Brothers in Arms: Thomas Elliot and James Elliot

Brothers in Arms: Thomas Elliot and James Elliot of New Kingston Sons of William and Eleanor and grandsons of a Scottish émigré.

Thomas Elliott

Thomas Elliott

Thomas: B. Jan. 22, 1840, joined the 90th NY Volunteers in 1864. Mortally wounded at the Battle of Cedar Creek , Va. which occurred Oct. 18 and 19, 1864. Died Nov. 6, 1864. One of 60 from this regiment to be killed or mortally wounded. From 1880 History of Delaware County: “All that chill November day he lay bleeding on the damp, cold ground, and was robbed by the rebels of all his personal effects, even to his military boots. At nightfall he was found by friends, and carried to the hospital, where after suffering great pain for three weeks, he died full of triumph and faith.” The Elliott family still has the blood-stained diary carried by Thomas.

James Christian Elliott

James Christian Elliott

James: B. 10/23/1841, enlisted Aug. 26, 1862 in the 144th NY Regiment, killed at the Battle of Honey Hill, SC, Nov. 30, 1864, just three weeks after his brother’s death. His father hired someone to find James’ body, but it was never located.

The brothers are memorialized on a monument in the Bovina Center Cemetery.

In Memory of James C. Elliott 144th Regt of NYS Volunteers, killed at the Battle of Honey Hill, SC Nov. 30, 1864, aged 23 years, 1 month, 8 days.

His body lies interred near the place he fell.
“Thy task is done, the bonds are free,
we never saw thy honored grave,
whose noblest monument shall be
the broken fetters of the slave.”

In Memory of Thomas Elliott 90th Regt. NYS Volunteers, who died at Baltimore Nov. 6, 1864, from wounds received in the Battle of Cedar Creek, VA Oct. 19, 1864. Aged 24 years, 9 months, 15 days.

“Pure was thy life, its bloody close
hath placed thee with the sons of light,
among the noble host of those
who perished in the cause of right.”

The following letter was written by the surviving Elliott sibling, John, to his brother James. John was Great-Grandfather to Sally Elliott Scrimshaw who transcribed it. By the time this letter was written, both James and Thomas were dead.

New Kingston Dec. 9, (18)64

Dear Brother James I have not got any letter from you this week. But I will drop you a line to let you know how we are all getting along. We are all well at present for which blessing we ought to be thankful. Father got a letter from you last week. We was glad to hear that you was well. We have sent your box away. There is a few things in it for Dumond Reynolds but they are pact by themselves and they are all marked except a few green apples. I sent you a few also. They may get mixed but you will not quarl about them. Yours are all sweet apples that grew in the little orchard. (by the tool shed-Dutchess of Goldenberg or a Talmond Sweet & also a pear tree according to J. William Elliott – our father?) I had a letter from Wilson Lewis since I wrote to you. Andrew enlisted about three months ago. He is under Gen Sherman. Wat has allso been in the army for over two years. Moses is also in the army. He is in the C4 New York. He says the rest of them are all well but does not mention the rest of them in particular. The weather has been very fine this fall. There has not been frost enough to freeze the brook over till last night and I do not think there has been over two inches of snow. Sam Yeoman is keeping a select school in Margaretville. He has just newly started the last accounts. I heard he had 25 schollars. He is keeping in Northrup’s old store, the first building west of O’Conors Hotel. There is quite a clan of *copperheads in the back hollow. Dr. Alabon sp? Spoke one night before the election and they raised a Hickory pole and some of them cheered becase Thomas was wounded and some of them wished that Mr Service and him were both shot. What do you think of such slang? There is a story around here that J Z Thompson and A Henderson are very sick of a soldiers life that they would give there bounty and a thousand dollars into the bargain if they were home. Please write if it is true and who you tent with & what you have to do, what you get to eat & RR.

Yours Affectionately

John W. Elliot

*The Copperheads were a vocal group of Democrats in the Northern United States (see also Union (American Civil War)) who opposed the American Civil War, wanting an immediate peace settlement with the Confederates. Republicans started calling antiwar Democrats “copperheads”, likening them to the poisonous snake. By 1863, the Peace Democrats had accepted the label, but for them the copper “head” was the likeness of Liberty on the copper penny, and they proudly wore pennies as badges.

Transcribed by Mary Elliott (McCormick) & Sally Elliott Scrimshaw on December 9, 2009, at 130 Delaware Avenue, Delhi.