The End of Oscar's Story
May 4th, 1863
Mrs Salie D. Wilber
In going over the Battle field, I met your son wounded very seriously. Although an enemy I could not refuse attending to his wounds, as far as I was able. Your son was struck by a cannon ball, breaking his right thigh, the wound I should judge is a mortal one. He was perfectly resigned to his fate, and said God's will be done. He told me to write to you and tell you that he wish you and your daughter should have his Land as long as you lived. As I now have the oportunity of sending your son's dying request by some of the prisoners who will soon return north and by this means convey the sad intelligence, I do so knowing that the facts of the matter communicated, is better than to live in suspence as regards to the fate of your son.
I am respectfully
Co "E" 16th Miss. Regt.
Oscar was exchanged and back in Washington, DC, when his cousin wrote:
May the 22
as I was requested by Oscar to write a few lines to you to let you know that he is yet a live. yet Oscar is wounded and prety bad to. he was hit with a peas(piece) of shell on the hip. I saw him the other day and he did not think he would live. he requested me to write about his property. he wanted I should tell you to let Anson and Nelson have them two year Old Stears and Wallace have that yearling stear and sally(meaning Oscar's mother) have his cow and the farm. he wants you to keep it to gether and you and Rosina be suported on it as long as you live and then it bee divided equaly amoung the rest and that money uncle nathan ows him you can use it as you are a mind to. that is if he don't live and if he does he will come home and see to it himself. Oscar suferd a great deal. he laid out in the rebs hands ten days with out having his wound drest. Oscar wanted me to tell you that he was willing to die. he thought he was prepared to die and i think he was. he sais you must not truble your selfe about him. we had a prety hard battle. Oscar wants you to pay Bentley for building the fense between him and Mr Tracy. tell him to build that fence. pay him out of that money that uncle Nathan oes him. if Oscar lives he will make it all write him self and if he dont he wants it to go as I have wrote. i will put in a peas of paper what Nathan owed him and what he owed Nathan.
write as soon as you get this from
Milo L. Wlber to Sally D. Wilber
tell miss Tracy that Edmund was taken prisinor. he is perolled. Lyman and my selfe is well. my love to all inquiring friends.
May the 29
Oscar recieved A letter from you last night. I Caried it down to him last night and found him on the gane. I have considerable hopes of him yet. he haves good care and i think he will get along yet. you said you had wrote sevrel times. I have had two letters from you & answerd the first one quite a spell a go and are trying to Answer the other. I don't know as you can read it. i went down and see Oscar last night and i was taken sick this morning and i can't write much. Lyman is sick. Oscar sais that he dont want you to trouble your self about him. he said you could go down to Nathan Wilber and get five dollars if you wanted. tell Miss Tracy that Edmond is all right. he is in peroll camp and all of the rest of our boys from our place. write soon as you get this. from
Milo L. Wilber
to Saley D. Wilber
June the 12, 1863
Danford Hall (a neighbor and now a soldier) wrote:
With the request of Oscar I now try to write a few lines to let you know how he gets a long. he is wonded (wounded) in the thy(thigh) and it is a very bad wond. his leg is swellen vary bad and the bone is broken in his thy. he has a good appetite and his conntenance look first rate. he says you nead not trouble about him for he is willing the lord will have his way for he says he is perfectly reckonsiled. he says you need not think of coming down to see him for it would not do any good. he says though he would like to see all of you but he says if he lives he will be thare to see them all and if he does not live he wants you all to meet him in heaven. he says if he should not live he wants his propety to go just as he has written. he says tell wallace and the rest of the boys to bee good boys and see to his farm just as if it was their own after Bently gets through with it. he says he wants you to pay Bently for building that line fence. tell Bently and Philure he sends them his respects. he would like to write to them but he cannot now. tell Solomon Moyer he sends him his respects and if he has got any thing against him he asks his forgiveness and he says he forgives him and all the rest of the family.
he has just drawn his pay. he drew 78$ Seventy Eight Dollars and he sent a check to nathan Wilber of 54$ fifty fore Dollars. he says he will send you 14$ fourteen Dollars and he is a going to keep 10 Dollars for himself. he has told nathan to send Amy 30 thirty Dollars so she can come home if she is a mind to. he says he wants Jan to see that Amy gets that money so that she can come home if she wants to. the rest of that money that nathan gets he is a going to have give to you. he says if he shall not live he wants you to use that money for the use of the family. he says he wants Rosina to have what she wants as long as she lives. he says tell Rosina not to trouble about him for he is perfectly easy and has good care. he says he wants you to work the farm altogether thare for the use of the family after Bently gets through. he says when you write to (relatives in) minissota to give his respects to all. he says he asks the forgiveness of his grandmother. if she has got any thing against him he forgives her. he says he would like to meet you all on earth again but if he does not he wants to meet you all in heaven. write as soon as you get this.
he wrote his own name [signed in Oscar's hand] Oscar F. Wilber
Washington June 16/63
Mrs Sally D. Wilber
I yesterday was at the 6th St(reet) Wharf in this city where the poor wounded Soldiers are landed that come to this city. I noticed a fine noble looking young man motioned to me to come to him. I went to his side. He told me his name was Oscar F. Wilber that he was Verry badly wounded on the 3rd day of May at the Battle of Chancellor(sville) on the Rappahanock. He told me he had $4.50 in money that he wanted to send to his mother. I then took your adress & he told me some things he wished me to say to you. He told me he thought he could not live but a few days. He is wounded Verry bad in the meaty part of his thigh. it was where it could not be taken off or either could it be set & now he is reduced quite low & I should not think it strange if he dropt off in a few days.
I Became Verry much interested in him & told him I would do all in my power to assist him. He is Verry much resigned to his hard fate & says he is willing to die & that his constant pray has been ever since he was wounded that he mite be prepard to die when the time comes. He is now in one of the Hospitals in this city & I shall look him up before it will be time to receive a letter from you. they could not tell me what Hospital he would be left in when I left him. now if you have anything to communicate I will do it with all pleasure or if you should want to come here to see him you come to me & I will go with you to see him. you direct to C. Baker 217 Penn Avenue Washington & I will see that he receves your letters if he is living. the money enclosed is the same he gave me.
from a friend
Washington June 29 1863
Mr Shaw has kindly offered to write you for me. I hav to tell you that I am about the Same as when I rout you last. I hav a bad wound and it heals slow but as good luck would have it it does not pain me much of the time. My appitite is very good and I rest well nights. I reseived the letter you Sent me. Should like to See you all very much but canot and I Suppose you would like to See me but as you cannot I hope that you will pray for me that I may hav my hopes and appetitions of heaven. I thank god Dear Mother that I can lay here and think of his goodness to me. I can lay here and think of the Suffering of the Savior how he died for me and rose again to Show me that I tho a man are of heaven and I Shall dwel with him.
Dear Mother I want the Boys to be good Boys and mind their mother if they love their brother that lays here Sick and wonded and perhaps never will see him again they will love and respect her. tell brother Bently and Sister that I Send my love to them. I would be glad to See them but canot yet and if I am not permitted to meet them here on earth I trust I Shall in heaven. I wish you to write to Minissoty and tell them how I am that I would like to See them. tel Bentley that you will pay him for Building the fence.
I want you to write to me and let me know how you get along. I want to know if Uncle Nathan reseived that check of 54 dollars that I Sent in my letter. I Sent the money at the Same time. I am at Armory Squair Hospital. when you write direct your letter to this Hospital in car(e) of George H. Wilson. My Friend Shaw may not be here when you write.
from your most affectionate Son
Oscar F. Wilber
[on Treasury Department stationery]
July 21st 1863
I saw your Son Oscar last night. he desired me to write to you and Say that he has not much hope of recovery but that he feels entirely reconciled to depart and be with Christ which is far better he believes & feels than to remain longer here. When his "Father" calls him he is (he says) entirely willing & prepared to go to the home of many mansions.
He mentions having given a friend $25 to send to you a few days since. have you received it? Write to him at once as he is very anxious to hear from you. direct to him at Armory Square Hospital, Ward K. he will have every attention but I cannot hold out much hopes of his recovery. he is growing weaker daily.
Very truly yours
A J Pratt
Washington July 23, 1863
Madam I write you a few lines for your Son witch is quite low and the chances ar against him for getting well
he does not Seem to Suffer much from pain yet I can See that he is failing daily. but he wishes me to Say to you that he is willing to dy and Says he is prepared for the moment that will relieve him from the Care and evil influences that human nature is Subject to whil in this life.
I rout you a letter Some time a go concerning him and requested a answer but hav not reseived it yet. perhaps you hav not resived that one yet. I now enclose 25.00 Dollars the amount that he has on hand. he wants to hear from you verry much as he thinks he will not live but a short time.
if you wish to write to him you will direct your letter Care of Edwin S. Shaw Washington D C
I am Madam yourw with respect
Edwin S. Shaw
P S your Son has just resieved your letters
Edwin S Shaw
[on Treasury Department stationery]
July 29th 1863
I visited your Son Oscar last evening and he desired me to answer your letter of the 24th inst which he received and feels very grateful for. he is not able to sit up and write himself or he would be glad to do it. He desires me to say that he is daily growing weaker and feels that his earthly career is drawing to a close but that his mind is calm and in perfect peace being stayed on the Lord Jesus Christ who he feels is near to support and comfort him as he passes through the dark valley. his wound he desires me to say is running very much and he is unable to keep anything on his stomach. he says Mr Shaw the gentleman he gave the $25 to send to you has forwarded it and no doubt ere this you have received it. the reason he has not sent it before was that he had told him to keep it for a while. he sends his kind love and blessing to you whom he calls his dear Christian Mother, and also to all the children Rosina and Wallace and the boys, and to Grandma. He knows altho about to be taken from you and never more to see you on this side (of) the grave that the good Lord our Heavenly Father will watch over and protect the dear ones at home. he asks you all to seek Christ and endeavor daily to become more like him, that he is ready to go and feels it will be better for him.
A J Pratt
July 30th Saw Oscar last evening. he had not eaten any thing during the day & is rapidly fading. AJP
Oscar died July 31st. His body was returned home for burial in the family cemetery.