The collection of wartime correspondence written by Private John Fletcher Hamlin, of Company D, 1st Pennsylvania Rifles, are provided to us courtesy of his his direct descendant, Judith Schaechter of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Hamlin was recruited from Warren County, Pennsylvania in August of 1861 and served nearly to the wars end, when he was unfortunately killed in the fighting at Petersburg, Virginia in June 1864.
Camp at Bristoe Station Va, Sat night the 6th/64
Well hear I am Mother at last in Camp again the regiment is just where I left it at Bristo Station. I got through without any trouble except the loss of my watch and revolver which I had stole from...
Camp at (illegible) Station May (2 or 12), 1864
I take this opertunity to wright a few lines to you to let you know that I am still alive and well and enjoying myself first rate both in body and in soal....
Sept 20th 
A [illegible] of yesterday and I have a chance to send you some money by express. I will send you $10.00. I will have to keep some for my own use and I want to peddle some and keep my self in spending money. The ...
Camp in the Field 8 miles from Richmond June 1st/64
I take this opertunity to wright A few lines to you and to lett you know that I am still alive and unhurt but am not well I have the Diptheria verry...
John Fletcher Hamlin's Mother received two letters from George W. Chase that informed her about her son''s death:
Camp 1st Rifles P. R. V. C.Near Petersburg Va.Monday July 4th, (1864)
Mrs. C. Hamlin,
It is with feelings of great pain...
Camp 1st Rifles at Bristow Station VA , Va. March 9th/64
I reseaved your welcom letter day before yesterday and was glad to hear from you also to hear that you are all well that is more than I can say of my self. I have got what...
Camp 1st Rifles P. R. V. C.Near Petersburg July 24 [1864 ]
Mrs. C. Hamlin,Dear one,
Yours of the 19th is before me John Fletcher was struck by a rifle ball in the head which broke the skull when he was taken back it supposed he was dead...
Camp 1st Rifles, Sept. 17, 1863
Dear Mother, Father and Brother,
I received a letter from Sylvester this eavning and haisten to reply. I have not time to write mutch now but will prosead to buisness. We are now between Culpepper Cort House and...
The following note was found in his personal effects [after he was killed]:
Pleas let it be known that I lie in the Lord he is my rock and my refuge this I wright as we ly in line of battle for I feal that should we engage the enemy, I am liable...
John Fletcher Hamlin’s service record:
Enlisted as a Private on 12 August 1861 in Company D, 13th Pennsylvania Reserves (1st PA Rifles)
Nov-Dec 1861 reported absent; sick in hospital
Transferred in Batty B 1st Light Artillery Regiment Pennsylvania on 04 June 1862.
Transferred Batty B 1st Light Artillery Regiment Pennsylvania on 24 February 1863
Transferred in Company D, 13th Pennsylvania Reserves (1st PA Rifles) 24 February 1863.
Transferred to 190th Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers, Company. D, Dec. 1863