George Sealy to his sister Mary Ann Sealy Woodward written February 17, 1863 from the Camp of the 45th Regiment of Illinois Volunteers in Memphis, Tennessee.

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George Sealy to his sister Mary Ann Sealy Woodward written February 17, 1863 from the Camp of the 45th Regiment of Illinois Volunteers in Memphis, Tennessee.


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


February 17, 1863


Midway Village Museum







Camp of the 45th Regt Ill Vol
Memphis Tenn Feb 17th 1863
Dear Sister

I received yours of the (8) eighth last night just as I was returning from town I have seen Nellie every other day since she has been hear [sic] and shall go down to see her again tomorrow and it may be the last time that I shall have A chance to see her as we expect to go down the River in A day or two but it may be put off again as it was before. We received two month [sic] more pay again today but I shall not be able to send any of it home this time I am afraid that you will think that I spend A good deal more than it is nesesary [sic] for me to and so I do but it is so long since we had any thing good to eat that it seames [sic] as though we ought to have every thng [sic] nice that we

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can buy and we shall soon have to come down to hard Crackers and sow belly as we call the bacon. but if Goverment [sic] had paid us all that was our due then I could of sent home consid-erable. I shall be ashamed to send home for any thing that I want anymore as I have not sent the money for the shirts that you all wer [sic] so kind to send me but I shall pay it with interest one of theas [sic] days I shall send (9) nine dollars by Nel for John Rose to pay him for the watch that I got of him last spring and sold this is the first chance that I have had to pay him and I thought althaugh [sic] Father may nead [sic] the Money that he would rather have me pay that now than send the money to him I told father in my last that if Woodard would set the prise [sic] on his watch that I would keep it but as I think that you nead [sic] the money that I will sell it as soon and for as much as I can get

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for it but do not think that I can get more than (10) ten dollars for it as most of the boys do not like an open face watch on accoant [sic] of the cristle [sic] getting broke and then we are so far away from town that we cannot get an other on but I think that I can get that for it I will do the best that I can for you you probably know by this time that I did not think to much of the Wine I felt very sory to luse [sic] it but it could not be helped. I toock [sic] Nellies letter to her this morning they have not been out to camp yet as it has been so muddy that it is most imposable [sic] to get around they were going to fetch them out hear [sic] tomorrow but it is raining hard now and I do not think that they will be out. I was proud to hear such A good discription [sic] of the Baby and hope that you will soon send me its picture Nellie was laughing at us the other day

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Because neather [sic] of us asked for the Baby until [sic] she spoake [sic] of it but I think it is not to be wonderd [sic] at as neather [sic] of us was aquanted [sic] with the young gentleman onely [sic] by reputation and then she did not give us time to ask for all before she spoak [sic] about them. I expect before this reaches you that we shall be on our [way] to Vicksburg if we do start in A day or two I will write as soon as we get thare [sic]. all the things that you sent came very good to me except the gloves and thoes [sic] I do not nead as I have not worn out the first pair that Mother sent me so that I shall send them back by Nellie and if Father does not want them you can keep them for me until another Winter. and with this I will close hoping that it will find you all well I remane [sic] with much love to you I remane [sic] your loveing [sic] Brother
I will send you A copy of Logans address to his trups [sic] and see what you think of it.

Original Format



George Sealy, “George Sealy to his sister Mary Ann Sealy Woodward written February 17, 1863 from the Camp of the 45th Regiment of Illinois Volunteers in Memphis, Tennessee.,” Midway Village Museum - Digital Collections, accessed March 3, 2024,