Robert Sealy to his mother Maria Louisa Champion Sealy written on June 20, 1862 while camped at Jackson, Tennessee.

2013.70.48a front.jpg
2013.70.48a back.jpg


Robert Sealy to his mother Maria Louisa Champion Sealy written on June 20, 1862 while camped at Jackson, Tennessee.


Robert “Bert” P. Sealy was born in the town Castle Cary, Somersetshire, England, on January 13, 1835 to Richard Sealy (born c. 1804 in South Welton, England) and Maria Louisa Champion Sealy (born c. 1803 in Wells, England). His family (including 2 brothers & 1 sister) moved to Rochester, New York around 1843. They later moved to Geneva, NY and final settled in Rockford, IL in 1855. He enlisted (along with brother George) in Company G, 45th Illinois Volunteers and entered the army as a 1st Lieutenant. Since Robert was an officer, he was able to have his wife Helen (referred to as “Nellie” or “Nelly”) with him in the camps, away from the battles. He was involved in the siege of Vicksburg, and as a commander led the first regiment into the city. After the fall of Vicksburg he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. He moved away from Rockford to Council Bluffs, IA in 1868, and at some point he and his wife adopted a daughter, May Sealy. He died March 14, 1888.


Robert Sealy


June 20, 1862


Midway Village Museum






Camp at Jackson July [20]th 1862
Dear Mother
I suppose you will be wondering to day if Nelly is with me. & then you will think that Bob ought to spend a few moments writing to Mother. & So I will fer [sic] it has got to be almost a second nature fer [sic] me to write letters on Sunday. I was very glad indeed to see Nelly. But they did not take us by suprise as much as they expected. Betty Tew (Peats) was quite surprised to find that her Husband had marched fer[sic] Bolivar 30 miles from this place She took [Cars] next day Friday and before this time is with him. Major Smith was glad to see his Wife too I expect at least she says so. Blake will Telegraph fer [sic] Mrs Blake to day she will leave Rockford before you get this. we shall stay here some time unless the Enemy attack us which I don't think they will do while the warm weather lasts we shall keep our Wives here as long as we can make things comfortable fer [sic] them. I think Col Smith & Maltby will send fer [sic] their wives now. so we Shall have quite a [plenty] of Northern Women here and will be so much more pleasant fer [sic] us
Page 2
George is quite well. I have made him a Sergeant, which increases his pay to 1700 per month and makes his work lighter. I think he will make a good Officer I was in hopes to be able to come Home on Recruiting Service but they have appointed someone else and I am doomed to stay with the Regiment. Well I can stand it very well now fer [sic] a while longer although I would like to see you all very much My Health is improving since Nelly came down. We are Boarding oposite [sic] the Camp ground so that I can run over any time when off duty. Nelly will send for her Trunk. she will need more cloths [sic] if she stays long. she ought to have brought it with her.
You will have lively times in Rockford now they have made a military depot for Recruits there I would like to come up and act as Camp instructor fer [sic] a while. just fer [sic] a change you know I like to change occasionaly [sic] I think our fighting is prety [sic] much over in this country at least I hope so.
give my Love to all at Home. write occasionaly[sic] while Nelly is down here for we shall want to hear from you. Nelly gave me Kises [sic] from all of you. adding many more for herself of course
[End of letter is at the top of the first page]
Good Bye and dont forget us away down here. some of you will write once a week to your Affectionate Son

Original Format



Robert Sealy, “Robert Sealy to his mother Maria Louisa Champion Sealy written on June 20, 1862 while camped at Jackson, Tennessee.,” Midway Village Museum - Digital Collections, accessed July 15, 2024,