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William Mullery to Walt Whitman, 21 October 1864

Dear Sir

I1 have just returned home last eve[ning] from Washington, being there to see about getting the body of my son Capt. Michael Mullery of Co. I, 7th Regt N.J. Vols. who was killed while leading his men in a desperate charge before Petersburgh, Va., June 16th. I took a friend with me from Jersey City (T.C. Brown Esq.) but could only get a pass for one, so Mr. Brown has gone to City point to get the Body. he took the boat for city point last Wednesday at 3 oclock and is now I hope on his way back with the body.

Your friend Jesse came home from Washington June 23rd on a 30 days furlough, and the same eve[ning] recd the sad intelligence of the death of our son Michael, when Jesse came home he was so reduced and weak that I thought he could not live a week, but he gained fast after a week or two, and returned back the 25th of July to Davids Island, (where he was transferred to from Washington) and from there he got transferred to Newark, and got another furlough on the 3rd of August, for 30 days and came home, and improved very fast, he returned Sept 5th, and is there yet at Ward U S. Genl. Hospital Center St. I took Breakfast with him yesterday morning. he look well and is fleshy, but not fit for the front. I will write to him to day and send him your letter, and he will call and see you at his earlyest conveniance, he spoke very highly of you when he came home and had your "carte de viste"—and took it back with [him] to Newark, he is now assistant cook in the Hospital. he belongs in the 7th Ward.

His Brother James is still at the front with Sheridan he is well and so far unhurt. Thank God, he has never been home since he went in the service, if he lives, we look for him next August when I must write to him, and let him know about the invitation you have given him to call & see you. I have another son Joseph who enlisted Sept 9th last year, for one year. he is with his brother James in Co K 15th NJ V.

Mr. Thos. C. Brown keeps store at 21 Newark Av. Jersey City.

I remain Truly & Respectfully Yours Much Obliged


  • 1. William Mullery was the father of Jesse Mullery. According to Whitman's "Hospital Book 12" (Feinberg Collection, Library of Congress), Sergeant Jesse Mullery, Company K, Fifteenth New Jersey, was in Ward A, Armory Square Hospital, on May 14, 1864. The twenty-year-old boy had been "shot through shoulder, ball in lung—(ball still probably near lung)—lost right finger." On June 23, 1864, he went home to Vernon, New Jersey, on furlough, and then served as assistant cook in the army hospital in Newark. On December 26, 1864, Mullery proposed a visit to Brooklyn. He was still at the Newark hospital on January 23, 1865. According to his letters of May 3, 1865, and June 11, 1865, he later was able to return to active duty. [back]
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