62d Pennsylvania Volunteers

Sergeant William Hagerson
of Company D, March 1863:
Letters and Portrait

62d  Pennsylvania Monument at Gettysburg

Portrait of William Hagerson and his son Asa

portrait of William and Asa Hagerson

William Hagerson's letters

On this page are two images of letters written by Sergeant William Hagerson while he was in winter camp near Falmouth, Va. The letters were sent to me by Mildred R. Loose, whose ancestor was Sergeant William Hagerson. After the images, I have added transcriptions of their texts. Both Ms. Loose and I have taken a stab at deciphering the handwriting.

Letter to C. O. Hile

From the context of the letter, it appears that Hagerson was not with the company during the Battle of Fredericksburg, but returned the following February to what was left of the regiment. In the letter William refers to his son Asa as having been sent from the regiment to the hospital at Windmill Point while William was away. Asa had joined the regiment, before he was yet 18, in September 1862 at Harrisburg, but became ill. About a month after the letter, on 6 April 1863, Asa was discharged by order of H. C. Hart, Surgeon of Philadelphia, on account of Chronic Rheumatism. Asa rejoined the regiment in 1864, accepting a $200 bounty. His ills were not over. He was wounded at Spottsylvania Court House and also suffered a case of acute hepititis.

letter from Sgt. William Hagerson, pages 4 and 1

letter from Sgt. William Hagerson, pages 2 and 3

Camp near Falmouth, Va
March 8th 1863

Mr. C. O. Hile
Dear Sir. This being Sun-
day, and as I feel quite lonesome, seated
in an old smoky tent. I thought I would
occupy the time in writing a few lines to
you. As you are aware I was ordered back
to my regiment. I arrived here on the
evening of the 23rd of February all safe &
rite[?]. And I think it was one of the coldest
days I ever felt. The snow was full
ten inches deep, when I came here.
I found the boys (what was left of them)
all safe and in fine spirits, and they
seemed to be quit[e] glad that I had got
back. And I am sure I was glad to
see so many of them alive and well.
Asa I did not see. He was sent away from
the Regt., to the Hospital at Windmill
Point some time before I came back
and was moved afterwards to Washington
and was put in the Hospital there. I stay-
ed one day in Washington trying to find
him, but could not find out what
Hospital he was in. I would have stayed
another day looking for him, but I dare not
for fear of being arrested, as soldiers are not
allowed in Washington without a pass.
So I had to come away without seeing him.
I learned from some of the boys that saw
him when he left Windmill Point that [he]
was getting better and they thought he was
not dangerous.
When I came back to the regiment, the weath-
er being verry could, and I having only
one blanket, and having no good place
to sleep, I caught a verry bad cold,
attended with a cough and have not
felt verry well since.
The old flag that was presented to
us more thena year ago at Camp Bettie
Black is here yet with no less than
forty seven (47) bullet holes through
it. The boys have noble defended
it. When I look at it a thrill of
Patriotism runs through me and I
sometimes wish I could have been along
to [have] shared in its defence.
we are encamped just two and one half miles
from Fredericksburg. I went up on the Hill
the other day and had a full view of the
late Battle ground. At the latter place
I had a view of the Rappahannock river
it is just about half as wide as the Allegheny
river is at Millers Eddy. we can see
the rebble camps. and there batteries on the
high Hills on the opposite side of the river
it seems to me that Burnsides must have
acted the part of a novice to throw our
army across the river at this place
and the rebels haveing such a advan-
tage of the hills that the[y] had here,
how many of our brave men slept
there last here, all on account of
mismanagement. Give us Gen Mc
Clellan. if the[y] want to save the union
well orr[?]. I will close this
scribbling for the present. And
I would like very much if you
would write to me.

Yours with respect

Wm Hagerson

Letter to Reuben

William Hagerson sent this letter to his ten year old son less than a week later. Thanks again to Mildred R. Loose for scanning and sending me the image of the original.

letter from Sgt. William Hagerson to Reuben

Camp 62 [?] PV
March 13th 1863
Mr Reuben,
Your nice little
letter dated the 4th inst
I received this day
Well Reuben
I was highly pleased when
I got your letter. I did not
think that you could write
any But then I could read
every word of it. notwith-
standing you did fall on the
ice. I think you must
must have been going to
school willingly. Studdy or
you could not write so well
You said in your letter for
me not to re-enlist. well
I do not intend to re-enlist
if I live i will be home
abut next August.
You say Will and King
was fishing. I was fishing
the other day too, but I had
not as good luck as Will
and King, for I did not
catch any. Out here where
I am its a great place for
Rabbits they are verry
plenty. I have shot about
fifty this winter. I think
if Curtis and Silas was
here with their traps they
could catch lots of them.
Well Reuben I want you
to be a goood Boy and stick
to your school, and try to
learn all that you can
for there is nothing like
being a good Scholar
But I will close for
this time.
Enclosed you will
find some money 25 cts
try to put it to a good

Wm Hagerson
To Reuben

Back to the Pennsylvania 62d Infantry Regiment Page?

Thanks once again to Mildred R. Loose for sharing this letter.

This page authored and maintained by John R. Henderson (jhenderson@ithaca.edu), Lodi, NY.
Last modified: 20 December 2013
URL: http://www.icyousee.org/pa62d/whletter.html