Skip to content

1865 January 28: Frank Harding’s “Regt. has been ordered to Tortugas and I am on my way to rejoin it”

January 28, 2015

The original letter is in the Frank D. Harding Papers (River Falls Mss AB), located at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls University Archives & Area Research Center.

Key West, Fa., Jan 28th 1865

Dear Father,

                        I arrived at this place last night on the Empire City, had a fine voyage out and am in good health.  My Regt. has been ordered to Tortugas¹ and I am on my way to rejoin it.  I could not be relieved from Morganza² where the Regt. was.  So I have to travel alone, which is not very pleasant.

I shall stay here three of four days and then rejoin my Rgt.  I have seen but little of the place as yet but am very much pleased with what I have seen.  When I get to the Island³ I will write you again, till then good by.  Give my love to mother & Diantha.  Direct to 99th U.S. Col. Infty., Key West, Fa. [Fla.].

Yours in haste,
.       .Frank D. Harding

1.  Tortuga is the Spanish word for turtle or tortoise.  In this case, Harding is referring to a place—the Dry Torgugas, which is a group of islands in the Florida Keys, about 70 miles west of Key West, Florida. Fort Jefferson is located there.
2.  Morganza, Louisiana, is where Harding had been stationed until recently.
3.  The island on which Fort Jefferson is located is Garden Key. Fort Jefferson is a massive coastal fortress, the largest masonry structure in the Americas. The fort remained in Union hands throughout the Civil War.

Frank Harding letter of January 28, 1865, from the Frank D. Harding Papers (River Falls Mss AB) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Frank Harding letter of January 28, 1865, from the Frank D. Harding Papers (River Falls Mss AB) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: