Friday, January 13, 2012

Henry A. Allen

Greetings all - below are the letters of Henry A. Allen - written to his wife while he served as a Prisoner of War between July 1863 and June 1865. You will have to go back to the beginning of this blog to read the letters in proper order. For a little biographical information on Allen, I turn to the Biographical Roster of the Immortal 600, by Mauriel Joslyn

ALLEN, Henry Archibald
Born 11 Nov 1831, Portsmouth, VA. Attended Portsmouth Military Academy - organized "Old Dominion Guard" in 1856, and held the rank of LT. Married (1) Sarah Burton (d. 1854), (2) Miss Sarah Anne Brown (1834-1919), 1857; four children. 1860 census, Portsmouth VA; brickmason; married w/ one daughter. Enlisted as PVT 20 Apr 1861. Promoted to CPT, 1 Jul 62. Admitted to Gen. Hosp #9 Richmond 2-16 Jun 63; dyspepsia. Captured at Gettysburg 3 Jul 63 (in Pickett's Charge) Confined at Ft. McHenry, 5 Jul 63. Transf'd to Ft Delaware, 7 Jul 63. Transf'd to Johnson's Island, 18 Jul 63. Transf'd to Pt. Lookout via Baltimore, 9 Feb 64. Transf'd to Ft. Pulaski, GA, 21 Oct 64. Sent to Hilton Head, SC 19 Nov 64. On roll, Hilton Head, 1 Jan 65. Rec'd at Ft. Delaware, 12 Mch 65/ Yook oath and released, Ft. Delaware, 19 Jun 65; residence: Norfolk Co. VA; light complexion, dark hair, blue eyes, 5'11"; lived in Div. 35. Resident of Portsmouth, VA. Brick mason, contractor and builder. Died 7 Jul 1912. Buried in Cedar Grove Cem, Portsmouth, VA.

Up next - a little editing with an eye toward publishing these papers. I want to compare what he says while in prison to the postwar testimony presented by the Immortal 600. Until I get that together, enjoy reading Allen's letters.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

May 26 1865

Fort Delaware May 26th 1865

Dear Dear Sarah

Your very kind letter dated 23rd came to hand yesterday I had not received one from you since the 4th which I answered the next day you stated that you had received mine of 10th & 16th I also wrote on the 22nd which no doubt you will get ere this reaches you no doubt you will think that cold and formal pardon me dear Sallie for writing in such a strain but you have no idea situated as I am how I feel when I cannot hear from you and seeing all my messmates receiving letters from Portsmouth daily but I know you will forgive me. I am sorry you could not get the box to me but I can make out very well the tobacco was what I needed most I am glad to know your Pa has returned and also all my relatives have you seen Brother and how is he looking if he had taken my advice he would not now be a cripple but we must cheerfully do the best for him we can his relatives will not help him I am sure although he has lost his leg and they have all comparatively seen an easy time and have never heard a bullet whistle during the war. I suppose you have not heard from John for some time. I expect it will be a long while before you will see him again I learned from John Lewis that Laura’s husband died at Point Lookout is it so it must have been a severe blow to her as no doubt she was looking for him to be at home very soon I hope this is my last letter to you while a prisoner as the news id that the order for our release is at this post how true it is I am not able to say. I think it will not now be long before we will be allowed to return to our homes but you must answer all my letters untill you know we have certainly started for home. If I should pass through Baltimore I will try and see Mary Foster I told you in one of my letters to engage a small house if possible. I do not wish to remain at your Pa’s as the house must be crowded I suppose Johns family are there I think the sooner we go to ourselves the better. I anticipate much pleasure dear Sallie on being with my dear ones once more not to be parted again I trust. I shall appreciate my home more than I ever did and you shall have no cause to say I am home but Sallie I think you will have to drive me away out of house sometimes for I think I shall be a regular home somebody. How are the dear little ones Ida & Lucy. Oh how I long to see them once more kiss them for me and tell them I expect to find them good children my love to all home also to all who inquire of me. I have written you a long letter and must now say good bye you affectionate Husband

Henry A Allen


May 24 1865

Fort Delaware

May 23rd 65.

Dear Sarah

Thinking you all had forgotten that I was still in the land of the living I thought ir best to send a few lines. I am still residing at Fort Delaware. I am also well. Have not yet receives the box neither have I gotten a letter since 4th have written several one on the 4th also 10th & 16th do not know when I shall return probably not for some months can see no prospect at present. Suppose you have been informed I would return in a few days which of course brought no reply to my letters. My regards to all. Heard your Pa had returned heard also that Sam Russ was dead

Henry A Allen


May 16 1865

Fort Delaware May 16th 65

Dear Sarah

This morning quite unexpectedly a letter was handed me from you written while I was at Fort Pulaski containing four (4) dollars it was quite a treat I assure you as I have been out of money some time and although everything is very high at this place higher than at any prison I have been to yet it will do me some good. I was not expecting any money although I know letters were due me while there. Thank you my dear wife for your consideration. I have not yet received the box and no letter from you since the 4th written on the 2nd probably one may come this evening I trust so as I am very anxious to hear form you all when my name was called this morning I fully expected it was to take the oath and be released to return home we are waiting anxioiusly for that time to arrive as I would give much to be with my dear ones once more God grant it may not be long before we will have that pleasure we have heard of the capture of President Davis and truly sorry were we to hear it. Give my love to all home and give me the news kiss my dear little ones for me tell them I hope to be with them soon good bye your affectionate Husband

Henry A Allen

Division 35

May 5 1865

Fort Delaware May 5th 1865

Dear Sarah

Your letter having date 2nd I have just received in which you state you have received mine of the 25th April I think you are mistaken the last received from you was dated 24th which came to hand on the 28th I had also written to you the day before receiving yours of the 24th. Yesterday feeling quite lonely I wrote you a few lines in which I stated that I expected soon to be at home as I intended taking the oath. I gave the full particulars which I trust you will receive ere this reaches you I cannot say when we will be allowed to go to our homes but hope we will not be left in prison much longer. I was glad to learn all were well at home I am the same. Was Enos killed in battle let me know you spoke of some people saying but little about me as you think I care but little although cannot imagine why they should have hard feeling toward me it may be so with one of them hardly both. I cannot think what keeps your Pa from home I thought he would have been home some time ago when sis you hear from him and where was he at the time. I shall look for the box although it was hardly worth while sending it in my last I mentioned it. Let me know any new arrivals when did you hear from John has George Barns arrived from Richmond Tom Johnson received a letter from ___ yesterday in which he gives a bad account of the affairs there not being able to procure work. I am sorry to hear it I told you in my last if you had not disposed of our furniture to engage a small house as there is too many at your Pa’s remember me to all kiss my little one

Your affectionate Husband

Henry A Allen

Division 35 not 36

May 4 1865

Fort Delaware May 4th 1865

Dear Sarah

Your last dated 24th I answered I also wrote you the day before answering it. In one of those letters the first I think I stated that the roll had been called giving all an opportunity to take the oath a large majority at that time consented to do so I stated in my letter that I did not think the propper time had arrived and my answer was no since that time Genl Johnsons army has surrendered and we now have no army on this side of the Misspi River on the 2nd one week from the first call the chance was offered again when out of about twenty two hundred (2200) here one hundred and fifty (150) answered no I have consented and think it is now my duty to come home it is believed that the Trans Missp army has surrendered we now have no possible hope for the success of our cause. All the privates numbering between four & five thousand ans yes. Dear Sarah I have now been from you for three years leaving you to take care of yourself and my dear little ones and I think it my duty at this time to come to you. I have done all for my country that man can do served the cause two years and suffered two years in prison if the chance is offered again I think I will respond it is thought we will be able to leave in the course of ten or twelve days. If you have not disposed of our furniture and can engage a small house do so as there will be too many at your Fathers house. Do not send the box if you have not already done so. I suppose a good many have returned home I spoke of the house on account of Brother he will have to come with me being a cripple. How are my dear little children how I long to see you all and trust it will not be long before the opportunity is offered my love to all home and to all who inquire of me good bye ever your affectionate Husband

Henry A Allen

Division 35

April 28 1865

Fort Delaware Friday April 28th 1865

Dear Dear Sarah

Yours of the 24th came to hand last evening and gave me much pleasure to again hear from those so dear to me. Your letters always come although detained for a long time but I mistake I always get your letters in three or four days after they are mailed but mine must be some time getting to you as it is always ten or twelve days before I receive an answer therefore the detention must be caused here but I suppose the authorities have so many to examine that it cannot be helped. I am still enjoying fine health and suppose have increased twelve or fifteen pounds since arriving here. Yesterday John Lewis, Weaver & John Vermillion arrived here from Point Lookout where they had been since Mch 24th. My Col, Jim Robinson & Tobe Phillips I learn are at Johnsons Island. I expected Jim and Frances would go home I suppose all from P will do the same. I am sorry to say a large majority of our officers here are taking the oath or have consented to do so as the rolls have been called and they have responded to the call the privates have all done the same numbering between three & five thousand. We have about twenty one hundred officers here and I suppose nearly two thirds will take the oath you will no doubt see some of our Portsmouth officers home soon as several have or will take it. I do not think the time has yet arrived for one to do so it is true I can do no good myself while in prison still we have yet the shadow of a government and while we have an army in the field I cannot think it right for me to do so. I know our course in hopeless and I expect to have to take the oath still I must wait I could not bear to be censured by my friends. I may be punished but I must abide this decision. I wrote to you a few days ago as I though you had not received my letter you could have sent the box although I do not know that I would have gotten it as none here have received since President Lincoln’s death. If you send if do not fail to send the permit on it. Kiss my dear little children for me my love to all home tell Jim to write to me I have a ring for you and one for Ida & Lucy. My love to all my friends & relatives good bye yours in love


Division 35

April 25 1865

Fort Delaware April 25th 1865.

Dear Sarah

Last Sunday we received a mail the first since the 14th it having been kept back on account of the death of the President no business being done at this place I fully expected to get a letter but have not received a line in the last three days. The last from you was dated 13th in which you stated that Robinson & others were prisoners. I wish you had forwarded the box as it is now doubtful about my getting it if you have not done so when you receive this send it and do not fail to place the permit on it as I suppose you received it with my letter. I cannot tell when I will be able to come home probably not for a long time to come I am well and think my eyesight is improving has Ida recovered from her fall I suppose a good many people are coming home when you write let me know who have arrived. I have never been able to see Cpt Crocker but hear from him occasionally. When I last heard he was improving. If any more of my boys are home let me know I would like much to be with you dear Sarah but I cannot act as some have done before me we may all have to take the Oath before we will be released I look upon that in a different light. If we are conquered of course it must come to that if I was single I would never set foot in Portsmouth again as it is I do not expect to remain there after the war ends I must close give my love to all home and remember me kindly to all relatives & friends. Kiss my dear children and accept the sincere love of your affectionate Husband.

H A Allen

Division No 35

April 13 1865

Fort Delaware April 13th 1865

Dear Sallie

I have just received your kind letter dated 11th acknowledging the receipt of my three letters of Mch 31st & April 2nd & 6th this leaves me enjoying good health and doing well at present. I am sorry to hear of dear little Ida’s fall I hope that she will soon recover from the effects of the fall. You did not state whether you received the permit with the letter. I wish you had sent the box as today we have received another order revoking the last and will now have to get permits again. I fear the box will be stopped. The shirts I can make out very well with but if the drawers are the same size of the pair I brought with me when last home they are entirely too small so if this letter reaches you before the box starts let a piece on as to make them about three inches larger in the waist. I wrote to you a few days ago Monday I think telling you that the order had been revoked relative to getting permits to receive boxes and we could now receive boxes of clothing eatables and also money without getting a permit here but as I stated above all packages mow sent must with a permit gotten at his place. We have indeed met with sad reverses (?) within the last three weeks but I am not as yet hopeless and still trust something good may turn up but I am afraid you will not see me for a long time yet. Did Grant & Tyson desert or were they taken prisoner and paroled. Let me know I am indeed sorry to know that Robinson & the boys are prisoners it is getting dark and I must now close give my love to all home also to Shells family and to Ada and the Owens family also to Mary G and to all enquiring friends Kiss Ida & Lucy for me and accept the best love of your affectionate Husband

Henry A Allen

Cap 9th Va Infty

April 10 1865

Fort Delaware

April 10th 1865

Dear Sarah

I would not have written to day as I wrote in answer to you second letter a few days back. I had written a few days before receiving it asking you to send me a few articles of clothing I will name here what I wrote for drawers, pocket handkerchiefs, and a needle case with needles, thread, & buttons when I wrote there was an order here for us to get a permit at this place to receive any articles of clothing this morning that order has been revoked and we can now receive boxes of clothing, or eatables without an order although no doubt you would have to get a permit as formally at Portsmouth if you should send the box you can put in any thing that you think I need smoking tobacco if you can get it. I thought it best to write to you informing you that I had written for the above articles as possibly you might not have received the letter. If you have and can send them do so as soon as possible as we may not stay here. Since we have been here we have heard nothing but bad news this morning it is reported that Genl Lee has surrendered with his whole army bad news for our cause if true. Have you heard anything from Jim & Francis since the fall of Richmond Dear Sarah I would not have written to you for the clothing mentioned if you had not of told me that you would send them to me if you cannot send the articles I named it will make no difference so not trouble yourself I will try and make out. I must now close give my love to all home and to all relatives & friends kiss my dear little girls for me and accept the best love of you affectionate Husband

Henry A Allen

A salute is now being fired for the capture of Genl Lee

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

April 6 1865

Fort Delaware April 6th 1865

Dear Sarah

Your kind letter dated 2nd I have received after waiting a long time. It gave me much pleasure to hear that my dear ones were all well I also can say the same I am now enjoying fine health and think my eyesight is improving. No doubt you have heard ere this of the evacuation of Richmond. Rather sad news but I am willing and satisfied if our authorities think it best no doubt I will be a prisoner the longer but I trust I shall be able to stand it. The trinkets came to hand tell Mrs. Green the piece of comb is too thin to put a set in but if she wished I will have a ring made for her (out of a button). She did not say whether it was for a grown person or child it is too small for the former and a set cannot be put in it even if it is for a child tell her not to speak of pay. I will have a ring made both for Ida & Lucy on a different style from Ida’s. You had better send me the size of their middle fingers you can send the ring if Ida wishes it and I will have the letter replaced. I have written twice since the 23rd Mch with my last I made application (here) for a permit to receive a few articles of clothing if you receive my letter it will give you the ___ information more will be allowed to come without a permit is granted if you can get any more pieces of gold send them. I intend having a nice made for you soon. I must now close as it is nearly sundown and my sight failing my love to all home also to Mary Hodel & family Mr & Mrs Green and to all friends & relatives. Kiss my little girls for me good bye from your affectionate Husband

Henry A Allen

Monday, January 9, 2012

April 2 1865

Fort Delaware April 2nd 1865

Dear Sarah

I fully expected to receive a letter from you yesterday but was disappointed as no letter came to hand in answer to mine of the 23rd. I am quite well this morning with the exception of a cold we have service this morning in our Division Sunday is rather a quiet day with us as we abstain from those duties carried on during the week I have received an answer from Mary Griffith. She was glad to hear form me and to know that I had paid you a visit she spoke of the ring that ida sent to her little boy and says he was delighted with it. Dear Sallie as I am almost without a pair of drawers I must get you to senf me those you had for me, also some (pocket) handkerchiefs either linen of silk the latter if convenient you can also send me a needle case with needles thread & buttons. The drawers you put in my bundle when I left lasted but one wearing as they were small. The under shirts were very nice the calico shirts you did not make quite large enough in the body although they answer very well I have plenty of clothing with the exception of the above named articles try and send them if possible I have to get permission here for them to come and I understand you will have to do the same from Genl Gordon in Norfolk. I wrote to you on the 31st Mch. Give my love to all home and to all relatives & friends kiss my dear little girls for me poor little Ida I can almost see her crying now. Good bye Dear Sarah and may we soon meet is the prayer of your Affectionate Husband

Henry A Allen

Cpt. 9th Va. Inftry

Division No 35

March 23 1865

I have written to Gus

Fort Delaware Mch 22nd 65

Dear Sarah

Your kind letter in answer to mine of the 14th came to hand this morning and gave me much pleasure in knowing that my dear ones were well. Councill received one from his Mother yesterday in which she spoke of you and the children as being well. I have improved much since I saw you and at present feel quite well with the exception of a cold my eyesight I think is improving and I trust will soon be as formerly. I suppose Aunt Mary thought Lou had the best claim on her little property as she had been living with her for some time and cared for all her wants while sick. It was kind of her to remember Ida & Lucy. She thought much of them strange she did not think of Brother did she leave no farewell message for him or myself may we all meet her above. I was much surprised to find Ida so very different from what I expected so soft and easy in her manners when I thought she would be wild and noisy as when I left her they are both sweet children and both pretty and I trust we may both live to be proud of them at a future day. Try and get word to Cpt Crocker’s father that his son is here in hospital has been quite sick with chronic Diarrhea but when I heard from him last was improving you tell me not to be uneasy about you how can I help it Dear Sarah when I know you are by yourselves you try to buoy me up but I fear you have or will suffer. Tip Shannon told me about Md Williams what does his wife say to it. If you have any small pieces of gold or silver broken jewelry send it by letter when you write again as I want to have some trinkets made. Love to all home and to all friends. Kiss my little girls good bye and God Bless you my dear Wife

Henry A Allen

March 14 1865

Division No 35

Fort Delaware Mrch 14th 1865

Dear Dear Sarah

You will no doubt be surprised to learn that we are back again at this place it was indeed a severe disappointment as we fully expected to be exchanged it was the only time since being a prisoner that I believed we would go through but I shall never again be fooled. At any rate I had the pleasure of seeing my dear wife & children and feel very thankful after being separated so long it is time I had but a short time to remain with you but it was a source of great gratification to find you and the little ones in such good health. I feel indeed grateful to my friends for the kind manner in which I was treated by them you know to what I allude Gus is indeed a friend and I shall never forget him. The next day while in the harbor Augustine Moore came off to see me and brought me a basket of provisions also a little money which came in very well on the boat. I was much shocked when I was told Aunt Mary was dead she is now happy no doubt. I often think how you will manage when your Ma leaves I trust you will do well. Do not think of sending me money ot anything else as I can make out very well some think we will go through soon if we do I think I will have you with me my stay with you was short and having so many sisters could talk but little with you dear Sarah but never mind we may meet again shortly in Dixie. Give my love to all relatives and friends. I would have written yesterday but was quite unwell Councill wrote yesterday. Kiss my little girls for me my love to all home good bye from your affectionate husband

H Allen

February 14 1865

Hilton Head Prison Feb 14th 65

Dear Dear Sarah

Yours of the 4th came to hand last night much sooner than I expected in your letter of Jan 6th I forgot to mention (rather my answer to that letter) that four stamps came to hand also send one when you write. Since I wrote you last I have been quite sick confined to my bunk for ten or twelve days. I am now getting along pretty well my eyesight gets no better I have given up reading cannot read my bible when I receive your letters it takes me fully half an hour to get through with it it takes me a long time to write and pains my eyes very much. I am sorry John did not get my letter I suppose he had been released as you say he has gone to Europe. If you should send the box send some letter paper & envelopes if convenient thick woollen shirts would be preferable to under shirts and cotton shirts then I could wear but one shirt also thick unbleached cottons for drawers ___ as is best. Shirts & drawers I must have as I will not have a change in a few days. My respects to Gus D and tell him to send me some stamps tell him I would write but can hardly see how to do so. Remember me to all my relatives & friends. Kiss my dear children for me and tell them Pa has suffered much since he saw them, but they must be good children and mind Ma. Good bye and God bless you my dear Wife from your Husband Henry A Allen

Send the box as soon as possible

Sunday, January 8, 2012

December 25 1864

Hilton Head Dec 25th 1864

(send me a few stamps)

Dear Dear Sarah

Again to I take my pen to write you a few lines it seems that I am doomed never to receive another letter from you none has come to hand since the one received while on Morris Island written by you Spt 28th and handed me Oct 15th I cannot imagine why it is. Col Councill gets letters from his Mother regularly but not one comes to me. I received your message sent by her stating that you had gotten all my letters and had answered them it is indeed hard not to be able to hear from your loved ones at home. Last night I received a letter from John at Fort Warren in Boston Harbor. I was much surpprised not knowing he was a prisoner he received a letter from you on the 17th this month informing him of my whereabouts he was well. I also received one from your Pa on the 10th he also was in good health. Gus Williams wrote a few lines on the back of a letter to me he is in Charleston in the Exchange Bureau. I am quite well at this time we have had some very cold weather here we feel it much more seriously here than we would in a much colder climate and have suffered much as we have but few articles of bed clothing we are not allowed to receive money clothing or boxes of any kind and see quite a hard time generally. How are my dear little ones kiss them for me my love to all at home and to all other relatives and friends I wrote to John this morning. I know you will think of the absent me while eating the Christmas dinner I have nothing but dry bread for mine. Good by and God bless you my darling from your affectionate husband Henry A Allen write soon

November 27 1864

Hilton Head Sunday

Nov 27th 1864

Dear Sarah

I will again pen you a few lines although it has been but a few days since I wrote to you it is strange I can get no letters from you notwithstanding I wrote so often as before stated I have not received but one letter form you since I left Fort Delaware and that was August 20th that letter came to me while at Morris Island dated Spt 28th and was received Oct 15th but I trust this may reach you and I may get one in return. Since I last we have changed from tents to quarters in houses although I have much rather remained in tents. At present I am enjoying fine health and sincerely trust it may continue no possible hope for exchange I can see seventeen months is a long time to be imprisoned but I hope the day is not far distant when I can again call myself a free man. When did you hear from your Pa. while at Fort Pulaski Ga I wrote to him but have never received a line in answer. How are you all dear Sallie has Ida entirely recovered from her sickness Ah: how I would like to see all of you if but for a few moments 2 ½ years since we parted well do I remember that day. How much longer it will be but one knows. When you answer this let me know how you are getting on you always tell me not to be uneasy about you and the children. I wish to know whether good or bad tell me I trust my dear ones have not suffered for anything since I left them. Do not fail to tell me give me all the news in Portsmouth. Give my love to all relatives & friends kiss my dear children for me and accept the love of your affectionate husband Cpt Henry A Allen 9th Va Infty

November 21 1864

Hilton Head Monday morning

Nov 21st 1864

My Dear Wife

It has been a long long time since your last dated Sept 28th came to hand and I have almost given up all hope of hearing from you again since I left Ft Delaware but one letter have I received that being yours. While I was at that place I was in correspondence with some ten or twelve which made the time pass away a little more pleasantly but have not written any but your Pa and yourself since. I have been expecting a letter from him for some time but have come to the conclusion that he did not receive it. We arrived at this place yesterday from Ft. Pulaski the day before leaving I wrote a letter to you but did not mail it at that time as there was some talk of leaving and I was very glad I did not as we left next day. A good many sick & wounded are being exchanged there is some talk of our following soon doubtful I expect. The point of exchange is near Savannah. I have now been a prisoner seventeen months the third of next month. A pretty long time don’t you think as I am now quite well while at Morris Island I spoke in one of my letters of being blind as soon as dusk came on it left me on arrival at Pulaski the Dr thought it was caused by the sand as it was nothing but a sand bank there. How are you my dear Sarah and my little girls well I trust. Ah: what a pleasure to see you all after being parted two and a half years but I trust the day is not far distant when we will enjoy that great blessing. You are hardly out of my mind one moment during the day and I build many air castles to be blasted I fear it certainly has been a source of great pleasure to be in possession of your picture and when I gaze upon them I pray my dear loved ones may not suffer during my long absence. My best love to Ma, Aunt Mary, Miss Ann & family Louisa & family, Mary G all at home if they have not gone to your Pa. if I should be exchanged I will try to see him as I may have to pass through Augusta. You spoke of going with your Ma I cannot advise you use your own judgment. I may not see you untill the war ends unless Norfolk & Portsmouth falls to us again. I must close kiss my dear little Ida & Lucy for me and accept the best love of you affectionate husband Henry A Allen Cpt 9th Va Infantry

Prisoner of War Hilton Head S. Carolina

Write soon and send a few stamps remember me to Mrs Foster & Laura also to Mollie and all the Owens family

Saturday, January 7, 2012

October 25 1864

Fort Pulaski Georgia

Oct 25th 1864

Dear Sarah

From the above you will see that I have again changed my prison home we left Morris Island on the 21st and arrived here on the 22nd having a pleasant trip and are now quartered inside the Fort. We are in very comfortable quarters although rather cool at this time for a southern clime. I much prefer living here than on the Island we are treated well by both officers and men and they seem quite willing to oblige us when asking any little favor of them I speak relative to the officers we do not communicate with the men. Our rations are rather scant at this time but hope they will improve. I received a letter yesterday and on looking at it I found it to be one that I had written to you since the Island dated 29th returned on account of the length I suppose. I received one from you since that was written dated the day before 28th I received it on the 19th this month and answered it directly which I trust you will receive ere this reaches you. You had better keep the money as you will need it if your Ma leaves use your own judgment in the matter I cannot advise you. I am well except a slight cold. How has Ida gotten. What a pleasure to be able to see my dear wife and little ones but I trust the day is not far distant give my love to you Ma, Joe, Fannie & Ebbie and to all my relatives and friends. Write soon from your affectionate Husband

Henry A Allen

Fort Pulaski, Georgia

Division No 4

October 16 1864

Morris Island Oct 16th 1864

Dear Dear Sarah

Yesterday your letter came to hand bearing the date spt 28th and it was indeed much welcomed it was the first letter received by me since leaving Delaware when I left there I requested Robinson to drop you a few lines telling you of my departure you did not say whether he did so or not. I have written to him since but have not received an answer. I was sorry to hear of the death of Mr. Talbot although he was quite old living nearly his three ___. Where is John I have heard he was in Charleston if I was certain I would write. There is a rumor that we will leave here shortly our destination Savannah Georgia merely rumor but do not let it stop you from answering this. If your Ma should go I must tell you as I did before use your own judgment in the matter I hardly know how to advise I think it would be best to remain if you can make out consult some friend who you think is capable of advising you on the subject. I have written twice to you since writing from Hilton Head. You spoke of sending money it would ___ but I think you had better keep it as I know you will need it. You did not say how Ida was getting. Poor child she has had much sickness. I am well but my eyesight fails me as soon as dark sets in I can see as well as ever during the day no pain to my eyes whatever I must close give my love to every one kiss my dear children for me good bye and write soon from your affectionate Husband Henry A Allen

Thursday, January 5, 2012

October 12 1864 - Sarah Allen's Loyalty Oath

September 9 1864

Morris Island Near Charleston S C Spt 9th 64

My Dear Wife

No doubt you have been waiting anxiously to receive a line from me while at Hilton Head. I wrote you a few lines but hardly think you have yet received it. Six hundred of us left Delaware on the 20th last month and landed at this place on the 7th being on the boat eighteen days and you can imagine what a pleasant time we had when we were so thick that we could hardly turn around we suffered much on the trip. I was taken with rush of blood to the head and was quite unwell for three or four days. Yesterday I was quite sick high fever and headache all day this morning I am much better. I would have written sooner but for that we are in full view of Charleston and we can see the cannonading going on. I know not how long we will remain here we expected when we left Delaware that we would be exchanged some think so yet. I trust it may be so and I may get back to Dixie once more. Oh how I would like to see my dear ones at home I am afraid I shall be debarred of that pleasure for a long time to come even if I am exchanged. Where you are it would be better to remain. How is Ma it seems an age since I have received a line from you Kiss Ida and Lucy for their Pa tell them they must be good children and obey you or Pa will be much disappointed when he come to them particularly Ida as she is now getting to be a good large girl. Give my love to Ma, Aunt Mary, and to all my relatives & friends remember me to all at home. What is joe doing do you ever hear from Henry or your Pa. you can write me if you should receive this as I will run the risk of getting it we may remain here some time. Robinson was left at Delaware. DO not send anything to me with out I wrote for it good bye and sending the best love of our affectionate husband

Henry A A

Address Prisoner of War, Morris Island,

Near Charleston S C

August 29 1864

Port Royal Harbor

August 29th 1864

Dear Sarah.

As a mail will leave here to day I thought it best to pen you a few lines. We are still on board steamer and have been for eight or nine days. Would much rather be on shore as we are much crowded having some six hundred on board we left Delaware ten days ago. I have been quite sick since being here having had another attack of rush of blood to the head but I am better at this time. It seems we are waiting here to see if exchange can be made. I will write again the first chance my love to all kiss my little girls for me from your affectionate husband

H A Allen

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

August 20 1864

Fort Delaware Del

August 20th 1864

Dear Wife

I leave immediately for South Carolina whence ‘tis thought we will be exchanged I shall write you the first opportunity I have requested Lieut Robinson of my Company K write you of my leaving owing to the recent regulations restricting correspondence to wives, mothers &c he may not be able to do so. Tell Mr. Bibsly (?) I received his message relative to the quantity of water allowed him for washing purposes. Remember me kindly to Gus and all friends and believe me

Fondly Yours

Henry A. Allen

August 18 1864

Fort Delaware August 18th 1864

My Dear Wife

You last dated 12th has come to hand when I wrote to you a few days back I fully expected to leave this place but now I begin to think we will no go although we have not as yet learned to the contrary I would much rather be told that we are not going than to be kept in the state of suspense. I am quite well and have enjoyed fine health since being at this place I have had much sickness during my prison life but trust I shall be so no more. I received a letter from Mary G. a few days ago she and her family are well and send much love. How are my little darlings tell them I look at them every day and wish I could see them if you have received my two last letters you will see that I wished you to try and have some eatables sent me do not trouble yourself about it until further notice. Dear Sallie when convenient make me a couple prs of drawers as I am much in need of them and if possible two more calico shirts but particularly the former articles. Even if I should be exchanged they will come in the shirts I am not in need of at present and you need not hurry about them. My love to all home and to all relatives & friends kiss my little girls for me good bye and accept the best love of your affectionate husband

Henry A Allen

Do not write yet awhile if we should leave shortly I will drop you a line

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

August 12 1864

Fort Delaware August 12th 64

My Dear Wife

Your very kind letter of the 7th came to hand this morning I also received yours bearing date 5th on the 10th this leaves me well and I assure you it gives me much pleasure to know that you and my little ones are enjoying the blessing of health. You mentioned Bower’s name in your last I have written him lately and if he received my letter and has any feelings whatever it will certainly cut him. I made mention of an occurrence that took place in the year 1855 he no doubt will remember tell him I have written. Dear Sarah I expect we are again to change our prion home as we have a rumor here that some of us will leave tomorrow for Charleston SC I am not able to vouch for the truth of the report. In my answer to yours of the 5th I acknowledged the receipt of ten stamps and I told that we were not allowed to write to any but our nearest relatives Parents Wife & Children Brother & Sister we have quite a large mail and is it done no doubt to decrease it as it must consume much time in examining our letters. I also told you to try and arrange it so as to send me something to eat no matter what some of my friends can do it if you cannot. I have not heard from Mary G since the 3rd remember me to Charles G and Gus Porter also to Aunt Hagar try to see Jim Bower and tell him that T J Hudgins has received his letter with amount enclosed also the letter from Miss P and return his thanks. My regards to Jim, my love to all home and all relatives & friends. Kiss my dear little girls for the Pa and accept the best love of your long absent Husband

Henry A. Allen

August 10 1864

Fort Delaware August 10th 64

Dear Dear Sarah

I received your kind letter of the 5th last evening and it makes me glad to know my dear wife and little ones are enjoying the blessing of health. I sincerely trust it may continue. I am quite well and have been for some time back. The ten stamps came to hand and were much welcomed as I did not have any and no chance to get them thank you kindly. I will not need as many now as we cannot write to any but our nearest relatives wife, children, Parents, Brother or Sister so you must tell those I have been corresponding with how it is. Tell Mollie she might have written a few lines to me after receiving mine, as I would have been pleased to receive a letter from her, Dear Sarah try and arrange it with some of my friends so as to send me something I do not care what it is. If you should see Gus tell him to send me a little Sugar & Coffee. You must go see my Aunt Mary and all my relatives & friends and tell them I can write no more, and I am very sorry for it indeed. I wrote a letter to Bowers last week find out if he got it if not tell him I have written to him. When he gets it he will hardly forget it he may let you see it. Kiss my dear children for me my love to your Ma and all home and accept a large portion from your affectionate husband

H A Allen

August 4 1864

Fort Delaware August 4th/64

Dear Sarah

I received your kind letter last evening dated 1st in which you say mine of the 22nd July had come to hand. I have written twice since that time which no doubt have arrived ere this. I received one from Mary G. yesterday she sends her love to you. You spoke in your letter of a Mr Bloggs or is it Boggs who married a lady from (Shentown ?) if so a poor stick I reckon. I am sorry to learn that Mary is sick you must go to see her often I always liked Mary but shall love her as a sister here after. I feel very grateful for her kindness to you and myself. Is Emma still in town I cannot blame Mollie & Mely. She is the last I would have expected it of. ___ Shannon has received letters from home since I wrote you. I mentioned in my last letters to you that you must tell some of my friends to send me some stamps as I am out and they are scarce at this place no news with us I am enjoying fine health at this time. None of my Portsmouth friends answer my letters regularly. George A I have not heard from for some time nor Gus. Give my love to Aunt Mary how is she getting tell her I would like much to see her. My love to Mary and all relatives & friends kiss my little ones for me and accept the best love of your Henry

August 2 1864

Fort Delaware August 2nd 64

Dear Dear Sarah

I received your letter dated the 27th last night in which you say mine of 19th had been received. I also received one dated 25th which I have answered. I am glad to know you and the dear children are well I am now the best of health. In my last to you I stated that you must tell some of my friends to send me a few stamps as they are getting to be a scarce article in this place and one half of us even if we have money cannot buy them as the Sutler will not trouble himself to get them only bringing in quite a small supply so you must tell all that write to me they must drop in a stamp or two as it will help me considerable. I think I stated in my last to you that Mary G. had sent me a hat, some tobacco, & soap. As you say she has indeed been kind to me. I did think of sending to Bowers for stamps but on second thought will not do so as he would hardly do it. I have often thought if he has forgotten who buried his poor mother when the yellow fever was there in 55 and he dutiful son had left the place. If you should see Geo Smith tell him to send them. Gus has sent me some since being here and I will not trouble him again. Give my love to all relatives & friends. Kiss my little darlings for me tell them Pa looks at their pretty little faces very often. Good bye Dear Sarah and believe me ever your Henry

July 29 1864

Fort Delaware July 29th 1864

My Dear Sarah

Last night I received a letter from you dated 25th in which you do not speak of having received mine of the 22nd in answer to yours of the 18th a few days back I received a letter from Mary G. also a package with tobacco smoking & chewing, soap, & hat. I wrote you I think that the bundle forwarded to me at the Point had come to hand. She sends much love to you and Ida and says tell Ida that when the war ends she will have a nice little beau for her as her little boy is growing very fast. Stamps are very hard to get here as the Sutler does not commence to keep us supplied there being such a demand for them you must tell some of my friends to send a few when they write. I am very sorry to hear that Aunt Mary’s health does not improve. I shall write to her shortly how are my dear little girls and you also dear Sarah. I fear you have been subjected to many trials and privations since I saw you last although you will not let me know but I can imagine dear one how you have been situated would to the Lord it was in my power to assist you how much better could I bear my imprisonment if I could only know you and my dear children could have what you wished. Louisa’s little one is better much better off. Give my love to them all did you tell ACM the five had been received if not tell him I would have written to him but had no stamps. I borrowed this one to write you give my love to every one, kiss my little ones and take one imaginary for yourself from your affectionate husband Henry.

I am very well.

July 19 1864

Fort Delaware Tuesday Morning

July 19th 1864

Dear Dear Sarah,

It has been a long time to me since receiving a letter from you the last which was written on the 4th and came to hand on the 7th was promptly answered. As I have not a thing to engage me this morning I thought the best use that could be made of my time would be in writing to the dear ones at home. I am well at this time may these line find my loved ones the same. Last night I received a letter from Mary G. she has received the picture and is much pleased with them and says she expects to look at them with much pleasure in better days to come. She thinks Ida favors me very much. I have received her last package containing socks & drawers, also a straw hat. She has been very kind and still wants to know if I need anything. Did it tell you that the sets in the ring I sent you was part of the back of the portmonie or pocket book that I brought with me from home I think it was yours it has nearly given out it has lasted well and has always been in my pocket with me through many trials & dangers. Mr. Handy is here with us and has been here for twelve months he looks quite venerable with his hair as long as a lady’s flowing down his back. He preaches to us often. I would like much to see you all dear Sallie you and my dear little girls it is indeed a dull weary life we lead here. I do hope it may soon end and we all meet again to live in peace and happiness. I have received no letter from P. since yours. Kiss Ida & Lucy for me my love to all home your Ma, Joe Fannie & Ebba. Also to all my relatives & friends when you see them. What is Shell doing I must now close good bye dear Sallie and believe me ever your affectionate husband Henry.

{Kiss Mollie & Mely for me}

{Division No 36}

July 8 1864

Fort Delaware July 8th 1864

Dear Dear Sarah

Since I came to this place I have received three letters from you. The first was dated April 25th which as I told you must have been a mistake and intended for June. The next was July 5th in answer to mine from this place receied last night in which you say you have forwarded me five -5- dollars sent by A C M asking if I had received it. I had not at that time but the letter came this morning and I acknowledge the receipt of said amount. Theh letter was dated June 22nd so all your letters have come to hand. Your of 25th I have answered please return my thanks to Ms. Moore. Mary told me in her letter that she had spoken to him pretty freely no doubt that was the cause. I shall write him. I heard T Elliot was here I cannot see him Wm Neaville I saw him when I arrived here he stays in Hospital. Jim Robinson is here with me I am expecting a letter from Mary G daily. Her bundle I have not yet received Mr. Hengan (?) told me of the death (of) Miss Winter. You seem to think I am looking on the dark side indeed I am not. Although it has been a long time since I was a free man and I would rather be anywhere than at this place it is not pleasant to be engaged in battle but I would ten times rather take chances charging a battery of artillery than remain here. I would like much to hear from Mollie. Give my love to them all, my love to Louisa & family tell her to name the little one Florence. Remember me to all home and to all relatives & friends. Kiss my dear little Ida & Lucy for me tell them Pa is well and thinks of them often. I must now close good bye Dear Sallie and accept the best love of your Henry

July 6 1864

Fort Delaware July 6th 1864

Dear Dear Sarah,

Your kind letter of the 25th I received from Point Lookout to day as it has at last arrived. Your letter was dated 25th april but I suppose it was a mistake of yours being in a hurry when you wrote. It has been three weeks last Monday since I received a letter from you and you know I was glad to again get one from you. We left the Point on the 25th June I hope you receive the letter I wrote you on leaving the place. I also wrote a few days before we had the order. I think that was the one with ring enclosed. I am glad to learn you received it. I would like to send a finer one but you know it takes money in prison as well as out. You need not trouble about the needles I mentioned, I will get them, the needles you spoke of are not to be had. I think if you cannot get them there they are certainly in Baltimore get some one to send for them for you when I said crochet in meant nubia needles. I received a letter from Mary, Mr. ___, Gus, today. I have received one from Mary G. since I have been here she sent me hat, socks, & tobacco and it came to the Point the night I left. Lucky I am not. Remember me to all the Bain family, my love to all home, and to all relatives & friends. I wrote to you Sunday week from this place kiss my dear little girls for me write soon dear Sallie from you affectionate husband H. A. A