Henry D. Wharton’s Civil War Letters, 1865 (Pennsylvania Volunteers, 47th Regiment)

Editor’s Note: Additional letters penned by Henry D. Wharton during his time with Company C and the central command staff of the 47th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry are available, and will be added to this section as time permits. Selected letters which Henry wrote while serving with the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteers are also available on this site.

Please enjoy these samples of his letters, and check back frequently for updates.

Note: The letters shown below were written by Henry Wharton during 1865, the fifth year of America’s Civil War. For letters penned by Henry during prior years, click on the year you are researching:

1861       1862       1863       1864


12 and 24 April 1865

















Henry D. Wharton provided key details about the 47th Pennsylvania’s defense of Washington, D.C. immediately prior to and after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in two letters penned in April 1865 (written on 12 and 24 April, respectively), including the regiment’s reaction to the unconditional surrender” of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, the enlisted men’s presentation of a splendid sword to regimental 2nd Lieutenant Christian S. Beard to “show their appreciation of him as an officer and gentleman,” the impact made on members of the 47th Pennsylvania by President Abraham Lincoln’s murder and witnessing the passage of Lincoln’s funeral train, and the wisdom of America’s procedures for a smooth transfer of power. Published in the Sunbury American, 29 April 1865. (Click on images for enlarged views of letter excerpts. Click HERE for full transcripts of Henry’s two letters.)


5 August 1865









In this letter home – penned while his regiment was stationed in Charleston, South Carolina, Henry D. Wharton briefly alluded to the feelings of his fellow 47th Pennsylvanians upon learning of the resignation of Union Brigadier-General William Dwight, Jr., commanding officer of the division to which they were attached at that time (and under whom many members of the regiment had served earlier). In addition to this commentary, he also provided the text of Dwight’s 20 July 1865 farewell letter to his troops from his headquarters at Savannah, Georgia. Published in the Sunbury American, 19 August 1865. (Click on images for enlarged views of letter excerpts. Click HERE for full transcript.)