In a letter home 19-year-old Private Hazen Blanchard Hooker, Co. G, Third Vermont Regiment, asked his family to write more upbeat letters and ones that reported on the ordinary, day-to-day activities. He urged family members to not be downhearted, and expressed his confidence that he would return home safely. Here is one of his letters:

Camp in the woods, Va
Nov. 6, 1862

Friends at home,     . . .

I want when you write to me not to write such mournful letters. Write more what is going on day after day on the old priest Wosester [Leonard Worcester] farm, how much the oxen girth, how many times the horse strap has broke on the old . . . lumber wagon which I have rod many miles. . .. do not pitch you[r] letters all on the key of A minor. The majer key is what we Soldiers want lively and full of bright hopes of the future. Why need you be so down hearted.

I am gitting along first rate, never felt better in my life. True we have seen some hard times, but never mind that. Job was surely afflicted, but he was patient, and came out all right. So it will be with your son Hazen, if you only think so. I am confident that I shall be permited to return home again some time. My every thought and feeling seems to say, you shall again see your native land, though many miles [are] betwexed it and you.

Private Hooker was killed May 5, 1864 at the Battle of the Wilderness. He died amidst fierce fighting at the strategic junction of Brock Road and Plank Road, which General Grant ordered held “at all hazards.” His body was never recovered.

This information provided courtesy of Peacham Historical Association. Please take the time to visit their site. This letter is printed in their publication: A Vermont Hill Town in the Civil War: Peacham’s Story


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