n my God is my firm reliance and . . .

Frank I. Willis
51st NY Vols., Co. A.

Willis writes to his aunt

Camp Burnside
15 November 1861

”Yes I am here to participate in the vindication of my country’s honor to oppose armed rebels who seek the subversion of this, the only republican government that deserves the admiration of the world. We are all anxious to meet the enemy of our beautiful country and the spirit of ‘76 dwells in the bosom and strengthens the arm of all who join in the cause. In my God is my firm reliance and should I suddenly be ushered into the unknown world while fighting beneath the Stars and Stripes, I trust all will be well.

I am healthier than ever before it seems to me. Our rations have along back consisted of two crackers, a small piece of meat and a cup of coffee. Nice meals to grow fat on! We expect soon to go south and I doubt not but we shall see hard times within the month. Charleston is reserved for us. God is with us and there at Charleston victory awaits us?”

Source: eBay, June 2007


Residence was not listed; 21 years old.

Enlisted on 9/13/1861 at New York City, NY as a Corporal.

On 9/20/1861 he mustered into “A” Co. NY 51st Infantry
He Re-enlisted on 2/25/1864
He was discharged for wounds on 3/1/1865 at Hospital, Washington, DC
(Douglas Hospital)

He was listed as:
* Wounded 7/30/1864 Petersburg, VA (Severely wounded in right leg, amputated)

* Sergt 8/30/1863
* 2nd Lieut 3/19/1864 (Not Mustered)

51st history

The 51st regiment contained six companies of the Shepard Rifles, two companies of the Scott Rifles and two companies of the Union Rifles and was organized in New York city, where it was mustered into the service of the United States July 27 to Oct. 23, 1861, for a three years’ term.

It left the state for Washington on Oct. 31, with 850 members, was assigned to the 2nd brigade, 2nd division, Gen. Burnside’s North Carolina expedition, and embarked at Annapolis Jan. 6, 1862, for Roanoke island. The first active service of the regiment was at Roanoke island, where it fought with courage and steadiness.

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