Robert Sealy to his mother Maria Louisa Champion Sealy and father Richard Sealy on June 28, 1864 from Etowah Bridge, Tennessee.

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Robert Sealy to his mother Maria Louisa Champion Sealy and father Richard Sealy on June 28, 1864 from Etowah Bridge, 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 28, 1864


Midway Village Museum






Head qrs 45th Ills Vol Infy
Etowah Bridge June 28th 1864
Dear Mother & Father
You think it is time for me to be writing to you, dont you. I think so to [sic]. My excuse must be that I have had a good deal to do in the last two months, & then I knew that you were hearing from me every day or two through Nellys letters. It is not because I have forgotten that I have a Father & Mother by any means we are all well now & Fixed up comfortable now to stay all Summer if they will let us do so I have a Board Shanty to occupy during the day and rug Tent-put-up in the Rear to sleep in for Furniture. We have a Mahagany [sic] Table, & Walnut Soffa [sic] with the Hair Cover torn off. one cane seated Chair two old Splint-bottomed chairs, straight
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Backed. & for Beds wooden cots. with cotton for Mattrasses [sic]. So you see we are fixed rather comfortable. We get no reliable News from the front every thing is kept in the dark. this we do know, from men who are visiting the front every day that our lines are advancing slowly & it will not be many days before you will get the news that Atlanta is ours. May be another 4th of July affair for our Arms, I hope so. George is doing well looking a little thinner then when we left Home. We are all looking anxiously for a Pay Master to visit us. No money either [armery] Officers or Men I have my mess a/c settled up to the 22nd of this month and have $2.00 left. 70c of which I will have to pay for 7 pieces of washing sent out this morning but I shall not suffer as long as Davis is here I have reduced my debts $175.00 since I left Home so my dear

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parents, you see that I am getting rather more economical then usual. Just two months ago to day we left Freeport. Since that time we have seen some of the hardships of a Soldiers Life and but few of its pleasures living on half rations and sleeping on the ground without shelter, but we may be thankfull [sic] for our position here. while our comrads [sic] in front are on short rations. And obliged to remain in Line of battle all the time in the months more I am in hopes to return Home to stay certainly in five. I begin to tire of a Soldiers life. I long to once more return to civil life and the cociety [sic] of my Wife and my family I see no prospect of my ever seeing the Eagle as consolidation is certain and there are many full Colonels
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who wish to remain in the service who will stand the first chance then I think my interests all lie at Home now. three years absence has already given me a distaste for business of all kinds and I fear that a more extended period will entirely unfit me for civil life. Now my dear Parents remember me to all at Home Love to Nell and believe me now as Ever your affectionate & loving Son
Write me all the news

Original Format



Robert Sealy, “Robert Sealy to his mother Maria Louisa Champion Sealy and father Richard Sealy on June 28, 1864 from Etowah Bridge, Tennessee.,” Midway Village Museum - Digital Collections, accessed March 3, 2024,