Private Lewis Mesecar
Company C

Private Mesecar was shot in the abdomen during The Baffle of Bentonville, North Carolina, on Sunday March 19,1865 . He died the following day. What follows are several letters written between Lewis Mesecar and his wife, Harriet.

Lewis was hospitalized in 1863. These letters cover that period of his service. This is a letter from Lewis to his family

September 2, 1863
Nashville, Tennessee
Cumberland Hospital

Dear Respected Wife and Children
I have just taken my pen in hand to communicate a few lines to you and hope them to find you all in good health at present I am getting some better I have the Diarrhea very bad yet and my legs swels in the day and is worse in the warm days. We have had a very cool weather for a week past and some frost nights but the sun is very warm day the wind is cool and pleasant, I do not think that I shall ever be able to march any more I am too weak in the Back and Legs I think if I could get home that I would soon get well that I could work again but the prospect of getting discharged here at the present appears to be rather doubtful I have lost my Descriptive roll in the Convelescent Camp by the way of the officers they was drunk a great deal of their time and was sending away men to their regiments and the involment Core and think it was sent away with some of them if I cannot find it I shall have to send to the Regiment for a new one. But the Army is on the move now it will be hard to get one when the Army is on the move the Books were all left back with the teams and other Regimental property I sent you twenty dollars the other day and I have been afraid you would never get it. I was that it would be taken out of the mail. I want you to wnte soon as you get this and let me know whether you get it or not. I have spent twelve dollars in the Combalesant we almost starved to death there towards the last, nothing but spoiled meat and sour bread to eat and I was sick that I was not able to be out of my bed but a little while at the time and had to pay twenty five cents a quart for milk and fifty for butter and very little to be got at any rate ten cents for buttermilk the sutlers was very high ten for four onions and tomatoes about the same price and all other things accordingly You can do as you think best about building the house, you had better not expect much more money from me for some time since I have lost my Descriptive Roll I cannot draw at this next payment so it will be four months before I can draw any more if I draw I will send you some I had thought of building a house soon as I got home I have not to write to you this morning so good by for this time hoping to see you all again soon from your affectionate husband and father

Direct your letter to:
Lewis Mesecar
Nashville Tennessee
Cumberland Hospital
1 Division 1 section

Another letter to Harriet from Lewis

September 20th 1863

Cumberland Hospital Nashville Tennessee

My Dear Companion
It is with much pleasure that I have taken my pen in hand to communicate a few lines to hoping to find you all in good health. I am getting quite well again. I feel very well, but weak yet. I can walk anywhere about camp very comfortable. But a little hardship will soon fetch me down again. how much longer I shall stay here I cannot tell. I received your kind letter today and was glad to hear that you are all well. I hope that you remain in good health while I am from home at any rate I was sorry to hear Alfred had a notion of enlisting again. He had better stay at home, these flattering stories is only to catch them in a trap. Soon as (they) get them fast they will take them where they have a mind to. Alfred has not education to be a quartermaster Sargent for it takes a good scholar. They have the rations to weigh and the Bills to foot up. Tell Alfred to take Dads advice and stay home with mother. He knows but little about the hardships of the Army. They never will catch me in another trap. I want you to do the best you can until I get home again. There will soon be four months pay coming to me but I cannot get it without my Descriptive Roll and if it cannot be found they have to pay me the other four months over again. I sent you a letter with two dollars in it in answer to the other letter you sent me. I will (send) you two dollars in this one and the next one I will send you some more. I have but little hopes of getting to Detroit until the war closes or I get worse and they Discharge me. They were a taking men from here every week to the Comvalescent Camp and there examine them and them that is able is sent to their Regiments, the balance is kept there to be recruited and some discharged. It is a hard thing to get out of the Army on a discharge. I am afraid that the Rebels will give Rosencrans hard Battle for they were reinforcing so hard in Georgia. Our Regiment is there. I have no news to send you we had a heavy rain and wind last Thursday and the weather has been cold ever since. On Saturday morning was a heavy frost so we could write our names on the Boards. I have no more present, But remain your affectionate friend and companion from Lewis Mesecar to Harriet Mesecar Write soon and let me know if you get the two dollars I sent you and this two dollars I have received two letters from you since I came here Instead of two I sent three (dollars)

About 17 months after the above letters were written by Lewis, Harriet sends Lewis this letter.

Campbell Feb 12/65
Dear Lewis
I write with pleasure hoping this will reach you for I cannot get any letters from you I have had two since you started with Gen Sherman one was written Christmas the other the first of Jan I have answered both and wrote several others I do not think you received You told me in the one dated Jan 1st to pay the taxes with a note that was on one of those bonds I have not never received any such bonds nor did know you had taken any. You told me you was sending some papers of value that you wanted me to save until you came home, also a box with some clothing then I received a letter stating you had not sent them, and for me not to look for them, you did not tell me you sent the papers of value in that package. I got all the money that it called for. The papers you did not mention in your letter so they had a chance to keep them out, if you took a receipt for them and have not lost that, it will be all right yet, but if that is gone all will be lost that your papers call for, unless you have proof of it. Do not take up any more money is such is the case, only for yourself. I will try to get along someway. I do not know as I can get any thing more from Gibson but I am going to try. They try very hard to keep it away from me. I have a letter from the Provost Martial at Detroit stating that I have a right to it, but the big men of Campbell know more than he does.

The draft takes place the fifteenth their is three more to be drafted from this place. Their was a meeting called to raise their bounty money. Their was a vote taken to raise it by tax so when such men as you that went away without any bounty comes home can go to work and pay taxes to help keep those fellows necks out of it, that you have been fighting for their homes and property. They could not let it be a State Bounty that would not do. Such men as you would be making your three cents a day, it is the Abolitionist of this place, they are not Union men, they are for self. They had rather the soldiers familys would starve, that is their loyalty could not ‘jay taxes and the returns have been made. I could not get Gibson to let me have but since in October. I had to use your money all but the fifty, and the weaving I have done has kept us through the winter so far. Vanderly has let me have straw for the cow. I do not know how much he will charge me for it. He has bought Nashes Mill and moves it tomorrow. He says the one that you took is spoiled he would have taken them in last spring if he had known about them. Morris sold two thousand four hundred feet of logs before I knew about it. I put a stop to that the rest have been taken to the mill. When they are sawed I will get Vanderly to see to them for me. I think my name was wrote Mercer on that package to keep me from getting it since I have learned that you sent those bonds for your name was written very plane in the letter that accompanyed the package. As you did not mention those papers in the letter their was a chance to keep them for it was very plain to understand, for it was likely they knew you would be away with Genl Sherman and would never hear from it. If you have got my letters concerning this hope you will send certificate or secure it some way that will be safe for I have written twice before this since I received information of the fact that you had forwarded those Bonds to me. We have had a very cold and steady winter, not had a thaw this winter enough to see the mud. Last night the wind blew a perfect hurrachane I must close for Aggie has come in to stop awhile with us. We are all well at present and in hopes this will find you well also. 0 yes Libbie has a sore arm for she has been vacinated.
Goodby for this time hoping soon to here from you from your affectionate wife

Taken from: The Battle of Bentonville\ Last Stand In The Carolinas

While Briant’s wing attached on the right, Buell’s brigade marched into a withering small arms fire. The Ohioans and Michiganders advanced in good order towards Jackson’s and Govan’s brigades, the front rank returning the Confederates’ fire. In Lieutenant Bates’ Company C of the 21St Michigan, Sgt. Frank Foster, marching far ahead with the colors, was the first casualty. Although shot through the wrist, the burly Foster “bravely clung to the flag,” Bates recalled, “keeping it aloft, beckoning us on to victory or death. Lieutenant Bates continued:
(Corporal) Mauch was the first man in (Company) C to fall, shot through‘The abdomen, a mortal wound from which he died the night following. We passed (Corporal) Kilmer a moment later lying on his back dying, his feet squarely to the front, his smoking musket firmly grasped in his hands, and a few paces farther along lay a young (Confederate) soldier about the same age and build also dying. Louis Messaker, one of my oldest and best men, was the next to fall dead... my brother, shot through the thigh, made his way to my side to tell me he was shot. I could only tell him to make his way to the hospital as best he could alone.

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