Museum logo

Archive Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Collection Name Ward Family Papers
Title John Ward letter to William
Date June 29, 1861
Description A letter from John Ward, addressed to "Dear William" (likely his brother, William Greene Ward), written from Camp Anderson, Washington, D.C., during the Civil War.

The letter is four pages long, consisting of a single folded sheet with handwritten text on both sides. It describes the challenges and the responsibilities of military service, his salary, and the politics of the time. A printed illustration at the top of the first page is a political cartoon titled "Why don't you take it?," with two dogs representing Winfried Scott and Jefferson Davis. The text of the letter contains references to the Vienna engagement [Battle of Vienna, Virginia], Seward, Jefferson Davis, George Baldwin, Bache family, Lou [probably Louise] Aspinwall, and others.
(Keywords: Civil War, Military, Politics, New York)

(This is a description of a single item within the Ward Family Papers collection. It is part of Series 1: William G. Ward & Descendents Papers. See collection, series, and/or item records of the same collection for additional information.)

Partial Transcript:

[bottom of page 1] To discipline 80 or 90 men, to show no partiality, to discriminate etc requires incessant care & it is no joke to be a captain I assure you. I feel the responsibility of taking care of Captain Ward's company, much more than I did the commanding Capt. Barr's. I rather think that the four hours we now allot daily to drill are [begin page 2] insufficient to keep men from drinking. Would that we were in the country! It would be infinitely better for the men. We all feel disappointed at not being called into action, & yet a march at this season would prove fatal to a great many.


Biography and History John Ward (1838-1896) was a military officer, lawyer, and author. He was the son of William G. Ward (Sr.) and Abby Maria (Hall) Ward. John Ward served in the New York State Militia and the National Guard, State of New York in the 1860s and 1870s; he was Captain of the Twelfth Regiment at the time this letter was written. John Ward authored "A Memoir of Lieut.-Colonel Samuel Ward, First Rhode Island Regiment, Army of the American Revolution, With a Genealogy of the Ward Family" (1875); "The Overland Route to California, and Other Poems" (1875); and "Campaigns of the Twelfth Infantry, N. G. S. N. Y., 1861-62-63." John Ward was the brother of William Greene Ward (Jr.) of Staten Island, who served as commander of the Twelfth Regiment.
Legal Status Images and text in this database are copyrighted by the Staten Island Historical Society unless otherwise noted. Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.
Physical Extent 4 pages (1 folded sheet)
Acquisition From the Ward Estate
Catalog Number MS004.001.ITEM.0001
Object Name Letter
Archival Description Level Item
Parent Record MS004.001
Subjects Families
Military personnel
Military service
War
Military life
Earliest Date 1861.0
Latest Date 1861.0
Lexicon Sub-category Documentary Artifact
Creator Ward, John
Associated People Ward, John
Ward, William Greene
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Staten Island Historical Society, 2011.