Ohio History Journal

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18



Being the Letters Written During the Years 1863-1864

to His Wife, Mary

By Captain T. J. Hyatt, 126th Ohio Volunteer Infantry1


Edited by Hudson Hyatt


Here are the letters written by an officer at the front, during

the War Between the States, to his wife. Though only one side

of the correspondence has been preserved through the ensuing

years, it is sufficient for us to learn the vicissitudes of his love

for his wife and their two small boys, of the problems of debts

and new decisions to be made which faced his lonely wife, some-

thing of his life in the army, and, at length, his resignation to the

death he came to expect. Its value to historians is probably slight.

Yet to those on the Home Front now it is almost contemporaneous

in its similarity to today's letters from the men in service.

The letters have been left as they were written, with only

such minor changes in punctuation and paragraphing as are neces-

sary for easy reading.

January 8th, 1863

Dear Wife

I am sorry you have had another "spell". I hope you succeeded in

getting some lard at Jacksons, as that appeared to be the greatest of your

troubles when you wrote.

I suppose if in carrying out your determination of not accepting prof-

1 Thomas Jefferson Hyatt, son of David Hyatt and Elizabeth Gonzales, was born

August 5, 1830, at Augusta, Ohio. On March 29, 1856, he married Mary Atkinson,

according to the records of the Carroll County Probate Court. A certificate dated

June 28, 1858, in the possession of the editor of these letters, indicates that "Thomas

Heyett" was a member of the "Congregation of Disciples" at Augusta. Of the mar-

riage, two children, Edward (born March 8, 1858; later State Supt. of Instruction,

California), and Harry (born Oct. 31, 1860; later Supt., Otis Steel Co., Cleveland, O.),

were born.

The volume Ohio in the War states that Thomas J. Hyatt ranked as First Lieuten-

ant in the 126th Ohio Volunteer Infantry on Aug. 13, 1862, and was commissioned as

such Oct. 10, 1862; that he was ranked and commissioned Captain on March 3, 1864,

and killed Sept. 19, 1864, near Winchester, Va. The 126th O. V. I. was mustered

into service Sept. 4, 1862, and at or prior to the death of Capt. Hyatt participated

in the battles of Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Monocacy and Winchester. Capt. Hyatt is

buried in Lot 12, Winchester National Cemetery.