Letter from Fuller, Jonas

Soldier: Fuller, Jonas
Allegiance: Union
Unit/Service Branch: 141st Infantry
Home State: Pennsylvania
Date Written: Sunday, November 2nd, 1862
Location: Leesburg , Va
Correspondence Type: Letter
Subjects: Comrades, Eastern Theater, Family, Home, Suffering, Warfare
[Civil War letter written by Sgt. Joseph W. Hurst concerning Jonas Fuller, Private Company A, 141st PA Volunteer Infantry death that day]

Mr, Ransom Fuller;

My Dear Sir: It becomes my painful duty in this to announce to you and Mrs Fuller the death of your son Jonas – our friend and comrade which sad event occurred at half past two oclock this morning after a very short illness of only a day.

My Dear Friend: While greatly feeling his loss to us and deeply sympathizing with you in your affliction I trust that you will bear up under it with fortitude.

I have but a few minutes to give you the particulars as we are preparing to march immediately further on. The Chaplain will probably write you, but I consider it to be my duty also as I was with him to the last moments.

Jonas died of what the Dr term Pernicius or Congestive Fever which affected his Lungs and Stomach. All that the Drs. And attention could do was done to relieve and help him, but of no avail.

The Dr. was with him the greater part of yesterday and nearly all night. Col. Madill was by him the greater part of the night also, and had everything done that possibly could be done for him. Ethel and I was with him all the time, until about two hours before he died, when Ethel lay down in his tent and James Alderson took his place. Jonas seemed to be a good deal easier and inclined to sleep and as we were beginning to think he would get well I noticed a change in his features and symptoms and immediately roused Ethel and called the Dr. who had just left him but poor Jonas’s soldiering was nearly ended. He died in my arms and as I closed his eyes, I felt that I had lost a friend and brother. Ethel and I feel the loss more deeply than any other in the Company. We intended to try and send his body home immediately. The Col was making arrangements to have it forwarded across the River to day, thence home when orders came for our Brigade to hold themselves in readiness and prepare to march immediately, provided with three days rations. My Capt, Ethel and I intended to remain behind then and attend to his burial here, as owing to marching order, we could not make the arrangements to forward or accompany him home. After consultation with the Col it was deemed better to have his body prepared for burial by an Undertaker in the town as we might be compelled to leave in a moment. So we took Jonas to an Undertaker who is to prepare and inter him.

The Regt’s preparing to leave as I am writing this, but if we do not go Ethel and I with as many of the Co as can will attend his Funeral. Poor Jonas always kind and obliging. How we will miss him. Although he died far away from home and his friends a Mother’s sympathy was evinced towards him by a stranger. Just as we had taken him to the Undertaker’s a lady from a house opposite plucked some nice flowers roses & formed them into a bouquet and “brought them over to lay on the breast of the dead Soldier.” I crossed over and “thanked her for his Mother and comrades and requested her name to forward your. Another lady in the house offered to assist us in any manner she could, at the same time having a son in the rebel Army.

I procured their names and handed them to Mr. Craft who said he would send it to you.

I took everything out of Jonas pockets and knapsack. All that were in his pockets and some letters that were tied together in his knapsack. I placed in a package and have just forwarded it by Capt. Daniel States of Frenchtown who was visiting us to Edwin & Wm Bishop Stone, Wyalusing. In his largest pocket book you will find a lock of his hair that I cut off to send to you. Monday – Yesterday we left Leesburg and marched toward Winchester 16 miles arrived here at 2 oclock this morning we are preparing to go still farther. Jonas complained a little while marching to Leesburg on Friday, I carried his gun for him nearly all the way and made him some tea at night and got him some pills. He was not considered serious unwell until about 9 oclock Saturday morning, but had the Dr. early. He was not sensible from 3 oclock in the afternoon until he died. He seemed to suffer a good deal towards the last. Poor Jonas. We can hardly realize that he is gone from us.

My Dear Friends Dont take his death too hard. Providence took him from us before he probably would have met a harder fate upon the field. He was a good soldier always willing to do his duty and ready.

His funeral expenses cost ten Dollars defrayed by the Company.

I have no time to write more and trust that you will excuse the haste this is written in.

Ethel and James Camp are well but feel our loss most deeply. Any more, or further particulars that I can give you will be readily and cheerfully done. I have given the most and have no time to give more. I have no time to write and have the chance to send this to day. Write to me at any time and direct to Washington.

Deeply sympathizing with you and Mrs. Fuller in your sad affliction. I remain yours as I was Jonas friend.

Joseph W. Hurst

Jonas socks and other things we could not forward home so they are in Ethels possession.