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Individual Record

Johnson, Marcellus B.

Age: 21, credited to Waterbury, VT
Unit(s): 4th VT INF
Service: enl 8/27/61, m/i 9/21/61, Pvt, Co. G, 4th VT INF, mwia, Crampton's Gap, 9/14/62, d/wds 10/7/62

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations

Birth: abt 1840, Waterbury, VT
Death: 10/07/1862

Burial: Johnson Cemetery, Waterbury, VT
Marker/Plot: No_Marker
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Mark Backus
Findagrave Memorial #: 98540453
Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, Mother Lois
Portrait?: Unknown
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: Service Record indicates burial in Burkittsville, MD, at the field hospital where he died; family tradition indicates he's buried in the Johnson Cemetery, but there is no marker.

2nd Great Granduncle of Mark Backus, Bristol, VT

2nd Great Granduncle of David Backus, Elmira, NY

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Copyright notice


Johnson Cemetery, Waterbury, VT

Check the cemetery for location/directions
and other veterans who may be buried there.


Plainfield Sept 4 1861

Friends at home-I got here well and thot that I would wright a few lines to you and let you know what was the decision we have got to frill 7 hours a day here this week and in the morning at half past ten prayers and then comenced drilling We chose our captin today and our lutenant and to morrow will chose the rest of our officers and Monday we start for st. jonsbury and inspected and Wednesday state for Bratleboro if we get our regimants and guns if not we delay 1 day longer Allen was drunk when he got up here to plainfield we rode up from Montpelier Regamant and our Captins name is G Foster and our first lutenent name is A---

To you all---good luck

M. B. Johnson

Camp Griffin

Oct. 17, 1861

Dear Sister,

As Allen is wrighting home I thot that I wod write to you I have got a bad cold but I am well other ways and enjoy myself first rait I got your welcome letter to day and was glad to hear from you tell Ellen to get them pies and a good big fat honey cake and I will be thare to eat them if I ant she can salt them down I am a coming home to take new years supper with you if I don't-of it tell Ed he is such a good boy to work that I shall give him some thing when I get home give my best wishes to Father and Roene and Mother tell Mother I had some griddle cakes for super and for diner we had some doughnuts and 40 rounds of hard crackers we chased a rabbit into the cirnals tent last nite and he came out and told us to stop so much noyes or he would put us all in the guard house but we told him we had sent a rabit to get his---hind good by for this time my love to All wright soon from your dear Brother M.B. Johnson

Camp Griffin Dec. 17th 1861

My Dear Sister

I received a leter from you the other day and was glad to hear from you and I Am well and happy except my cold and hope this will reach you the same I want you to send my box of stuff I want you to send me some wafers and my vest that I sent home and some filling to line my blanket with I will send a measure for it so you can tell how much to get and my neck hanker chiefs I mean my gingham ones and a quart bason to wash my dishes in and something for a dish cloth and a wiping cloth and two or three potatoes for we don't get any vary often and tha tast good ile bet you may send my watch if you are a mind to but I don't care very grait A bout it I might get most every thing here but I cant aford It A pples are 5cts a piece here and chese 18cts a pound and butter 30 cts a pound but I don't get eny for I want to save my copers the rest of the boys spend a most of tha wages for such stuff and tha are all sick and I guess by that it ant very healthy for I am one of the tuffest ones that is in our company

You netent send any buter but I shall like a small pease of chease if you can get it

(Remainder of page missing)

Back side:

…is rather-he will have a feaver you tell his folks to wright to him and tell him whether tha have got his money that he sent home he sent (?) dollars and he is a swearing all of the time about it I cant get time to wright but a few leters I wright leters home I rote one to a Aunt jane About 3 weeks a go but she ant riten to me yet and I shant write to her a gain nor to frank Cully I rote about 4 weeks a go to him I have riten 4 to him and he hant riten but one to me and you may tell him I shant rite to him eney more but I shall wright to nelson and I guess he will wright to me I want some ink and a new pen and some white chalk to scower my brasses with for we have to keep them all scowered up bright

Does ed take good care of his calves tell him that he must or if he don't he will loose them we have moved into the pine woods and have got it fixed up first rate we have got it all arched over the road with cedar bows and ever greens and the leter of our company maid out of it and hung up and a sine maid in the same way. It says on it 4th Vermont Regt

My love to you all I will wright more next time it will cost me ---cents to get my picture taken a bout-that will pay the cost good by all wright soon from

(Remainder of page missing)

On side: This order will draw 3 months you cant draw it till Dec 21,1861

Camp Griffin Fairfax County Va

Jan 1, 1862

My Dear friends at home

I thought that As I was on guard to day and it was New years that I wod write a few lines a few lines to you and wish you a happy new year or at least I hope it will be for I intend it shall be to me although I am a grait ways from home but for all of that it can be happy but still it cod be more pleasant at home with my friends but that cant be for the present

You wanted to know if I got that comb I did but was broken into 3 peases but one of them will do to com my head with And I got Mothers picture All safe and sound we was mustered for our pay yesterd for our pay we shall get 24 Dollars this time and I want you to let out my money if you can to some one whare it will be safe but if you cant yet get it changed into gold and silver because when I get home I want to by me a farm so that I can have a home for this will be what I volanterd my life for don't let Richard have it because if you do it is gon if you want to you can get you a web of cotton cloth for some shirts

The day is fine here today warm as the wether is there in September general brooks division is having a grait time to day tha have got a hog sheared and greast and the one that catches him and hold him has 40 dollars and a furlow for 30 days and they have got a pealed pole that is greast and the one that climes it gets 30 dollars and a furlow for 30 days or the one that runs the fastest or jumps the faryhest has 25 dollora and a 30 day furlow and tha are having a grait time of trying thar dexterity

Well I cant think of much more to write Allen is getting beter now but -Flute sends his best respects to you Ed is well Now our regt went out on a scout today and he went with them but I was left behind on guard I hant heard from you for some time write soon I am tuff as ever and hope this will find you all the same good by all don't get trusted to the store for thare is danger of loosing all that you have got from M.B. Johnson to all at home

After the battle of Lee's Mill, 16 April 1862

Camp in the woods near Yorktown, Va.

April 18, 1862

My Dear Mother,

How do you do today well I hope. For me I am and hope this will reach you as well as it leaves me. Jonny had to fase the cannon mouth day before yesterday we advanced on the rebels and our co and co B was deployed as skirmishers and head of the regiment and we got up clost to the rebels fast before they new it tha was leving guard mountain and after then got them with that guard mountan we fixed into them and the shots was returned pretty quick we had to fire in crost and in front of them.

It was about 20 yards acrost and all brush we had to hide behind the trees for tha had rifel pits and tha were like wood and buckets just stick thare heads out and fire at us the first time that I fired there was 3 on top of there entire---- and I dropped one of them and bout as fast has he dropped thare was a ball struct --- clost to my feet and then I fired again there was 2 struct within 6 inches of me that got me fairly treed for a while but I fired at them every chance that I can get and tha to me. It was like slottering turkeys. If a man showed his head there was about 10 guns fired at him the boys took it pretty ---tha ditent seem to be at all afraid.

The 3d and the 6th regt was cut up pretty bad in trying to storm the fort and after that have been drove back and regt 4 company was ordered to go and tha went as far as tha cod on account of Such heavy firing on them. There was 11 wounded 2 kiled we have got a hard plase to take for tha have got it so strongly fortified and to get them we had to wade in the water up to our wast and between 2 cross firing and that will cut us up pretty bad our Division comm. Is under arrest for manageing this battle as he did for he was drunk all day so he didn't know what it was about

It was Gen Smiths regt. Had to go on picket yesterday and we had to lie behind a tree on our belly and if we see a man we fire at him and we---take a good aim as good aim as tha was --- I have fired about 15 rounds at them scoundrels and I mean to fire a lot more I just as soon shoot them as a snake Our men took a prisoner yesterday and he said that when we first opened fire on them we cut them down dreadfully he said the trenchmen was all full of led and he said we kiled about every shot but the distnt --- as much as marksman and that our co and co B And we had the pease of making the best shot to a target wall.

I received a letter from you dated April 9th and one the 12th with paper and envelopes and stamps ---

You will probably here of another big battle soon I went last Tuesday down to ship point to guard the team.

Best wishes to all good by for this time and write soon and I will do the same.

From M. B. Johnson To my one Dear Mother

On the border of letter: I have rote you to know how much money Allen has let you have and have you drawed my state pay yet and that 20$ of aloted money if you don't have it you beter write for it it please let me know.

After the battle of Williamsburg, 5 May 1862

Monday, May 12th, 1862

My Dear Sister

I received your kind letter yesterday and was glad to hear from you once more your letter was dated April the 29 it was rather old but new to me, thare was a great battle A week ago today we wasn't engaged in it but we was clost by so that the shells came over our heads and burst but ditent hurt any of us we had to creep running round All day to keep them from flanking on us ---and it rained hard all day and Almost all Nite the next morning we marched over on the battlefield and the dead lay there for miles as thick as they cood be And a lot of wounded. It was 3 days before thay got the dead rebels all buryed

We staid in camp thare till A Friday then we marched with 2 days ration and we had long Marches and A Saturday nite we had to go on picket as tired as we was and it was pretty warm weather, we are within 35 miles of Richmond 15 miles from where tha have made another stand just on the other side of the Chickeney homoney swamp and they have got a long line of forts thare so the cavalerymen say we had orders to march today with 2 days rations and we was called up at two oh clock and got ready to go but thot that it god be better to bild a bridge Acrost the crick where it was burnt in the retreat of the rebels for it cod save A quite a number of miles travel where we where we can gain it by building the bridge up again.we shall have to start to morrow morning Early and a long march and probley will end in a battle but trust that the lord is on our side and will protest us in battle as well as out, the Vermont troops I guess will be discharged when we get to richmond I hope for my part for I have got sick of being a pack---for I am about wore out being up so much Nites The Vermont troops have to do all of the fatigue duty for the hull division besides all of the guard duty, oh have you drawed my state pay I have rote to you this makes 3 times to know but you don't write please send me 4 or 5 stamps rite off for I have borrowd some and I must pay them and send me a paper once in a while so I can gat the news for we don't get any here

I cant think of anything else to write this time I am well and hope this will reach you all the same My love to you all from M.B.J. all, good bye for the present

Camp Near Richmond Va

June 9th 1862

My Dear Mother how do you do today well I hope for me I am rather slim I have been pretty sick for a week back but beter now when I got your leter and that paper I was pretty sick but it ant no place to be sick here for we ant cared for so much as a dam beast is in Vermont

I had to go out A wek ago yesterday with the Regt and the boys had to cary my gun for me for I cotent hardly carry myself we came acrost the Chickahomana last Thursday and we are in the advance now we had to go A bout 12 mils round to get A crost the crick and carry our knapsacks which was rather hard considering my health we have to get up before day lite, some of the Vermont people think it ant hard work to be a soldier but let them try it and se the Vermont brigaid has a most of the fatigue work to do building roads and forts and chopping down woods and regt worked the other day in the water up to tha waist building a bridge and tha came in wet and cold. We are clost to the enemy only a small pease of woods between them and ours I went out yesterday to work on a fort but want able to do much, Harrison had a letter the other day and the rate that Allen Jewett wanted to inlist A gain but if he does he yount have so easy a time of it as he did when he was out here if he is sick he will have to do duty just as long as he can stand up we probly have a pretty hard battle soon but we cant tell when it will be tha seem to think when we get to Richmond the rebellion is crushed but I don't think it will be vary soon but I hope it will for I want to se old Vermont again

We have lost our 1st Liutenant he died in Washington hospital he was our best officer we had. Our Captin don't care for and talk only to sware and dam ours but there is a time coming that I shall be as free as he is, tha was one of our company got shot yesterday with a revolver one of the 5th regt boys shot him his name was H.N. Dunton but I guess that he will get well I cant think of any thing more to write this you sed yo used A good deal of my money you may use just what you want I think it ant no more than fare for Priscilla to work for a living than it is for me

Have you left that lasted pay in the bank if you have it will draw 5 pr st interis and the 7$ a month will be as much as you will want yont it I shant send home any money this time I write but I gues that I shall next time, your leters ant opened for I have got all of your leters and stamps good by for now write soon my love and best wishes to All from M.B. Johnson to my Dear Mother

A word to Ellen how do you do today I hope you must be a good girl and get all of the lirning you can and help Mother to as much as you can tell Ed I send my best wishes to him and tell him to be a good boy Oh whare has he got my colt in the pasture I want him in a good plase where the fead is good and where he wont get hurt, Elane how do you do today well as ever I hope good by all for now this time write soon M.B. Johnson

July 6th/62

Camp Close to the James River

My Dear Mother

How do you do today well I hope for my health it is very poor this summer and I am A most tuckered out with fatigue on account of health but I trust it will be beter soon I haven't hurd from you for some time but hope I shall soon I ditent enclose that dollar in the other leter that I rote for it slipped my mind when I was a doing up my leter I got a leter from Aunt Jane her family was well then we had our knapsacks on our backs the most of the time for 2 weeks back but have got whare we can leave them now Well I cant rite much this time for my hand trembles so that I cant write and we not alowd to write just what we wod like to for our leters are examend give my love to the children and father and receive A share your self, I trust that I may live to come home and gain but it is for the over ruling power to say, for this time write soon from M.B. Johnson to you All

I recevd both of your leters to day and I think the best way to direct to Fortress Monroe for tha have to go thare before we can get them, that dollar want taken out for I forgot to put it in I will inclose 2.00$ in this leter and please write rite back when you get this, give my best to Priscilla and tel her to write A gan soon no more this time M.B. Johnson

Camp on the James River

Monday July 21/62

My Dear Mother how do you do today well I hope for me I am a little beter than I was but I have got a very bad cold other ways I am pretty well to what I was I received your letter yesterday and was very glad to hear from you

I guess that I will tell you A bout our retreat now I dosent write about it before we had to retreat back from the chickahomane to the James river and it was a hard march the rebels sheld us pretty smartly and the boys lost their knapsacks and guns and running to get out of range of the shells we had to fite threw the day and march nite our Division was the rear guard on the retreat we was 3 days and nites on the retreat without any sleap or rest and our knapsacks on all the time and it dreadful warm except one day it rained dreadful hard all day and nite and we was all mud and wet as we cood be The 5th Regt was dreadfully cut up in the battle at Savage station there ant but 250 men in the regt now tha ant a nuf that tha are intitled to A Conrnal at---we dident have but-wounded in our regt,our Liutenant Connal and major resind and our Capt is out in major so when you write to me you neatent put on his name

Don't you let Ed inlist for he cant stand it I fortnet and it is so hot and hard to sleep on the ground and cary A knapsack I had to throw A way my over coat which cost me 7.50$ and I shall have to get A nother one as soon as it comes cold weather this fall tell Allen that he wont find old Camp griffin out here now it will be hard bread and salt but not none excused from duty if tha can stand up and we have to work hard now ever since we left Fortress monro our Division was put to the front as soon as we got to the river doing picket and fatigue we have built a large fort and 8 or 10 miles of rifle pits and slashed 5 or 6 Acres of timber great pines from 3 to 3 ½ ft threw them

Tell Nelson to stay at home if he knows when he is well off if he knows when he is well off but it ant no fun to be shot at or I don't like the fun it will make you here it will make the hair rise on your head to have those rebel balls whising by over your head and marching over the dead and wounded and to se them shot down on both sides of you will think it is your turn next I wod give a hundred dollars to get out of it but I cant I am present and have to stay and shar it with the rest I cant bare the site of a nigger for tha are what has cosed the main part ot this war And most of all that we se is on a horse & riding and we hav to tirn out for them for them with a knapsack on & you shoot one as soon as a rebel for they are in that army fiting ours and we have shot quite a number of them 0f from thar batteries No more of this

How much of my last pay have you drawd Aut to have drawd 40$ write in your next and let me know whare is Priscilla to work I have asked you 3 times before but you hant told me yet I am most of a good mind t0 send for a box of stuff but I will wait till next time I write give my best wishes to father and all the rest Priscilla in particular tell Ellen and Roane that I am much obliged to them for the flowers and thar letters, but I cant think of anything to write to them for I have riten all the news only I have picked A bout 2 courst of blackbares and a pint of huckebares and they tasted first rat, to me I shant get to pick them before tha turn red well good by for now write soon my love and best wishes to all from M.B.J. to Lois D. Johnson

Camp near Harrisons Landing

Aug. 9th / 62

My Dear friends at home

I received your kind letter to day and was glad to hear from you and hear that you was all well for my health it is the best it has been this sumer we begin to get some vegetables to eat and that is what is a going to help the boys to health sad in your leter that you was a goin to send me that box next week but if you do it is doubtful bout me getting it at the present for we expect to move soon

We went out Thursday and was gon two days and two nites and came into camp then we expect to move soon some way or a nother but we expect to crost the river and go up the river to take fort darling in front of Richmond but we cant tell whare we shall go till after we get to a stoping place some say that tha hurd the Coluinal say that we was going back to Yorktown but I gues not for the news thare ant mutch here only we hurd the president has cald for 300 000 more troops in adition to what he had cald for before and he will have to call for as many more in adition to all of them to put this rebelion down and tha have got to inlist before the 15th of this month or tha will be drafted and I hope some of them big bugs will have to come out here and try it for tha think it ant eny thing to be a soldier I want them to have to come out and be put threw what we have been and and then tha will begin to sing A new song, well I will stop that nonsence but the war wont close very soon

We was paid of yesterday I will enclose a gold dollar in this leter Ed Taylor has gon to the hospittle and Harrison Maynard to, and Lute Murry and I am left A lone but I shall be careful of my self as I can here, and thank you for that tea that yo sent me we have black tea out here but it ant green tea I can steap it but shall keep it till I feel rather down to the heal, do you hear from aby I hant since the first of April and she sed she wod rite a gain soon and send me her picture, give my love to father and the children.

Johnson was wounded at South Mountain on 14 September 1862.

Waterbury Sept 29 '62

My Dear Brother

I have heard the sad intelligence of your being wounded I feel thankfull you was not shot right down dead, after all you will have to suffer a great deal more & it seems now like writing to one that is dead but I will hope for the best we feel very grateful to the Chaplain for his Kindness in writing to us. I hope you will be spared to come home again Mother says if she could get to her Darling boy how quick she would to watch over him in his painfull hours. God has saved you so far & we hope he will heal you & give you strength to return to your home & friends soon. It is a great comfort to us to have you feel reconciled to your lot.

We are all well

Marty- you have someone write again soon for we all feel anxious to hear from you again soon.

We all send our Love & best wishes to you-- From your Sister Priscilla D. Johnson

May the lord Jesus Christ be with you in your hours of pain & suffering

Good bye

Bridgewater Sept. 30/'62

Dear Sister & Friends one & all

I take my pen in hand to write you a few hasty lines to let you know that I have just received your letter telling me that Marty is wounded it was not so bad with him as I expected to here, for it seamed to me all the time that I should here that the Darling boy was dead but his life is spared to us yet a little while longer & if he has good care taken of him thare is a chance he will yet be here with us again It is hard to think of but if he had been killed that hope would all but be cut off so we must look to the giver of all good and thank him for his tender care & mercy in sparing his life---he is a noble boy& the whole Union people mourn for our wounded soldiers thare

Is tiers of sympathy by strangers here for him so do not be cast down but look up to rejoice,

Priscilla you did not tell me where our sick darling is whether in Washington, New York or in Meriland please do tell me just as quick as you get this so that I can write to him tell me just how to direct & please do tell me where his leg was taken off---& what was the matter with ?uly lilley I have not heard from Rudolph sence I hurd that he was wounded I am very anxious to here please do say whether you have hurd or no not

Excuse my short letter for I have got the incepalis in one of my eyes & I can hardly see the rest of the family is well Roena Eldora jumped rite up & down she was so tickled with them mits

Janet to Lois & Family

Episcopal Hospital
Corner of Front St. and Lehigh Ave
Philadelphia P.A.

Sept. 30th, '62

Friend Mart,

After so long a time I will try and write a few lines to you to let you know how I do, I am getting a little better, although I do not feel very well. After I came here I got pretty smart but I was taken sick again and I have been pretty sick for about a month, I have got so I set up part of the day. I have got an awful lame back. I hope you are well. Suppose you have heard Ed has got his discharge and gone to Boston. I would like to tell you, and the rest of the boys, I read in the paper that Cushman was wounded, is that so. How do you live now, bout the same as ever I suppose, hardtack and stinking meat, do you keep your knapsacks now. When I come back to the Regiment I shall fetch something that we will have a good time out of. You & I will tent together won't we? If you want any postage stamps you say how many and I will try and fetch you some, or writing paper and envelopes. I can get them cheap here. You know that my canteen will hold one or two drinks, but don't say anything about it. I calculate to bring about three or four quarts, that will be enough. I have plenty of money. I have got 25 dollars now, and if I'm here another month longer, I shall get 26 dollars more. I shant fetch a great deal to the Regt., but I shall buy all the stuff that I can bring hear in Philadelphia.

Poor Fisk, how did he feel when they reduced him to the ranks? Do you know wheather Earl Bliss made out an order for me and Taylor, or not, Has the Capt got any orders now, I wrote to the Capt, he sent me one, but I have not heard from any yet. I had a letter come to camp and Carpentar sent it to me, and I got it, and that is the only one I ever got.

O I wish Mart that I could send you something, we can get great big apples for a cent, milk is only five cents a quart, and they haint got any Main Liquor here, here you can get as much whiskey as you are a mind to, but keep cool, don't let anybody see this letter.

How is Stephen now, we have got some clothes in, the some of them that we lost. I lost my pants on the boat, and I have got another pair, and a new blouse, and a shirt, and one pair socks. And I guess I can get a blanket, a woolen one and a rubber one, if I can't I shall buy them. I have wrote all I can think of, so I will close. Write to me as soon as you get this. I wrote the directions at the beginning, you will see, I send my love and best respects, so good by from your friend Harrison

Waterbury, Vermont Oct. 1st 1862

Dear Brother

We received your letter last evening & and if we ever was glad to get a letter we was thankful to get yours to know that you was on the gain O Dear how painful your leg must be, is the wounds in your arm flesh wounds or not you did not say: I hope you will soon be able to come home to your friends that love you so Dear I hope you will live although you will have to suffer a great deal of pain but, but I think we shall all be willing to wait for you if God is so kind to spare you.: I will not write much more this time for I'm afraid it will tire you to read it We are all well I have wrote 3 letters within this week or 10 days I guess you have not got them.

My Love and best to you from your sister Priscilla D. Johnson

(Marcellus' mother added the following) I will tell you all when you come I'm glad you are is such good spirits & hope you will keep up good courage write soon or get someone to for you for we shall want to hear from you often so good by my Dear Son I am glad you are still alive, do be careful and not take a cold I am glad you bear your pain with such heroic and Christian fortitude, I hope you be spared to return to your Dear Mothers arms once more I shant write much this time for you don't get our letters, you said in your letter don't wory but a mother cant help it. Good by for now.

L.D.J. to M. B. Johnson

Waterbury Vt. March 22nd/63

Dear Cousins Daniel Lampson (name Daniel Lampson in different handwriting)

I will try to answer your letter which I received some time ago and ought to have answered it before now but have not got about it until today but I hope you will forgive me this time & I will try to do better in the future: We are all well as usual and hope it finds you the enjoying the same blessing

Mother & Edgar has been to Bridgewater & visiting since you was here and she found them all well says she had a very good visit with the folks down there.

Alzina we heard of the death of my dear darling brother the very day you left here. O dear me it does seem to me sometime I could not bare it so that he is dead & buried a way off there away from home and friends, could not have Father Mother Brother or Sisters to smooth down his lonely pillow or give him so much as a glass of cold water but had to lay there & suffer to death all alone among strangers If he had got our letters that we wrote it would have done him some good but he did not get one after he was wounded. He died Oct 7th & was buried in Buckettville Md. We sent for his body but we could not have it. Mother takes his death very hard.

The snow is not very deep here, good sleighing Tell Forrest if you will come out here we will have a good time & if you cannot come out do write to your sister your sister must write to please write and excuse a short letter for I have got to go off to work.

From Priscilla D. Johnson

Do not forget to write to me.

Letters courtesy of Charlene Rooney, Morristown, Vermont.