This letter was written by Capt. Somers Townsend Champion (1838-1924) of Egg Harbor, Atlantic county, New Jersey. Champion served as the captain of Co. B, 25th New Jersey Infantry.
In the 1860 US Census, Somers was enumerated as a 22 year-old was “artist.” After the war (1870), he was employed as a “lighting rod” salesman. In 1880, he was employed as a “farmer, salesmen, Oyster Planter & Census enumerator.”
Henry K. Pancoast (1844-1912) was the son of David G. Pancoast (1819-1891) and Sarah Stiles (1823-1868) of Millville, Cumberland county, New Jersey. Henry enlisted at the age of 18 in Co. B of the 25th New Jersey Infantry in September 1862.
In this letter, Capt. Champion attempts to reassure the parents of Pvts. Henry Pancoast and William Davis that their sons were both recovering from typhoid fever. Both boys served in Champion’s company.
Camp near Fredericksburg, Va.
January 1, 1863
I received yours of December 27th enquiring for the welfare of your son, Henry K. Pancoast. As it regards his health at present, it is more than I can tell. He was sick with typhoid fever in the regimental hospital for about 8 or 9 days and on the 29th of December he was removed with several others of my company and sent to a General Hospital—I expect to Washington but I have no means of finding our what General Hospital they are sent to unless they write to me themselves after they get there. They were sent there so they could be taken care of better.
He was quite sick while he was here but was not dangerous. He was getting better when he left here. I saw him everyday and attended to him and seen that he was well taken care of. I don’t think you need give yourself any uneasiness about him for I think perhaps he is a great deal better now though I do not know it to be so. He is entirely out of my reach now but he is where he will be taken care of, I have no doubt.
Please say to Mr. Davis that his son William is yet in the hospital here. He has had the typhoid fever but is getting along first rate and is getting better now. He was there a few days at first and was nearly well and was then took with the typhoid fever worse than ever, but he is getting better now. He sends his love to you all. I will attend to him as I have done all the while and will see that he does not suffer for anything that I can procure for him.
As it regards my giving him a furlough, it is something I cannot do as it is not in my power to do so. I would willingly do it if I could. Hoping this will prove satisfactory to you and yours, gentlemen, I remain very respectfully yours, — Capt. S. T. Champion
I have just seen a letter that Henry wrote to John E. Kimble. He is at Washington in a hospital and says he is getting better and has a very nice place to stay. If you wish to write to him, direct your letter to Eckington Hospital, Washingon D. C.