Civil War 150
New Hampshire

Company A, 5th Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers at Deerfield NH 250th Anniversary

  • 16 Jul 2016
  • 17 Jul 2016
  • Deerfield NH

Participating in the 250th anniversary of the town of Deerfield NH. Also of note at the town library: The Civil War Letters & Diary of Captain Jonathan Johnson. The Johnsons, Nancy and Jonathan, lived on South Road with their nine children. Their oldest son, George, worked with his father at their shoe business, located in a little shop in their house.

In 1862, Jonathan Johnson began active service as Captain of Company D, 15th Regiment, NH Volunteers, and went to war. One year later, at the age of forty-seven, Capt. Jonathan Johnson succumbed to what they called “swamp fever”, contracted while fighting in New Orleans. He was sent home to Deerfield to die. He left his wife Nancy a widow with eight children at home, four of them less than 16 years of age. His son George never returned home, and was buried in a double grave after the Battle of Spotsylvania in 1864. Both had gone to war to preserve the Union, and believed that slavery was an iniquitous institution. Both died for that cause.

During his year of service, Capt. Johnson kept a diary and regularly wrote home. These fragile, precious letters were preserved by his widow and came into the hands of his grandson after her death. Alden Chase Brett was so deeply moved by the story that came out of his grandfather’s letters and diary, and the family history that was passed down to him, that he compiled it into a book.

 

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