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1864 June 6: The 7th Minnesota in Paducah, Kentucky

June 6, 2014

A letter and a lengthy post-script from Wyman X. Folsom to his father, W. H. C. Folsom, in Taylors Falls, Wisconsin.  Folsom was in Company C of the 7th Minnesota Infantry, along with a number of other Taylors Falls and Saint Croix Falls, Wisconsin, men.  The original letter is in the W. H. C. Folsom Papers (River Falls Mss S), in the University Archives and Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Paducah Ky.            .
June 6th 1864

My Dear Father

                                Yours of the 30th came to hand this morning. I am happy to learn you are all well at home but am exceedingly unhappy to hear of your not having rain.  We have had an abundance of rain.  [paragraph break added]

Dr. Mattocks¹ and me attended church last evening.  I am very much displeased with the tomfoolry [sic].  All that the minister seemed to care for was to raise a laugh.  The audience were mostly rough and illbreed [sic].  One half of the inhabitants here do not know anything.  [paragraph break added]

Major Burt [William H. Burt] met with quite an accident last Friday.  He bought him a fine horse at St. Louis and since we have been here he spends his time in training him.  Last Friday his horse kicked him in the face, cutting his nose most off and injuring him; will mare [sic: mar] in different parts of his face.  He can not see this morning, his injury is not serious though.  I am ashamed to say that most all the regiment were glad to see him hurt.  I am very sorry indeed to see him so (not withstanding his ill feelings towards me).   [paragraph break added]

Albert Pearson,² brother to Sam Pearson the watch maker, is in hospital with consumption and I am afraid will not never see Minnesota again.  He is not able to go home and is failing very fast.  Co. “C” had only two sick men this morning and have only two in Hospital; is not that good for a hundred men.  C “C” numbers eighty ninty [sic] one men.  Only one company in the regiment that numbers more.  Co. “D” has ninty [sic] two men.  The regiment is verry [sic] healthy and in good spirits.  Some are thinking of going home this fall, but if I am not mistaken they will get badly fooled.  I am not expecting my discharge before my time is out, and that is one year and a little over two months more.  Then I am in great hopes of seeing you all but my stay at home will be short for I am going through Commercial College before I go to the Falls to stay.  [paragraph break added]

Next Friday I am going to join the “Union League,” Dr. Smith also [Lucius B. Smith].  A good many are joining of our regiment.  Mr. Guard’s³ wife is here with him.  Capt. Carter,4 Lieut. Buck5 (of Winona) and several others have their wifes [sic] with them.  Guess they contemplate staying all summer here.  I am in hopes we may stay here and next fall go to Saint Louis.  Then I will go through Commercial College.  But I may be dispointed [sic: disappointed], our doctors are having their hands full.  There is a regiment of negroes here that they are taking care of and a __ and and [sic] one ___ besides.

Col. Marshall [William R. Marshall] has come back looking good as ever.  He is a good man and the regiment know it.  Our chaplain has resigned; is a good thing for the regiment for he never done any good, and was a curse to us.  Good by,

Your Obt.6 Son,
. .      .Wyman X. Folsom
.      .  ..Co “C” 7″ Minnesota
… MPaducah Ky.

12 o’clock noon

I have been down town for some papers for men to go to Hospital.  Frank went with me.  We went in to a Saloon and and [sic] had some ice cream and straw berries [sic].  There is some verry [sic] fine gardens on the outskirts of the city and strawberries in abundence [sic], good large ones and only fifteen cents a quart.  O ! but they are delicious with ice cream these warm days.  The thermometer stands to ninty [sic] six, it is most awfull [sic] hot.  I bought me a linen coat and in fact most every one that can wear them are buying, situated as I am not having to drill or appear in military suit as all on dress occasions.  It must be verry [sic] hot here in July and August.

I am great hopes that we will stay all summer.  There is some good Union families but they are mighty few and scattering.  A flying rumor has just come in that Richmond was taken, but I do not believe it at all.  Grant [Ulysses S. Grant] has been verry [sic] sucessfull [sic] so far, but he can not take Richmond without taking time.  It will cast men, many, and time to capture that stronghold.  I do not want to see Richmond captured without Lee [Robert E. Lee] and his army.  Sherman [William T. Sherman] is __ and driving Johnson [sic: Joseph E. Johnston] before him.  I have now some business on hand.  Give my love to all.

Your Obt.6 Son,
. .      .Wyman X. Folsom

1.  Brewer Mattocks was the assistant surgeon of the 7th Minnesota Infantry.
2.  His name is listed in the roster as Albert Pehrsons, 30, from Taylors Falls. He enlisted in Company C on August 15, 1862. Albert died June 22, 1864, in Paducah.
3.  Erastus E. Guard (1825-1878) was from Taylors Falls when he enlisted August 12, 1862, and was in Company C. He became the Principal Musician on May 28, 1863, and transferred to the non-commissioned staff. Guard mustered out November 16, 1864, with a disability.
4.  Theodore G. Carter (1832-1915) was the captain of Company K. He was from Nicollet County.
5.  Norman Buck was the 1st lieutenant of Company C at this time. He will be promoted to captain of Company D in January 1865.
6.  Obedient. “Your obedient servant” was a common way to sign-off when writing a letter in the 19th century.

Wyman X. Folsom letter of June 6, 1864, from the W. H. C. Folsom Papers (River Falls Mss S) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Wyman X. Folsom letter of June 6, 1864, from the W. H. C. Folsom Papers (River Falls Mss S) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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