1864: Royal Rice Felton to Brother

Flank Marker of the 6th New York Heavy Artillery

This letter was written by Pvt. Royal Rice Felton (1820-1897) of Co. M, 6th New York Heavy Artillery. The regiment was organized at Yonkers, New York, as the 135th Regiment Infantry and mustered in on 2 September 1862. Royal, at age 43, did not enlist with the regiment until December 1863. Enlisting with him was his 17 year-old son, Milo Hawley Felton (1844-1922). Both enlisted to serve three years. Milo was wounded in the Battle of the Crater on 30 July 1864 and was discharged for disability on December 1864. Royal continue to serve until mustering out of the regiment in August 1865.

Royal was the son of Lloyd Felton (1796-1878) and Polly Woodward (1795-1855) of Stockholm township, Saint Lawrence county, New York.


Alexandria [Virginia]
January 31 [1864]

Dear Brother Moody,

Again I take my pen in hand to write again. We left Washington yesterday and on the way we met with a sad accident. We were put on top of a mule train. One was killed instantly; the other lived a short time. The names are Daniel Salls and [James] Murray Hamilton ¹ and there [are] some of our boys that are going home with them.

Milo wants you to send him a bottle of your fever drops. You can do so by leaving it with Mr. Abbott or anything else you may want to send. He has sent you $110 by Express with me to Potsdam which I have written to you before but perhaps you will get this before you do this and if you do and go to Potsdam before you go to the depot, tell [my wife] Amanda to send me my shaving tools and anything else that she may wish to send. She can send it in my valise by firing the lock or getting a new one. Milo says you may send him back 3 or 4 dollars as he finds out there is expenses that he did not think of. There was a contribution taken up to convey the bodies of the men home which he was free to participate in.

I have not time to write more as we don’t know when we shall have to move so I will close by saying that we are all well except colds. Milo thinks that the drops that I [gave him] saved him from a fever. Send a good bottle full for there will be plenty that will use it and we are all brothers—when anyone is sick, if anyone has anything that will help them, it is free.

I must close as the word has come that we are to have a meeting in our barracks this morning. We will settle with you sometime for the drops. So goodbye. Remember us at the throne. — R. R. Felton

¹ Daniel Salls (age 26) and James Murray Hamilton (age 25) were killed on 30 January 1864 while passing under a bridge between Alexandria, Virginia, and Washington D. C.



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