month, and is greatly depressed about it, for he has made up his mind that under the circumstances it is great injustice to the regiment and to Major Seaver to continue to hold his commission, getting the credit as it were, while the Major has all the care and responsibility. He wishes to do only what is most for the interests of the service.


Joseph Howland resigned from the service by the advice of Dr. W. H. Draper of New York, whose medical certificate stated that he was suffering from extreme nervous exhaustion and debility, and was unfit for duty. The resignation was received by his superior officers with expressions of great regret, and letters full of affection poured in upon him.

General Bartlett, commanding the brigade, writes:

Headquarters 2d Brigade.
Sept. 4th, 1862, “Camp Franklin,” VA.

Dear Howland: I received your papers just as we were embarking at Newport News, and you cannot imagine how badly I felt at the thought that perhaps we should never be associated together in the field again, and perhaps never again see each other. We all agreed that you ought not to come back, all seemed actuated by the same feeling of love for you and all expressed their sorrow that you would no longer be with us. . . .

The old 16th are still “A. No. 1.”

General Bartlett writes again:

Headquarters 2d Brigade,
Near Bakersville, Md.
Oct. 1st, .1862

My dear Howland: I enclose to you the acceptance of your resignation and honorable discharge from the service.

I had much rather it had been your appointment as brigadier, for I don’t believe the service can afford to lose many such officers, and yet I would rather see you recover your health and strength than to be made a major-general, myself.


Woolsey family letters during the War for the Union

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