This letter, taken from the October 14, 1910 edition of the Pepin County Courier, reflects every parents' worst nightmare. This article relates the story of a note written to Henry Doughty's (Henry was also a Civil War Veteran) father, Edward Doughty, regarding Henry's brother, John W. Doughty, who was a member, along with Charles Coleman of Company D of the 10th Wisconsin Volunteers, and events which happened to John while he was in the Civil War. (This article is taken verbatim from that edition of the Pepin County Courier.)
John W. Doughty in the Civil War
A Reminiscence of An Old Soldier
In sorting some old papers, Henry Doughty came across a letter sent to his father, Edward Doughty, directed from a camp at Chattanooga in 1863. A reminder of olden times will not be amiss for any of us. When we fuss and worry over the trifles of today we forget what others have gone through in times past. Below we print the letter:
I take the opportunity of writing you a few lines to let you know that your son John W. Doughty was taken prisoner on Sunday September 21st, about 5 o'clock in the afternoon and he has not been heard of since. I suppose that he is down in Dixie somewhere and also Jackson E. Webster was taken with him. There were neither of them hurt as I know of. I have a lot of letters here belonging to both of the boys. I do not know what to do with them but will keep them until I hear from you. John Doughty has always been one of my tent mates and one of my best friends and I have some of his things here now with me and will take care of them until I hear from him or you, but I suppose it will be some time before we hear from those who were taken. Our regiment was badly cut to pieces. There are 70 guns now that were stacked in the morning and that is all that is left. There are 7 of us here out of Co. D. and the rest are gone and I can't tell where they may be prisons, or they may be wandering or killed, but I hope not.
Oh, that fight was the worst one that I ever saw. There were so many killed and wounded, may God soon haste the time when this war shall close, is my prayer. Well, I must stop for this time. Please write and let me know what to do with his things, for if we should move from here I don't know what to do with them, neither do I know you will get this for I don't know your address. Please excuse all mistakes and bad writing for there is no place to write from.
Benjamin F. Woodward,
Direct to Co. D.
10th Reg. Wis. Vol.
This brother of our townsman, Henry Doughty, was shot and died a little more than twelve months after this letter, at Danville, Virginia.
Note: from what we have been able to determine, John W Doughty died during the Civil War, and Jackson Webster (who was mentioned along with John) survived the war and was living during the 1880's at Spring Green, Wisconsin. There is a website mentioning a roster of survivors of the 10th as of 1880.
Our hope was that this letter reflected the time that John Doughty was helping Sarah Jane Coleman find her brother, Charles, however, the battle at Chattanooga happened approximately a year after Perryville and the letter indicated he was missing after that battle.
We also found websites indicating that Benjamin F. Woodward who wrote the letter, survived the war.