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1st Vermont Cavalry

Henry Jerdo (Jeandreau)

Henry Jerdo (real name Jeandreau), age 21, enlisted 21 November 1863, credited to Burlington, and mustered in as a private in Co. A, 1st Vermont Cavalry, on 1 December 1863. He was wounded and taken prisoner at Stony Creek, Va., 29 June 1864, was sent to Andersonville prison and subsequently to Wilmington, North Carolina, where he died 2 March 1865. His final resting place is currently unknown.

[The transcriptions of the letters are as nearly like the originals as possible. The letters were a single sheet of paper folded to make four pages. Henry didn't write them, a scribe did them for him. In some letters there are two or more handwritings and different spelling errors.]

Brandy Station
(January 23d/64)

Dear Father and Mother

I recieved your letter of the 14th and was very glad to hear from you
I recieved the stamps all right
I am not with the regiment now
I am doing orderly duty at
the 6th Corps the whole company are doing orderly duty
I have just got back from doing duty
I had as good a dinner as ever I had at home
I eat with the colonel I had some fried cakes and sauce
warm biscuit and butter
all we have to do is ride around
with officer of the day
along the picket lines and

[page 2]
see that everything is all right
well about the picture I cant keep it for I hant got any place to keep it it looks natural and makes me feel bad to look at
I will send it back in this letter
we are in a tent Abe and myself
Elbert Seul and Eb in a tent by the side of ours
we live like pigs in the clover we drawed our rations last night potatoes onions beef pork bread
we had as good a breakfast as I want fried onions potatoes pork coffee
we all like soldiering yet ant discouraged
I heard that my cousins have enlisted over for three years more

[page 3]
and have gone home on
a furlough tell Loesa that I want she should send me her likeness in Ambrotype
what is Sorrelle doing tell him not to be lonesome for
I shall be home again
tell him to take good care of his sheep and things
have you recived that five dollars that I sent you

Abe is just a getting supper beef pork onions bread
it is quite warm here now it is fine weather it looks like a battleiield the shells are pretty thick on the ground here

[page 4]
well, I cant think of anything more so good bye and write all the news

Henry Jerdo

Head Quarters 6th Army Corps
   Jan 29th/64

Dear Father and mother,

I received your kind and welcome letter in due time
and it found me in good health and I
hope this will find you enjoying the same health
With the money that I sent you you need not send me any thing at present.
I will not need the boots till March
I am fat as ever and like soldiering better and better every day
I was on duty yesterday

[page 2]
I seen a reble [unknown] he was looking on to see what he could see
I have got a good strong bay horse and he is good to jump
the ditches and stone walls I dont fear the gray backs if we have to retreat hurah for me
and my big bay horse
the weather is as hot as in the month of July
I am around'with my coat off
I seen Charles Clemants to day and he is
as tough as a horse, almost as a mule, tougher than a [unknown]
I had a letter from Gard Walker and

[page 3]
he was well.
I have got a sore eye, but that dont keep me
from raising hell but I feel as happy as a clam in the mud.
Sart(?) is nasty as hell
one week we have mud up to our knees and the other it is just as nice as you please
[unknown] Cest(?) is not with us at present he is to brigade head quarters
as orderly we dont have to run for our rations they fetch them to our shanty I have not
much mare news to write this time so I must come to a close.

[page 4]
From your affectionate son Henry Jerdo
to his father and mother sisters and brothers my best respect to you all
so good bye

Head quarters 6 Army Corps March 4, 1864

Dear father and mother
i now take mi pen in hand to inform you that i am well and i hope these few lines will find you the same
i resieved your letter yesterday mornig and i was glad to here from you
i now tell whare i have ben we came in Night fore last and we was very tyard
was out five days we went out Expecting to have A fight But the rebel they fell back
we went threw A large sitty we stopt in the sitty all night
the next momig our captain went out with us on a scout
we went aBout a mile and we see the gray Back and they shot at us but did not hurt us

[Page 2]
we will give them the Devil some one of these Days
Charlley Lander and Peater Lander and we have good
time to geather Do you Now that Uncal Charlly Jerdo has inlisted
he has inlisted in the hevy artilery Leven VT rigment he was Drafted and he thot he wold go and
inlist to get Some bounty he got 1 00 Dollars Down
i has not seen uncal Sam yet
tel father to not inlist to Stay at home
if you wold See the infantry march you wold not inlist

i helpt some of them that lade in the mud
they cold not carry ther napsack i carry ther napsack for them
father i hope you will not have such A Nocion as that
tel Sorrell to go to School Evry Day he will need it when he

[Page 3]
is grone up he will need it when he is like me
i hant rite mi own letter i can not rite very good tell Louisa to not for my part
She Better Stay at home for I dont know how I will feel if she leavesthe family
tell her to stay at home for my sake and I will see that she is all Wright

the work is just as plenty in York State as it is in Vermont she had better
stay in her own place

for my papers Father you can go to burlington and see the provost marshall
there is Where I enlisted and When you go to the provost martell Speak to him about my $125 dollars
there aint much prospect of geting

[Page 4]
our pay till the first of may. I suspec they wont get a man to Work this next summer unless they pay a darn
big raise. I got a letter from George Burt the other day and he owed me 5 Dollars and he sent it to me the other day
he wishes himself hunting musk rats by the river
the Weather is fine here at present
Father if you know when you are well off you stay at home
I am here and that is enough (unknown) at present.

Write soon

So good by from your son Henry Jerdo
to his Father and mother
sisters and brothers, best respect to you all.

(This next letter was written six weeks before he was captured. Maybe it was his last.)

Head quarters 6 Corps
April the 16 1864
Dear father and Mother
i now take my pen in hand to inform you that i Am well and in good health
i received your kind letter Last Night and i am glad to here from you and to here that you was well
we ar a agoing to the rigiment tomorrow
it is raining here to day
i think we will have to fight like the devil this sumer {He was headed for the Battle of the Wilderness and the Siege of

i hope i will go in a fight Soon I feel Just like it
we have a good time here we play ball with the Captin and that is fun for us
we went out on a scout the other day and we

got 7 rebels i tell you what it is fun for us
they did not das to fire on us if they had we wold shot them
i like to fire my little gun at them

we have had a horse rase here this afternoon and it wasa good wone
Eb is here with me and he is full of funas Ever
father i sent $40 Dollars to gardner Walker has he got it
I sent it by Express to him
i want him to Send me his note so that i can Send it to you so if enything should hapen to me
So if you want enyting go to gard
i dont think you will raise much on that farm this Summer

whare is pete going now
i got a letter from peater Bridge

[Page 3]
he was well and he sed he was fat as a pig
he sed he Like soulgering well Just like me
I tell what if i was to home now i wold inlisted as much asi did then
i like it and i thik it is right for the boy to go to the war
i think it was mi duty to go to war
but i think ther is some coward in Boqutte that is Elbert Lando and Ab Sutherd
i hope they will stay at home go to the dans and go to the Singing School

tell Surrell to keep the calfes how meney Sheep have you got
i think i will go home next winter {he was in a Columbia,SC POW camp instead}
i will send you mi likenes
do you now who that is with me? it is mi cousan i have got

[Page 4]
an other wone for Walker i sent wone to my Sister has she got it

this is all this time So good By

Send me a Stamp when you right from
Henry Jerdo

Unfortunately I do not have a photo of Henry, but I do have one of his younger brother, Sorrell Jr. He mentions Sorrell in his letters to his mom and dad-big Sorrell.

Sorell Jerdo

Sorrell Jr. is the man seated in the photo at the center. He was my great-great grandfather and it was taken on my great-grandmother's wedding day. The photo was taken in 1902. I imagine that my" Civil War Henry" looked a little like his younger brother!

Letters and photograph courtesy of Patty Gaydos, Oviedo, Florida, Henry's 2nd-great-grandniece.