The following letters are transcribed from letters that my great-great-great uncle George Foor sent home to my relatives. The "sister" is my great-great grandmother Liveria (Foor) Housworth (b.9-14-1832 d.4-17-1901). The "mother" is my great-great-great grandmother Jane Foor (b.10-10-1797 d.1-15-1884) and Sir, Sir John and John is my great-great grandfather John L. Housworth (b.3-18-1825 d.11-8-1908).
The "little Jane" George refers to is his niece who had health problems (b.10-29-1860 d.12-29-1871). I have corrected some of the spelling to make the reading easier. I have the original letters and the envelopes they were sent in.
There is a gravestone for Geo. Foor "Co A, 40th NY Inf" at "Milford Christian Churchyard", Milford, Hunterdon Co., NJ.
Census: 1850 Nockamixon Twp., Bucks Co., PA
Foor, Michael, 36y carpenter b PA (father)
Jane, 32y b PA (mother) (my great-great-great grandmother)
Sarah, 25y b PA (sister)
Eveline, 20y b PA (sister)
Benjamin, 21y b PA (brother)
Liveria, 16y b PA (sister) (my great-great grandmother)
Jane, 15y b PA (sister)
George, 11y b PA
Ruth, 13y b PA (sister)
Yonkers July 2nd, 1861
I received your kind letter and was glad to hear from you. We leave the 4th of July for Washington. We will go through Philadelphia and expect to stop there about 24 hours. Elizabeth Conner sent me her likeness. The dollar you sent me come good as I had no money nor don’t know when we will get any but not before we get to Washington.
As soon as I get my money I well send it nearly all to mother. Some of the men won’t go until they get there money and say they will stack there arms in the field. And I won’t know how it will work. I am well and in good health and I hope your are the same. When I get to Washington I will send you a letter and whenever we move. Don’t send here no more.
No more at present but still your affectionate brother George Foor.
To his sister Liveria Foor
Alexandria August 18th 1861
I now take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well and I hope that these few lines will find you the same. Our company is doing Police Duty but the rest of the Regiment will make a start this morning toward Fairfax. Soldiers is allowed to pass the streets but they must have a pass from their captain and after five o’clock their pass is no good. If they are out after five they are taken up and put in the slave pen and after nine no citizen is allowed out. I hear the boats is nearly tied up. It is a damn shame that old Guinner got his potatoes stolen.
The time is hard here and the white people has nearly all left the place but there is plenty of black ones and some of the prettiest girls I ever seen and I have my own fun with them. I send my love to you all and wish you all well. I sent you a letter some time back. Send me word if you got it. We have fine fun searching houses. We got 63 barrels of whiskey out of one house, seven out of another and small lots out of others. If you are on duty and see any soldiers in a room you have got to arrest them. Yesterday I was on duty and come across four in a room shop. I went in and ordered them to follow me. They being like one of them drew a revolver and told me that he would shoot me if I attempted to arrest him. I give the pistol a jerk and the lead went above my head. I called for assistance and we arrested them. When the pistol went off I took it from him and give him a damn good belt over his head with the butt of it.
Answer this letter as soon as possible. No more at present but still remaining. Yours truly George Foor. Direct your letter to Alexandria Virginia Mozart Regiment Comp A in care of Cap Croft.
On back of letter: Excuse all mistakes yours truly George Foor
Alexandria August 27th 1861
I now take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well and I hope you are the same. I will send you this item I cut and let you keep it and if I live to come home it may do me some good. If there is any bounty and if a man haven’t got nothing to show maybe he will get nothing. We are still in Alexandria and expect to stay here. As soon as you get this send me an answer and let me know how mother and little Jane is feeling. No more at present but still your brother George Foor.
Direct to same place.
Camp Runyon Alexandria Sep 4th 1861
I now take the opportunity to write a few line to you to let you know that I am well and I hope these few lines will find you the same. We have left Alexandria and went to our respective camp where we are busy engaged building a fort, three miles the other side of our encampment. And about three miles the other side of our fort the Rebels is busy building two forts. We can see them working like good fellows. We have five strong forts here and well mounted. General Butler is doing good business in North Carolina. At one time he captured seven hundred and fifty three prisoners 36 canon one thousand stand of arms. The prisoners were sent to New York to Fort Lafayette. I am in good health and have plenty of fun. I could not get to see Josiah but I sent him a letter. I send my love to you all, we expect a large battle here in a few days of which we will all be in.
No more at present but remaining your George Foor.
The report come when I was but to close that Jeff Davis were dead. Such was in the papers. We get the papers daily. Send to the same place.
Camp Runyon Near Alexandria Sept 13th 1861
I now take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well at present and I hope these few lines will find you in the same state of health. I received Evaline’s letter the 12th and was glad to hear from around there and that you was all well. I have enlisted for three years but I think I won’t live that long by the way things look here. And by the way people talks. But I don’t feel as if I would like to come home. I am in the best health that I ever was in since I left home and have had more fun. I like the service first rate. There was one of the men got shot the other night while on a scouting party seven miles from the camp. A member of our own company shot him. We were within a mile of the enemy and the orders was to shoot any man we seen coming that way. And he happened to get outside of the line and was coming toward us and one of the men fired at him the ball striking him through the heart and killed him instantly. He was brought to the camp and sent home the next morning to Boston. We all put in and got him a coffin for seventy five dollars.
I send my love to you all and wish you well. I got a letter from Josiah Houseworth and John Cristine. They are well and in good health. We expect to have a fight every minute. We are building a fort three miles from the camp. We get daily papers here the Baltimore Clipper is the name of one and the Sun and the Star. And if John Housworth wishes them I will send them to him. We are getting paid off to day and I will send you some money next week. I am almost afraid to trust it for there is so many mails getting robbed. I must stop writing as I have no more so say at present. So good by and God bless you is the wish of your son George Foor.
Send to Alexandria Virginia 40th Mozart Regt Co. A in care of Cap Croft.
Write as soon as you get this and don’t forget.
Camp Riley Oct 12 1861
I now take the opportunity to inform you that I am well at present and I hope these lines will find you in the same state of health. We are in camped about five miles from Alexandria on the Richmond Road (Virginia). We are building a fort for to protect the Stars and Stripes. We have plenty of fun here. We get three drinks a day. I got a letter from Josiah Houseworth this morning. He is well. I won’t write much for I have not got answered what I have wrote. No more at present form your brother George Foor. Direct to the same place.
October 12th/61 We are all ready for action and expect to be attacked tonight.
Camp 40th Nov 4th 1861
I now take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well at present and I hope these few lines will find you in the same state of health. There is nothing going on here at present worthwhile writing about and so I have not much to say this time. I send my love to you all and hope you all well. We have strict orders here and the reason I did not send any money to you some time ago was because I was fined eighteen dollars for disobeying orders but I was not the only one. We will get paid Thursday and I will send you some. Next week there is to be three men shot for disobeying orders. No more at present from your son George Foor.
Write soon. Send to the same place.
Camp Sacket Feb 4th 1862
Sir John Houseworth
I now take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well at present and I hope these few lines will find you in the same state of health. There is nothing much going on here all seems quiet on the Banks of the Potomac. We are still in the same camp and I can’t tell how long we shall remain here soon where our next move will be, we are building a theatre and will have it opened about the first March. We have plenty of rain this last five weeks and it keeps the sacred soil of Virginia so bad under foot that it prevents us from drilling.
I send my love to mother, Liveria, and to all of the children. If you know where the Laringo(?) Regt is I wish you would let me know for I have not heard from them since they left Doylestown. I sent Josiah a letter some five week ago and I have received no answer yet and I think the must be moved away. I have no more to say this time and if any thing takes place I will let you know in my next letter. Good by no more at present but still remaining your friend George Foore.
Write soon address to Alexandria Virginia 40th Mozart Regt. Co. A, in care of Cap Johnson.
Fortress Monroe Nov 28, 1862
I now take my pen in hand to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well at present and I hope these few lines will find you in the same state of health. We have fine weather here. We have plenty of drill and we expect to have plenty of fighting now soon. We have got new rifles and all we want is a opportunity to try them out. I send my love to you all and wish you all well. We had no drill scarcely this winter but we get plenty now to make up all loss time. We get a battalion drill from nine in the morning till twelve at noon and from one until four in the afternoon. The women is very scarce out here and what there is, is as black as ink. Understand that most all of the women in the far camp is married and what hant married has got young ones. We have plenty of fun out here and what leisure time we have we play sledge(?). It is reported this morning that our troops has possession of a place called Big Bethel about seven miles from us. It is also reported that they have evacuated York Town about twenty four miles from us. No more this time from your son George Foore.
Write soon send to Fort Monroe or else when 40th Mozart Regt. Co. A. in care of Capt Johnson.
Camp near Yorktown April 28th 1862
Dear Sister Liveria
I now take the pleasure to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well and in good spirits and I hope that these few lines will find you the same. We are still here within one mile of the enemy and we have plenty to do in building forts and preparing to meet the enemy. There has been about three hundred men killed in the three weeks we have been here in little skirmishes. It is supposed that this will be the biggest battle that has been fought in the rebellion and after this battle it is supposed the war will be over Thursday the 26th.
While out on fatigue duty about four hundred yards from a Rebel fort they sent some 32 pound shell at us. One passed about six feet from my head and landed abut twenty five yard from me. We got it out of the mud. It was a funny looking piece of iron. And coming in camp in the evening hey sent one solid iron ball weighing 64 pounds that come about two yards from my head. We have about 250 cannon here some will take a 32 pound shell and the largest will throw 294 pounds. Our line of battle extends 10 miles and we have big siege guns all along the line and General McClellan is going to throw one thousand bomb shells in the Rebels every minute.
The governor of Pennsylvania has sent a bill that all the troops that belong to that state, gets wounded in the Battle of Yorktown shall be sent to Philadelphia. It looks as if there will be some men killed here for there has been 25 hundred coffins sent here. I send my love to you all and wish you all well. We are all well and in good spirits and willing to go into actions at any moment. Write soon and don’t forget from your brother George Foor.
Send to 40th Mozart Regt Co. A, in care of Capt Johnson.
Fortress Monroe Virginia or else where.
(Picture of a heart) Write soon.
Camp Sacket March 10th 1862
Friend John L Houseworth,
I now take the opportunity to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well and in good health and I hope these few lines will find you the same. We are under marching orders and will march southward as soon as the roads get better and that won’t be long if the weather keeps as it has been this three days. We have got the Rebels all wiped out except Bull Run and there is the place that we will march as soon as the roads gets solid enough to move the artillery. We have had nothing much to do this winter but we expect to see some active service now soon. I sent you some papers some time back let me know if you got them or not and if you did I will send you some more if you want them. No more at present form your friend George Foor.
Write soon send to the same place.
Camp Sacket March 15th 1862
I now take the opportunity to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well at present and I hope these few lines will find you in the same state of health. In the first place I must inform you that we will go to Fortress Monroe this morning we are busy packing up our knapsacks and getting rations enough for to last three days. We will go down the Potomac on vessels the distance is 1.9 miles from Alexandria. The whole division is moving about 50,000 men. You must excuse me for not writing more for I have no time. We are all well and anxious for a move. The boys is all well and in good health. As soon as I get to Fortress Monroe I will send you a letter. You need not answer this letter till you get one more from me. I send my love to you all and wish you all well. I can say no more this time for the drums are beating for us to fall in so good by and God bless you is the wish of your brother George Foor.
Camp Sacket March 16th 1862
Friend John L,
I now take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well at present and I hope these few lines will find you in the same state of health. In the first place I must inform you that we will leave this camp and go to Fortress Monroe and from there we will go to join Burnsides Expedition. There is about seventy transports laying at Alexandria taking in two months coal and amongst them is the John A. Warner and the Thomas A. Morgan and the John Nelson and a great many more from Philadelphia. This is Sunday that I am writing this letter and Tuesday we start down the Potomac bound for Fortress Monroe. You need not write until you hear from me again. I am in good health at present and I hope these few lines will find you in the same state of health. The rebels has all left Manassas, Centerville and Bull Run and the talk is in camp that they will attack Burnsides and there will be fifty thousand men leave Alexandria to reinforce him. We are on the left of the division and will be all most the last on board of the transports. I send my love to you all and wish you all as well as these few lines leaves me no more at present from your friend George Foor.
March 16th 1862
I will write as soon as we arrive at our place of destination.
Williamsburg , Va. May 7th 1862
I now take the opportunity to send you a few lines to let you know that I am well at present and I hope these few lines will find you in the same state of health. We started to go on picket duty Sunday morning the fourth of May and just as we got on post we found the rebels had left evacuated their forts and entrenchments at Yorktown. So we got orders to march forward we did so our company in advance we were the first in the Rebels fort and on arriving in the fort the rebels had planted shells in the ground. Our men got on one of them and it went off. It killed one of our men instantly and tore the leg and arm off of the other so he died in about an hour. The one was a tent mate of mine his name was George McFarrar and a fine young man who use to work in Doylestown.
We got orders to go to camp strike tents and get go in pursuit of the retreating rebels. We done so and overtook them Monday afternoon. We had a hard fight with them. I met the Bridgeton Boys just about an hour before we went into battle. We were in the fields from four in the afternoon until the next morning. When the rebels had left leaving their dead and wounded all over the woods. We had no fields to fight in and so it was bushwhacking the killed and wounded on our side is reported one thousand and that of the rebels is not knowing but all most every step the dead lay on the woods. We have captured General McGruder and 15,000 thousand prisoners. Our Regt lost 211 killed and wounded our company lost one killed and two slightly wounded.
I must come to a close so good by from your brother George Foor.
We will go after the rebels as soon as we get our dead buried and wounded taken care of.
Cumberlanding May 18th 1862
I now take the opportunity to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well and in good health and I hope these few lines will find you the same. We are about twenty three miles from Richmond and we have fine time marching on. All the Bridgeton Boys are with us old dad Pursell is with us. Tell Sarah Pursell if she wants to write him he is in the Third Wisconsin Regt. him and Wilson Warford. She must send her letter to Washington D.C. 3rd Wisconsin Regiment. Joseph Lowery and John Feeley is in the 5th New Jersey. I seen them all. We were in the fight at Williamsburg. We lost about 80 the Regiment that Joseph Lowery was in lost a great many more. We are in Carnies Division and Birneys Brigade. We expect to have hard fighting before we get to Richmond but we are fighting for a good cause and willing to do it. I send my love to you all. Hiram Pursell carries the flag in this Regiment, Matilda Shamp man is on his way home but John Strouse says he won’t be no use to her when he gets there for he is wounded in a bad place. I was with the Bridgeton boys all night and I slept with John Strouse and John Shoehency. I had a fine time. I like the service first rate and don’t feel like coming home until three years is up. Write soon no more this time so good by from your brother George Foor.
Send to Fortress Monroe or elsewhere 40th Regt. NY Mozart in care of Capt Johnson.
(The Bridgeton Boys refer to men from Upper Black Eddy, Pa.)
Camp of the 40th April 10th 1863
I now take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well at present and I hope these few lines will find you in the same good health. There is not much stirring in the army at present. All is quiet now. Yesterday we had a grand review by President Lincoln and today I got a pass from the captain and went over to the 1,19th a distance of abut three miles and seen Isaac Hoffman, John Tempelton and I had a very good time of it. I seen a letter that comes from up there telling how David Frankenfield did capture Sally Pursell and I would like to have been up there to see Sidney Ann and her club going down the railroad towards Frenchtown at a right shoulder Shift Of Arms. I was sorry to hear of the death of Paul Pursell and I suppose there was a sad house when the news come home. Tell Ruth that I received her letter in good time and was glad to hear from her and all the rest. We expect the Paymaster now soon. We have not been paid off this six months. Let me know the particulars about Sally and Dave and if you know where he is.
The 104the Regt. is in South Carolina and expect hot work now soon so they say. Samuel Fulmer got a letter from them they are well. I see in the New York Herald that they had made an attack on Charleston and there is a rumor in camp to night that it is in our possession but the story wants confirmation. I send my love to all inquiring friends and hope you all well. If you know the regiment that William Pursell is in let me know and where they lay. The army will make a move now soon but there is a story going round camp that this corps will stay here but there is no truth in it as for my part. I am not tired of the War and don’t want to see it settled till the rebels is cleaned out and the union restored. No more at present but still remaining your friend George Foore.
Write soon Address 40th Mozart Regt. Co. A. Washington, D.C.
Camp 40th May 8th A.D. 1863
I now take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well at present and I hope these few lines will find you in the same good health. Your letter the 27th came to hand the 8th. I was glad to hear from you and to hear that you were all well as this leaves me at present in the first place I will inform you that we had another severe battle which resulted in the loss of thousands of lives and we gained nothing but a defeat. We are now in the same camp that we started from after fighting four days. I have not much to say as things is all upside down. You will hear from me in a few days again. I come through the battle unhurt and I thank god for it. No more at present from your brother until death George Foore.
Write soon. Excuse the postage stamp for we can’t get away.
The battle George is talking about is The Battle of Chancellorsville, April 30 - May 6, 1863.
Camp 40th July 5th 1863
Friend John L.
I now take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well and still in the land of the living at present and I hope these few lines will find you in the same state of health. We are in the state of Pennsylvania at present and have fought the largest battle of the war at a place called Hagettstown, PA. (Gettysburg, PA based on the date) We have fought three days and this morning the rebels is in full retreat and our Cavalry and Flying artillery is in full pursuit. Our general commanding lost one leg our major wounded and many more officers wounded. Besides over two hundred privates wounded and killed. I have not much time to write much. Our company lost 10 wounded 3 killed our victory is complete. We have taken 16,000 prisoners no more at present battle field near Hagettstown, Pennsylvania. Third Corps General is sick. Commanding General Birney commanding the First Division. From your friend George Foor.
Write soon address 40th Mozart Regt Co. A Washington, D.C. in care Capt Strait.
Note: The III Corps was at the Peach Orchard which was completely dismantled by General Longstreet's Confederate forces. As George mentioned above, Maj. General Daniel Sickles did indeed receive a wound that necessitated the amputation of one of his legs.
Click here to read Murder by Gaslight "Dan Sickles's Temporary Insanity". Click here to read a short biography and see his leg that is on display. Major General Thomas W. Egan, Commander of the 40th New York Volunteer Infantry "Mozart" Regiment during Gettysburg. Read Col. Trobriand's (3rd Brigade Commander) account of the battle at the wheat field - Gettysburg and the involvement of the 40th New York.
Camp 40th July 28th 1863
I now take the opportunity to write you a few lines to inform you that I am well at present and I hope these few lines will find you in the same good health. We are now at Warrenton, Virginia our division is on the advance of the army. We had another fight it lasted abut four hours. We lost 10 killed and 60 wounded. We are still after the rebels and expect to have hard fighting now soon. The 138th P.V.(?) is in our division. Tell Liveria, Strouse Dent is well. We are together every day. As soon as I get a chance I will get my Likeness taken and send it home. I would like to have little Wills likeness. Give my love to all. No more at present but still remaining you son George Foor.
Write soon address the same.
Let me know if William Pursell is at home yet.
Camp Near Brandy Station Dec. 14th 1863
I now take my pen in hand to inform you that I am unwell at the present with a pain in the side. Something, like the pleurisy. I have had very severe pain this five days and I hope and pray to God that I will get better now soon. This is the first time that I have ever been in the hospital and I hope it may be the last. I have not time to write more for the pain in my side. So good by, God bless you, from your Brother George Foor.Write soon. Send to the same place 40th Mozart Regt. Co. F.
Click here to view the original last letter.
Corporal George Foor passed away on December 22, 1863. His body was brought home and he is buried in the Milford Christian Churchyard in Milford, NJ. His stone is marked "Geo. Foor Co. A, 40th NY Inf". It is unknown how long it took the Army to notify the family that he had passed on. In a letter to his sister Liveria, postmarked April 26, 1864, his brother Benjamin Foor stated that he had not heard from George and for her to tell him to write. The following is part of the history of the New York 40th Regiment Infantry up until the time my uncle passed away. It follows in line with his letters.
Names mentioned in the Cpl. George Foor letters:
40th Regiment Infantry "Mozart Regiment"
Organized at Yonkers, N.Y., June 27, 1861. Left State for Washington, D.C., July 4, 1861. Duty near Alexandria until August 4. Attached to Howard's Brigade, Division of the Potomac, to October, 1861. Sedgwick's Brigade, Heintzelman's Division, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 3rd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to July, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 3rd Army Corps, to May, 1863. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 3rd Army Corps, to March, 1864. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 2nd Army Corps, to June, 1865.
SERVICE.--Duty in the Defenses of Washington, and on the Upper Potomac, until March, 1862. Operations on the Potomac October 21-24, 1861. Action at Ball's Bluff October 21. Advance on Manassas, Va., March 10-15, 1862. Ordered to the Peninsula, Va., March 17. Siege of Yorktown, Va., April 5-May 4. Battle of Williamsburg May 5. Battle of Seven Pines or Fair Oaks May 31-June 1. Seven days before Richmond June 25-July 1. Battles of Oak Grove near Seven Pines June 25; Jordan's Ford June 29; Savage Station June 29; White Oak Swamp and Glendale June 30; Malvern Hill July 1; Turkey Bend July 3. At Harrison's Landing until August 16. Movement to Fortress Monroe, thence to Centreville August 16-26. Pope's Campaign in Northern Virginia August 26-September 2. Battles of Groveton August 29; Bull Run August 30; Chantilly September 1. Picket duty at Conrad's Ferry until October. Movement up the Potomac to Leesburg, thence to Falmouth, Va., October 11-November 19. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. "Mud March" January 20-24, 1863. At Falmouth until April 27. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Battle of Chancellorsville May 1-5. Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 11-July 24. Battle of Gettysburg, Pa., July 1-4. Pursuit of Lee July 5-24. Wapping Heights, Va., July 23. Duty on line of the Rappahannock until October. Bristoe Campaign October 9-22. Auburn and Bristoe October 13-14. Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8. Kelly's Ford November 7. Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2. Payne's Farm November 27. Mine Run November 28-30.
To read more about the 40th New York Regiment Infantry "Mozart Regiment" please visit the NY 40th (Mozart) Regiment - Civil War Page.
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