Exchange Barracks No. 1
Nashville, Tenn., April 2nd 1865
Still another week has gone Sabbath has again come and passed. The shades of evening are fast gathering and now it is the plesent hours of twilight.
It has been a lovely day. Quite warm and very still for this place. I was in the office all forenoon except what time it took me to wash and otherwise prepare for the Sabbath. I got up and commenced work at six o’clock this morn so I could have the afternoon. After dinner myself and comrade or fellow clerk took walk to the Louisville Depot and thence to the Sulpher Springs while resting near the Spring on the grass. We were joined by Uncles Frank and Gilbert and Mr. Houghton Under dark we then went to the State House. I then returned to the Barracks went to my room and took a short napp.
I hold my old position and do not see any prospect of a change very soon. There has nothing occurred yet with regard to what I wrote you some two weeks ago.
Major McNeeley of the 7th Ky Cav an officer with whom I have formed an acquantence came to see me. I am expecting to have a detail with him soon. He is President of a Board sitting on Court Marshals.
I formed the acquantence with him here in the Office as he use to report to the Col Comdg for duty and orders he is a Gentelman in every sence of the word and for some reason he has become pleased with me and is an intimate and warm friend of mine. Although I am a private soldier he shows as much attention to me as though I wore the shoulder straps. I respect and honor him as an Officer and a Gentelman. I do not ask these favors I only ask to be treated as a member of the human family and not like a dam beast. But I do not complain for I am very luck in having the good place I occupy at these Barracks. Yet I can better myself but the Col does not wish me leave he think he cannot spare my services that is the only thing that keeps me in this office now no Officer wishes to take away from another without his consent. Uncle Gilbert came back night before last but will not stay long he expects to be in Whitesboro the first of May. He takes his family with him he is looking well and is in good spirit. Business is very well. I shall not be much surprised if Uncles close up business in Nashville before long. Do you know what Nelson is doing in these days?
The last he wrote he was out of work. War news is cheering and good. Tomorrow is a great day. The Legeslature of Term meets and Gov. Brownlow is inaugurated. The city is to be dickorated with flags one hundred guns to be fired at sun rise and the come at sun set. I do not think I will have time to witness the inaugural, but like it very much. I suppose you will know by the time this reaches you wha tis your destination the coming year.
I must close Love to all
O. L. Severson
Oscar L. Severson was born on January 22, 1845 in Albany County, New York. When he was one year old, his family moved to Binghamton, New York were he spent his developing years. He spent some time at an Episcopal academy and then became a janitor to pay for his tuition. In August of 1862, at the age of 19, Severson left school to enlist in the Union Army and he became a private in Company E, 137th New York Infantry. Severson served with the regiment through Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, before being wounded at Wauhatchie, Tennessee on October 29, 1863. He would eventually rejoin the regiment and serve out his term of service in Tennessee until finally being mustered out in June of 1865.
After the war, Severson became a Methodist Episcopal minster in the Wyoming Valley Conference of that church. Eventually he would get degrees from U.S. Grant University, Albuquerque College in New Mexico and Wiley University of Texas. He spent the remainder of his life preaching and lecturing on his experiences with the 137th New York on Culps Hill at Gettysburg. He died in 1924 and is buried in Dunmore, PA just outside of Scranton.