Letter from Samuel E. Behlen



Note:  This letter is courtesy of Mrs. Joan Bellen Loveday of Gloversville, NY.  She is the great granddaughter of William Tell and Mary C. (Dunning) Bellen.  Samuel E. Bellen, who wrote this letter in 1864, and his brother William Tell Bellen who was also in the described battle, were both in Company K.  The letter was written by Samuel to Mary C. Dunning, who was the daughter of of Josiah and Sally Ann (Joslin) Dunning of Jackson Summit, Town of Mayfield, Fulton County, N.Y..  Josiah operated a sawmill in Jackson Summit.  After the war, William Tell Bellen married Mary C. Dunning and they raised their family in Jackson Summit.  Samuel lived in Johnstown, N.Y. This letter was sent in via James Morrison with Mrs. Joan Loveday acknowledgement to post here.  It is from her collection.

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November 5th 1864

A Good Mitake (Mittag?) [mid day]

Chapans Farm, Virginia

Mis Dunning

i now take my pen in hand to fulfill your wishes and to let you now how i git along i farr tip top i have bin in one batel and cam out all write so did Will [his brother, William Tell Behlen] the balls flew like a snow storm we had 4 kild and 8 wounded and i mison out of the company and out of the Rigement 100 and 3 killed and wounded and mison we had a hard timk of it for we was under fire all day and it rained hevy all the after noon and all night after fiting we had to reatreat and we layed out in the rain and mud till the next morning we was wet to our skin and covered with mud

we have plenty to eat and drink at preasent souch as it is good hard tack pork and cod fish mackerl coffee and sugger i cant find fault with our rations i am gitting fat and lazy i like Shouldiering first rate if it wasent for the blue pills witch the Johnies throws at us.

i havent got any mor in particular to write this is one thing cirton i ant tending your sawmill tell boys that i would like to see them ask John if he seen Woldia [?] laitly if he has tell him that he must take good cair of her i must bring my letter to a close for i must sin the pay roul

tell Sarahan she must not forgit her promis for i will never never due it again she will now what i means i will bet a quarter

Mis Dunning you must excuse poor writing for this is a Shouldier letter written on the ground the wind blows so that i cant hardly hold my paper still a nouf to write i wish you would tell Dick Potter that i am a live yet and that i am the boy yet that i was when i com away i send him my best respects and hope he is alive yet

answer this as soon as you git it and let me now how the boys and girls git along and the particulars of Jackson Summit

i must bring my letter to a close for this tim by bidding you good bye for this tim derect your letter to Washington D.C. 142 Rig Co H NYS Volenteer

yours respecfuly
Samuel E. Behlen



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Copyright 1999,2000  Mrs. Joan Bellen Loveday
Copyright 1999,2000 James F. Morrison, Jeanette Shiel
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Last updated Tuesday, 13-May-2008 13:35:35 PDT