William N. Greene

William N. Greene was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 173rd New York in August of 1863, joining the regiment after the seige of Port Hudson.  He was a Massachusetts man, but with New York connections, having served previusly in the 102nd New York.  Early in the war he had been a prisoner at Libby Prison, finally being exchanged. 

Lt. Col. Greene served with the regiment at the Battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill in April of 1864.  He was wounded at Pleasant Hill as the regiment fled from the on-coming Confederate force.  He was evacuated when the Army of the Gulf retreated back down the Red River. His arm was shattered beyond repair, but he refused amputation, choosing instead to have the boon removed leaving the arm useless, but still "able to fill a sleeve".  His condition improved and he was granted leave to return home.  However, gangrene set in, and while his arm was amputated, it was too late and he died on the day he was to have left for home.

This letter and the photograph of Lt. Col. Greene and Col. Peck are courtesy of Mr. T. Wolcott, a great-great-grand nephew of Lt. Col. Greene


Nathaniel Augustus Conklin

The following letters were written by Nathaniel Augustus Conklin, home to his family in Brooklyn. Gus, as he signed himself, was the son of Ebenezer Conklin and his second wife, Sarah Aletta Clowes. The family was originally from Hempstead on Long Island, but moved to Brooklyn, living near the corner of North 2nd Street and Maspath Avenue. The letters are written to his parents and to his older sister, Harriet Louisa Conklin. Gus first joined the 83rd New York, rising to the rank of Sergeant. In October of 1862 he joined the 173rd New York as a Second Lieutenant. At war's end he was a Captain. He survived the war, marrying his sweetheart, Agnes Hanrahan, and living in Brooklyn after the war. They had five children and lived at 30 Orient Avenue. In 1895 he applied for a disability pension as his health had been destroyed by the illness he contracted during the seige at Port Hudson. The physcian who signed his pension application was Nathaniel Wilson Leighton, a respected Brooklyn physician and formerly a surgeon with the 173rd New York. Leighton wrote "we are all declining 10 years before our fathers" on account of the privations during the war. Gus died the next year in 1896 and was buried in the graveyward of St. George's Episcopal Church in Hempstead. His death certificate was signed by Leighton.

The presentation of these letters is made possible by their owner Mr. William Howard.

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