News from Fort Delaware, guarding Rebel prisoners, death of 1st Lt. Urbane S. Cook, sickness in camp.
Delaware [City, Delaware]
October 18, 1862
I am happy to hasten to reply to your very welcome letter. You must pardon me for not writing sooner. We have been removed from our tents to our barracks in the fort, which has turned everything topsy-turvy and made us, of course, very busy. So we could not find time for anything almost. I was yesterday on guard, so by the regulations, I am entitled to employ the day after as I please. So you see the greatest pleasure I have is writing to you.
I am sorry I can’t furnish you with any very interesting news. The Rebel [prisoners] have left, and we were very glad of it. It was fine job enough to guard them the first day, but a week of it is more than enough. I shall not describe their appearance to you because my descriptive powers ain’t strong enough for the enterprise. Suffice to say that they were filthy to extremes.
I am sorry to tell you that our First Lieutenant, Urbane S. Cook ♠ died last night of Typhoid fever, which prevails here. We all feel sorry after him for a better man could not be found. He was second to none. Annie, it is a sorry sight to see a funeral on this island. I hope that I will be spared a funeral here, anyhow, at my expense. They bury a man here because they have to do it & the sooner the job is done, the better they feel. Lieutenant Cook will be sent to Susquehanna County [PA], his home. An escort will be sent with him. We don’t know who they will be yet. Here is another victim to Southern rascality & treason. He was the healthiest of us all, yet the first to fall. God knows who will be next.
I can’t say anymore news to you, but this: you can expect to see W. G. Thompson and W. B. Davis of Carbondale up there next week. Thompson has been very sick [but] he is now getting better. I can’t say I’m sure of it, but I hear so that is of them coming up to Carbondale.
A good wish
“Come, Heavenly Powers, primeval Peace restore
Love! —Mercy! — Wisdom! — rule for evermore!” ♣
LETTER 4 NOTES
♠ Urbane S. Cook was the First Lieutenant of “Schooley’s Battery” — later Company M, 2nd Heavy Artillery Pennsylvania Volunteers. Urbane was born in 1839, the son of Griffin Cook, a farmer in Jackson Township, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania.
♣ “Come, Heavenly Powers, primeval Peace restore Love! —Mercy! — Wisdom!” — rule for evermore!” were the final lines of a long poem named “The Pleasures of Hope” written by Thomas Campbell (1777-1844).