This letter was written by Pvt. Lucien [or Lucian] Maynard Fletcher (1806-1862) of Co. A, 30th Massachusetts Volunteers, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Lucian was a carpenter by trade prior to enlisting in the army in the fall of 1861. His enlistment records indicate that he was 44 years old when he entered the service, but family records suggest that he was at least ten years older than that. He died on 28 July 1862 in Baton Rouge, just days after these lines were written to his wife, Margaret J. Welch (1811-Aft1870). The cause of death is conjectured to be illness as a military hospital was located at Baton Rouge.
Lucian was the son of Joel Fletcher (1777-1848) and Abigail Maynard (1782-1817).
The history of the 30th Massachusetts Regiment, from the time Lucien enlisted to the time of his death, follows:
“The 30th Regt. Mass. Vol. Inf. was raised by Gen. Butler in the fall of 1861 and the early part of the winter following. It was originally known as the Eastern Bay State Regiment. It was organized at Camp Chase, Lowell, and its members were mustered in on various dates from Sept. 15 to the close of the year. A controversy having arisen between Governor Andrew and Gen. Butler over the latter’s authority to raise troops in Massachusetts, the regiment left the State Jany. 13, 1862, under command of Acting Lieut. Col. French. Remaining at Fort Monroe until Feb. 2, on the 12th it reached Ship Island in the Gulf of Mexico, where Gen. Butler was assembling his forces to operate against New Orleans. Nathan A. M. Dudley was commissioned colonel, Feb. 8, and most of the other field and staff and line officers were commissioned Feb. 20. It was now officially the 30th Regiment.
After the Mississippi was opened by Farragut’s fleet in the latter part of April, 1862, the 30th was sent to New Orleans and thence to Baton Rouge, arriving June 2. It made several expeditions into the country in pursuit of guerrillas, then was sent to the front of Vicksburg but returned to Baton Rouge, July 26.”
Addressed to Margaret J. Fletcher, Medford, Massachusetts
Baton Rouge [Louisiana]
July 18, 1862
I wrote the 16 directed to Hollen when I write to one I mean all. I heard that some for I expected a mail to leave but I think they will both go in the same mail. I am a getting along tip top. I got a pass to walk out every morning when the weather was fine. I took one of them old short ragged shirts this morning and walked ½ a mile to the barbers and ___. And when I was home I had 10 cents worth of smoking tobacco and 25 cents all in one shin plaster. I am writing to please myself and you, — L. M. Fletcher
About the middle of June there was some 10 of our company taken before the doctor for discharges — I with the rest. Then our Regt. went up to Vicksburg and whether they have been sent down to General Butler or not, I do not know. I am perfectly contented to wait. They’re fine. You need no hopes of my coming home till you see me for it takes them forever and 1 say after to move. Answer one of these letters. Send me 1 journal, 1 h____ and 2 stamps. Write me how Aunt Right [Wright?] is, how Marsh[all] all gets along. If you can see anything of my little hog pen. Any green beans round these? And let the rest slide. — L. M. Fletcher