Thomas' grave marker --- Beaufort National Cemetery, Beaufort SC.
Following are four letters that Thomas Lewis wrote that I transcribed; two to his brother and two to his wife. Some are quite faded. Also, a transcription of the 1922 obit for Thomas' wife, Harriet McCall Lewis Lockwood. One of the photos shows Thomas' grave marker. He died on 8 September 1863 at Folly Island SC. He was buried in the Beaufort National Cemetery, Beaufort SC. --Michael B. Guild, Del Mar, CA
Camp 144th NYS Volunteers
New Vienna Va
April 5th 1863
My Darling Hattie
I have just got up and as the mail is going out today I thought I would write to you a few lines. We changed our camp a
little yesterday and I presume we will stay here for a week or two if not longer. The men have nothing but their shelter tents and we officers have the A tents the same that we had in Delhi one tent for three company officers and I tell you it seems rather small after being in those large wall tents yet we get along very well. There has no mail come here since Friday and it will not be here again till tomorrow. I am getting somewhat impatient at not getting a letter from you. It is now a week since the last one I received was written. Things are going here as usual. We have to go out on picket every third day. I think that we have got through digging here as we have rifle pits all around us. I can't see what we are here for, for there is no danger of any rebels coming here in any force. There is about 75 Government teams here drawing wood and I suppose we are here to guard them for there is nothing else here worth guarding. We lost another of our men night before last at Fairfax Seminary. David Telford one of our corporals and as fine a fellow as we had in our company. Bill Chase has gone to General Hospital at Washington. He went over to Head Quarters of this division and was sent from there. It commenced snowing here last night at dark and snowed all night and till 10 this morning. The snow is about 10 inches deep now and it is very cold. I must stop as the mail is about ready. Write often to your lonesome Tom.
Camp 144th NYS Volunteers
Near Sufolk Va
April 18th 1863
I again write a few lines to let you know how I am getting along. The whole of Ambercrombies Division was ordered
on the lOth inst to be ready to march at a moments notice after the morning of the 13th inst. And last Wednesday morning at 3AM we received orders to be in Alexandria at daylight but we did not get ready to march till about 7 AM. Got down to Alexandria at 9 and had to stand out in the rain till 11. Then we got on board the steam transport Junetta and started for Fortress Monroe about half past 12. Part of our Regt was on the Edward Lewis and the Col. sent for me a few moments before the boats moved and detailed me to act as Quarter Master till Gordon came down and so I rode down on the E Lewis with the Col. and staff. We ran down to Mattrius Point that night and anchored for the night. It rained hard all day and evening. We started again the next morning at 5 and got down to Fortress Monroe at 6 PM. Had to report there for orders. Stayed till dark. Saw one of our gun boats, "word", one English man-of-war, and one French Frigate of 40 guns. Also saw the "Rip Raps". We left F. Monroe at dark and ran down to Norfolk. Got there at 81/2. Got all our men and baggage off the boat at 9. Then the 7 Companies of our Regt lay down on the dock and slept till morning. It was clear and pleasant all day and evening and has been since. The rest of the Regt got in yesterday morning at 91/2 and they are all started for Suffolk at 11. I had to stay at Norfolk till the next train to get the rations and baggage along. I got up here at 41/2 PM and had to get teams to draw the things to camp which is about 3/4 of a mile from the depot. I got everything here at dark "all right". Our camp is on the Nansemond River close on the bank about 3/4 of a mile from Suffolk. The rebels
are on the other side of the river about 3/4ths of a mile from us and they keep up a continual firing at our pickets. The
Captain and I went up to a gun a short distance from here and were looking at the rebels through a glass. We could see them quite plain in rifle pits and one of them got up on top the rifle pits and fired at us. There was quite a crowd around
there and the ball whized over our heads and struck in the bank so I have seen a Rebel and heard his ball whistle over my head. I saw Bill Law and Smith Patterson of the 89th today. They are laying near here. Also saw Capt Cormack and LtCol England. There is about 3000 men here and it is reported that there is about the same number of Rebels on the other side of the river and we are expecting a fight here now. We have not received any pay yet and perhaps will not for some time to come. Give my love to all. Yours affectionately Thos Lewis
PS 6 PM. Our batteries are throwing shell across the river at the rebels and they are returning the fire in musketry. The
Regt is very healthy just now. Tom
NOTE: The envelope with this letter is addressed to William Lewis Jr. It also had 'Soldier's Mail' and 'due 3' marks.
Head Quarters 144th NYS Vols
on board steam transport
R S Spaulding. Near Fort Monroe
Wednesday 121/2 PM May 6th 1863
We are again on the move. We received orders yesterday morning to be ready to march at 11 AM with three days rations in
haversacks and we left camp at 10 and marched to Suffolk and lay there in the street till 6 PM. Then we got on board the cars and started at 7 and got down to Norfolk at 9 and it was twelve when we got everything aboard the boat. It commenced raining just as we got to Norfolk and we had to stand out in it till 11 when our CO got aboard. It has rained hard ever since. We started from Norfolk at 8 this morning and came down to Fortress Monroe and I hear that we have to stay here till tomorrow. We do not know where we are going but the general opinion is that we are going to Yorktown. I suppose you have seen by the papers that we had a little skirmish at Suffolk last Sunday. Our Regt was in the reserve and all that we did was to go up within about half a mile of the rebs to support a Battery. The 89 and the 103 NY were the first to advance and the 89th lost 12 wounded. None had died when we came away last night. Capt Cormack was in all day and came out safe. I saw him in Norfolk with his wife this morning. Our loss was 133 in killed and wounded. The rebels loss not known. We had taken between five and six hundred prisoners when we left Suffolk. The enemy have fallen back and left the place entirely.
I wrote you on the 29 of April and enclosed allotment check for $200 which I hope you have received. Please write and
let me know. No more as the mail is about to leave the boat. I have not been very well for the last two days. diseas general debility (sic) My love to all.
Sunday 8 PM I wrote a letter last night to you and did not put it in office thinking that I would be up early enough
this morning to have it go. I went to bed at 10 last night and did not get up till 9 this morning. The Regt was called out
last night at 11 and the Captain said he awoke me up but I did not know anything about it till I got up this morning. The Regt went down to the point and tore down a large heavy earthwork which commanded the river and got back just daylight this morning. I was in camp till 6 this afternoon. Then Captain and I went down to the point to see if we could get something to eat but we could not find a thing. Our mess chest went off yesterday and we have had nothing to eat but hardstack today and that is pretty tough living. I wish I was up there to get some of Kates good biscuit tonight. I think I could do justice to them well. We saw 8 or 10 transports down at the point. And we came back at 71/2 and we have just received orders to march at 9 precisely tonight which I hope is true for it is very hard work for me to wait here when I know we are going soon. I suppose the next time I write to you I will be in some other part of the United States. I am quite well. My back has been some sore today but nothing more than usual. I must close and pack up my blankets so good night darling. Your own Tom
NOTE: This letter had no heading. I assume it was to Hattie.
Obit for Thomas' wife, Harriet McCall Lewis Lockwood
MRS HARRIET LOCKWOOD
Active in Church Work Fifty Years
Mrs Harriet (McCall) Lockwood, born in Hamden 83 years ago on May 26th next, died yesterday, May 4th, at her home on Main Street. She had been ill since Christmas with a complication of diseases. The funeral will be held Sunday at 2 P.M. from St John's Church; burial at Walton beside her husband, the late E.W. Lockwood.
Mrs Lockwood spent the greater part of her life in Walton and was a truly remarkable and talented woman, heartily interested always in church, village and social activities but withal mindfull of her home and family. She was president of the Walton V.I.S. for many years; was the First Regent of the Walton Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution and was Diocesan manager for the Diocese of the susquehanna of the Women's Auxiliary for fifteen years, continuing up to the time of her death. Even during her final sickness she kept up her activity, dictating letters in regard to her work in the Archdeaconry after she was confined to bed. She was a woman of pleasing personality, one who gained and retained many friends. She was for over fifty years a member of Christ Episcopal Church of Walton. She is survived by four children, Mrs H.E. North and Roswell E Lockwood of Walton; Rev Alfred Lockwood of Pendelton, Oregon, and Mrs Harold Fenton with whom she resided here, also by ten grandchildren, four great grandchildren, and one sister, Mrs Clinton Dewitt of Saugerties, N.Y.
Note: Harriet McCall Lockwood died on 4 May 1922.