Camp near Fort Duane
Beaufort, South Carolina
April 7, 1864
I seat myself down to let you know that I am well at present and hoping that you are the same. Dear brother, it has been a long time since I seen you or heard from you. Brother, when I was on furlough home, Uncle told me that you was living in Westmoreland county and he gave me some directions to write to you.
Brother, we have had sorrowful news this morning. One of our men died with the measles in the hospital.
Dear brother, I have been down here in South Carolina for the last two years. I was home on furlough in the month of February. Our whole company reenlisted for three years more. There is a great deal of sickness here now. The sun is very warm here at the present time. I seen Johnathan Wicker [?] & was home. He is well and also cousin Emma and Lille and James and Augustus Statler. I suppose you don’t know who cousin Emma and Tille is. They are Uncle John Statler’s daughters. I spoke to Johnathan about Emmanuel going to live with his Uncle Samuel Statler at Harrisburg. I wish you would see something about it. Johnathan told me that his uncle said he would take him if he would send him down to them.
Brother, let me know in your next letter something about Mother—where she is and how she is a getting along. Brother, I will have to be a bringing my letter to a close as we have to be getting ready for picket [duty].
Yours truly, Samuel F. Statler ¹
Write as soon as this comes to hand. Direct to Company H, 55th Pa. Regiment Volunteers, Beaufort, South Carolina in care of Capt. Livingstone
¹ Samuel Ferrell Statler (1848-1936) “was born on a farm near Berlin, Pennsylvania, September 4, 1847, a son of Henry Statler (1803-1853) and Keziah Ferrell (1813-1903), both of who are members of pioneer Pennsylvania families. Samuel F. Statler attended the schools of Schellsburg, and at the age of thirteen ran away from home to join the Federal troops, enlisted with Co. H, 55th Pennsylvania Infantry. At the end of the Civil War, he enlisted with Co. K, 3rd United States Infantry and spent three years in the west fighting Indian rebellions. He served under General Custer for eight years before the latter’s death. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and retired from active army life with the rank of sergeant…” (Source: A History of the Juniata Valley in Three Volumes, Vol. 3, National HIstorical Assn., Inc., Harrisburg, Pa. 1936, p. 672-3.) Samuel became a dentist afterwards and settled in Bedford, Pennsylvania.
According to his obituary, Samuel saw service “at the bombardment of Forts Walker and Beauregard, on the islands and at Shell Bridge, the battle of Pocotaligo, Drury’s Bluff, where a number of local men were wounded and captured, he receiving a would in the leg and being taken to the Reg. Hospital. After recovering Corp. Statler was ordered to return to the hospital but appealed to the Provost Marshal and was permitted to return to the front with the Army of the James. He participated in the Battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, attacks on the Weldon Railroad, Fort Harrison, Chapin’s Bluff, Fort Steadman, and was twice wounded, not seriously. At the latter place, his oldest brother, Nelson, was killed. Numerous skirmishes followed as they marched between Lee’s Army and Lynchburg and were lying with bayonets drawn when the word of Lee’s surrender was brought, April 9, 1865.
In 1866 he enlisted in Gen’l Hancock’s Corps “for service against the Indians and assigned to Co. K, 3rd U. S. Infantry on duty in Kansas. He participated in the Battle of Washita (1868) where Chief Black Kettle and his army were slain and sustained an arrow wound in the hand. Four years he spent with the army in the western states and had many thrilling experiences, being discharged March 1870…”