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Correspondence of Hamilton Alricks
Edited by Claire Messimer; proofreader: MaryAlice Bitts

The Letters

Transcribed by Karen Tickner
July 2000

Civil War Letters from Hamilton Alricks, Jr. to his father Herman Alricks. November 5, 1864 to August 8, 1865.

Hamilton Alricks, Jr. (1842-1889) enlisted in the Pennsylvania Militia as a private at age 21 on September 11, 1862. He, however, went on to serve in the "regular" army (Union) and appears to have remained in service through the end of the Civil War. He was stationed with the Quartermasters's office of the United States Railroad in Tennessee.

Hamilton was the brother-in-law of James McCormick, Jr. who was married to "Hamp's" sister, Mary Wilson Alricks. He was the son of Herman and Mary Elder Kerr Alricks. Both his father and his uncle, Hamilton Alricks, Sr. were prominent attorneys with Herman practicing in Harrisburg but residing in Dauphin County.

The following transcriptions are letters to Hamilton's father, Herman, describing his adventures, health and the lament of all soldiers for all times, "I have been expecting a letter from home..."

The Letters:

Hamilton Alricks to Herman Alricks, 11/5, 1864 ("We wake at the fire of the cannon, write by it, and go to sleep with it.")

Hamilton Alricks to Herman Alricks, 12/27, 1864 ("Tell me what kind of Holidays they had in Harrisb[ur]g...and you must tell me what you think of my war correspondence."

Hamilton Alricks to Herman Alricks, 1/3, 1865 ("..I stop the pain by boiling water in a tin pail, stretching a piece of cloth over the top and holding the part affected over it so the steam heats it thoroughly.")

Hamilton Alricks to Herman Alricks, 1/18, 1865 ("This country is hard on the horses, the limestone sticking up in the streets, worse than in the vicinity of Carlisle.")

Hamilton Alricks to Herman Alricks, 4/25, 1865 (A letter that ends abruptly)

Hamilton Alricks to Herman Alricks, 4/20, 1865 ("Yesterday we had a grand procession here. Some estimate the number in line at 60,000.")

Hamilton Alricks to Herman Alricks, 5/16, 1865 ("The town is filled with Rebel-Soldiers returning from the South. A more ragged dirty miserable looking set would be hard to find.")

Hamilton Alricks to Herman Alricks, 5/25, 1865 ("The question is, where did Jeff get the Mexican money, as the Government had done away with that coin some time before the war. Did it come from Mexico for his use or-not.")

Hamilton Alricks to Herman Alricks, 5/25, 1865 ("I also have charge of the Pay Car, a magnificently furnished car with Kitchen, Dining Room, Sleeping Room and Office in it. It is used to pay the men along the roads...")

Hamilton Alricks to Herman Alricks, 6/26, 1865 ("We left Nashville the 21st up to this date have expended $30,000 and paid some 600 men.")

Hamilton Alricks to Herman Alricks. 7/10, 1865 ("I am the color of a maple or oak table. My eyes are of a golden hue.")

Hamilton Alricks to Herman Alricks, 8/1, 1865 ("...I wish I could be home to show Miss Boggs around...")

Hamilton Alricks to Herman Alricks, 8/8, 1865 ("Capt[ain] Wickersham of Lancaster is chief Ass[istant] Q[uarter] M[aster] of the Dep[ar]t[ment] of Tenn[essee] and if I choose to go to Agusta he could give me a situation, but the weather is too warm.")

See also:
Clara Alricks' Letters
Herman Alricks' Letters
McCormick Letters Page
McCormick Papers: Home Page

This online project is a joint venture between Penn State University and The Historical Society of Dauphin County, where the McCormick Family Papers are kept.

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