Find your ancestors on free databases on Olive Tree Genealogy
brings you

Past Voices Letters Home. Find your ancestors in letters!

Find your ancestors in old letters

Search free American ancestors' letters!Find ancestors in Civil War letters, War of 1812 letters, Revolutionary War letters. Search your ancestry and find your genealogy. Find your roots and hear your ancestors' words. Discover your origins in old letters as ancestors tell their stories and details of family history. Learn how to preserve old documents, family treasures and heirlooms.
Gender
Home | Share Letters | Ancestor Letters USA | Ancestor Letters Canada | Ancestor Letters UK | Search | Free Newsletter | Genealogy Tips

Your Family Tree


Find Ancestors


Free trials are a great way to find ancestors. Try the Complimentary Trial on Ancestry.com

Find Your Ancestors


Google Custom Search
Search Olive Tree Genealogy Family of Websites
Spotlight on....
Account Books 1772-1925 Find your ancestors in unique collection of original ledger books from stores, schools and individuals in USA & Canada
Ancestor Photographs
Lost Faces Civil War era ancestor photo albums online
Genealogy & Historical Documents
Paper Trail Assorted Documents: Wills, land records, marriage certs, passports, indentures, slave records, estate inventories...
Family Bibles Births, Marriages & Deaths Family Registers
AncestorsAtRest - Death Records: Wills, obits, funeral cards, memorial cards, death cards...
Paper Trail Genealogy & Historical Documents
Must see!
Coffin Plate Collection Private collection of over 400 coffin plates with names of ancestors plus birth and death dates
Olive Tree Newsletter
FREE subscription Be the first to know about great offers! Weekly updates of new databases. Get tips, research advice and other helpful ideas for finding your elusive brick-wall ancestor
Scrapbooking
Immigrant Collage  Scrapbooking Paper *Immigrant Collage Scrapbooking Paper
*Scrapbooking with Old Cards and Letters
Quick Links
Search Ships passenger lists, census, vital stats, church records, military, find your ancestorsOlive Tree Genealogy - Ships passenger lists and more!
Search Ships passenger lists, census, vital stats, church records, military, find your ancestors Naturalization Records
Search Ships passenger lists, census, vital stats, church records, military, find your ancestors AllCensusRecords.com USA & Canada Census Records
Search Ships passenger lists, census, vital stats, church records, military, find your ancestors AllEnglishRecords.com English Genealogy Records
Search Ships passenger lists, census, vital stats, church records, military, find your ancestorsThe OTE site Passenger Lists, Orphan Records, Almshouse Records and more!
Search Ships passenger lists, census, vital stats, church records, military, find your ancestorsShips Lists Online
Search Ships passenger lists, census, vital stats, church records, military, find your ancestorsCanadian Military Heritage Project
Search Ships passenger lists, census, vital stats, church records, military, find your ancestorsAncestors At Rest - find death records
Search Ships passenger lists, census, vital stats, church records, military, find your ancestorsOliveTreeBlog - Tips, New Databases...
Brick Wall Help
Your Name in History
Enter your surname for a list of genealogy books with fascinating facts and history about your family name
 

 

Corporal Oscar Overman
Company B, 103rd Illinois Infantry

"Emma, I have never realized what true friendship was yes, I will say friendship--until I started from home..." Oscar Overman on board Steamer Rocket, 1863


Aboard Steamer Rocket--January 6, 1863

Friend Emma--

With pleasure I write a few words to you as I have delayed writing so long. The reason is as you may know, I was at home and was thinking of going through Hickory and stop there a few days with the friends. As it is, I did not and this is the first opportunity I have had. I will comply with your request and give you a few outlines of my trip so far. I started from home the 27th Dec., and arrived at Springfield the same day and did not leave until the 29th. When I started for St. Louis, Mo., and was delayed two days. The cause of which was we (that is about three hundred of us) could not get transportation until the 3rd Jan. When we was transported to Cairo and from then from thence to Memphis Tennessee. Although we are delayed here on the account of some prisoners that will have to be taken back to Cairo the number three hundred and ten as I was told.

While I have been here, I have heard that the boys are at Memphis and I will be there in about three days at the farthest. The weather is about as cold here so itís the same to me as it was when I started from home. Some of the citizens say that it is not so always. It is not quite as cold as it was when we had some good sleighrides together. Some of which I have not forgotten yet. One night I remember in particular. I went by and you and Jane Shalenburger went with and another young fellow joined our number and we enjoyed ourselves very well.

Emma, I have never realized what true friendship was yes, I will say friendship--until I started from home--that is friends around home--to go amidst strangers where a fellow will have to do as he can. You and I have been together enough to know each other. In one sense of view, we have had some very good times and I will admit that we have been apart at other times. One thing is, I never could see through as plainly as I can now into your talk and that was one reason why we could not get along. I will take it upon myself. I was to blame myself. I hope the time may come when we may all return home and I may see Miss E. W. and H. E. S. go to meeting as they did before I left the homestead. You must excuse me for writing a letter of this kind, but I have written my thoughts and suppose you will agree with me on some points.

As it is getting late and a very uncomfortable place to write, I will have to close with sending my best to the rest of the young folks. I want you to write and let me know how the times are in Hickory and also how you spent the hollydays [sic.].

From your friendÖO. O.

Lost Faces Ancestor Photos from the 1800s

Wishing you had an ancestor photograph? Check out the 1800s photographs and antique photo albums on Lost Faces. There are over 3,500 photos in this growing genealogy collection

Submitter: Sherri Cawley Notes:

In this letter, Corporal Overman writes to his good friend, Emma Wadsworth, about how much more he appreciates their friendship since he left home for the Army. Corporal Oscar Overman served until the end of the war. He enlisted on August 14, 1862, and mustered into Company B 103rd Illinois Infantry. He mustered out on June 21, 1865. This letter was written less than two months after he mustered out. As if the war wasn't enough, when he returned home to Illinois there was a serious outbreak of Typhoid. His family members were sick and dying.

Oscar Overman and his Regiment sailed on the steamer Rocket from Cairo for Columbus Kentucky, where the Regiment was again placed on cars and at night arrived at Bolivar, Tenn., having made the trip from Peoria, Illinois in 52 hours. The first year's service of the regiment was devoted to marching, guard duty, etc., in northern Mississippi and Tennessee but in November 1863, it participated in the battle of Missionary ridge. Eight companies of the regiment were in the engagement, mustering 237 men, and of this number 1 commissioned officer and 19 enlisted men were killed on the field, and 68 were wounded, 5 or 6 of whom died of their wounds. The regiment began its part of the Atlanta campaign at Resaca, where it lost 1 man killed and several wounded. Brian Brown, author of In the Footsteps of the Blue and Gray: A Civil War Research Handbook which can be purchased from ABE Books kindly sends the following information:

Oscar F. Overman, B, 103 Ill Inf.
enlisted 8/17/62 at Young Hickory Illinois
mustered in 10/2/62 at Peoria
Age 21, height 5-9; lt hair; blue eyes; fair complexion; single; farmer born Young Hickory, Illinois.
Resided at enlistment in Young Hickory Illinois (Fulton Co.) discharged 6/31/65 at Louisville Ky. with the final rank of corporal

In 1875(?) he applied for and received an invalid's pension, certificate #136651 In 1909, his widow Charity R. received pension certificate 676557. She was living in Kansas at the time.

On the 1860 Illinois census, Fulton County, Young Hickory, page 737:

Thomas Shreeves(?) 77 farmer born Maryland
Margaret Shreeves 47 born NC
Oscar Overman 18 born ILL
Mary Overman 15 born ILL
John Overman 12 born ILL
Tessa Overman 11 born ILL (This looks like Oscar's mother has been widowed and remarried)

In the 1870 census of Miami Co., Kansas, St. Marysville, page 531 I find:

Overman, Oscar 28 farmer ILL
Charity R. 26 OH
Charles 2 KS
Frederick 1/12 KS

Read the Overman Letters:

6 Jan 1863 on Steamer Rocket | 6 May 1863 | Dec 1863

My Story

   

 

URL is http://www.PastVoices.com/   All rights reserved. Website © Lorine McGinnis Schulze

FAQ - Submit a letter - Search - [Contact Lorine (Change the AT to @ in the email address)] - Copyright - Partner Sites - Site Map