George Sealy to his father Richard Sealy on March 30, 1863 written from Vista Plantation.

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George Sealy to his father Richard Sealy on March 30, 1863 written from Vista Plantation.


George A. Sealy was born in the town Castle Cary, Somersetshire, England, May 11, 1841 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 and his 2 brothers served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. George (along with brother Robert) served in Company G, 45th Illinois Volunteers. He enlisted September 17, 1861 as a private and was later promoted to sergeant by his brother Robert. He was involved in both the siege and the occupation of Vicksburg, and was mustered out July 12, 1865. He married twice. His first wife was Jennie A. Paxson, who died of consumption at age 33 May 4, 1876. His second wife was Fannie E. Zimmerman (died in 1908), whom he married August 5, 1877 in Winnebago County. After the war, George worked for Emerson, Talcott and Co. in Rockford, acting as their superintendent. Upon leaving Talcott Emerson in 1896 he spent a short while working for Henry Sears Cutlery in Chicago before retiring the next year and moving to San Jose, CA. It was there he passed in November 15, 1909 suddenly, while dancing at a social gathering.


George Sealy


March 30, 1863


Midway Village Museum






Vista Plantation
March 30th 1863
Dear Father
I received yours of the 15th inst on the 24th and was Glad to hear that you was doing so well and hope that you will continue to do so am glad that you are geting [sic] your debts paid off. I was sory [sic] to hear that you had to take old notes from Ford for I think that he was able to pay you the Cash and I think that it was mean in him for not doing so but you can make good use of them now and I should pay them back to him faster than he wanted them if I could let any one have them that would make use of them but you
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never told me how much Ford paid you for the wheat and I should like to know. if Paint and Oil are so high I suppose of corse [sic] you get A higher price for your work. I was glad to hear that Nellie was so much better and she will soon be well does Mother have the sick headache much now I hope not my helth [sic] is very good now I only weigh 171 lbs not much for me is it considering we live on sow belly and harde [sic] tack talk about Uncle Sam not feading [sic] his Souldiers [sic] well. we are last geting [sic] our sumer [sic] tan on now and if you could but see us as we are in Camp you would think that you never see such A rough set and I guess that you never did. the first thing in the morning you will see us around our fires Coocking [sic] our breakfast which
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consists of A Coffee pot full of Coffee A few peaces [sic] of bacon hard Crackers socked [sic] in water to make them soft and then fried in the bacon fat this is our Breakfast after we are thrugh [sic] eating we fill our pipes and set or stand around smokeing [sic] and talking of our homes or of the war and wonder when it will close when we get Papers all the Boys read them untill [sic] they are worne [sic] out some times we get A yellow covered Novel to read but very seldom if ever any goods Books reach our Camps well we lounge about until Diner [sic] time and then go through the same process Cock [sic] the same eat the same except about once in five days we have fresh Beaf [sic] and one mess of beans after Diner [sic] we Smoke set or lay around the same as in the morning until [Dressperrade] which comes off
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at five O clock then we come in get Supper have the same as for Diner [sic] then smoke and set around untill [sic] Bed time we generaly [sic] go to Bed at eight O clock and so it goes from day to day except once in A while when we go on Picket. we have not got any nigers [sic] now to do our Coocking [sic] as we got tired of them and have not one in the Company now I have not been writeing [sic] this to fiend [sic] fault but because I had nothing else to write and thought it would interest you to know how we wer [sic] liveing [sic] just now. I received A letter from Hurbert and one from John the same day that I got yours and answered them bouth [sic] and wrote Charlie A long letter day before yesterdy [sic] I hope that He will receive it and answer it as I should like to keep up A Corispondance [sic] with him. with kind love to all I remane [sic] your affectionate Son
[George Sealy written in all caps in pencil to the right of ‘Son’; appears to have been added later]

Original Format



George Sealy, “George Sealy to his father Richard Sealy on March 30, 1863 written from Vista Plantation.,” Midway Village Museum - Digital Collections, accessed March 3, 2024,