Oct. 4th 62
To my Dear little sick boy,
Well Willy, Mother said in her letter that you were not much better. I was in hopes that I would have heard that you were well, but you must try and be good and [take] your medicine like a little man and I think that if you are a good boy the good Lord will soon make you well and think you can help Mother take care of the rest. Do my little son try and be good to your sisters and Mother as they have nobody, also to be man for them, but you, and when poor Margy is sick, and Mother has so much to do you must try and not fret. Remember the Lord loves good little boys. Be very good to your little sisters and to Little Levi and all the rest, and I want you all to be good to each other. Well bub, I must conclude. Kiss Mother and the baby for me and may the good Lord bless you all and keep you safe until I return. Farewell one and all.
From your loving Father,
To Willy O. Lupton
Levi Lupton enlisted as a 2nd Lieutenant in Company C of the 116th Ohio Infantry on July 25, 1862. Lupton was from Jerusalem, Ohio and when he joined the service at age 39, he left behind a rather large family. He had been married for fourteen years to his wife Elizabeth when he enlisted to fight for the Union, leaving behind at least four young children, with whom he corresponded regularly during his service. His unit served in the backwater of the Civil War, fighting at unknown places like Mooresfield, Romney and Bunker Hill. Lupton must have made quite an impression on his men and his superiors alike. On June 13, 1863 he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant of Company C. Unfortunately for him, Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia had started its invasion of the North, which would culminate at Gettysburg a few weeks later.
On June 14, 1863 when General Jubal Early commenced his attack from the west on Winchester, Virginia and the Federal garrison there, his first target was West Fort. West Fort was being defended by the 110th and 116th Ohio Infantry. Lieutenant Lupton and his comrades made a fight of it albeit a brief one. They were completely outnumbered and outflanked and they shortly were forced to retreat back towards the Main Fort at Winchester. Numerous last ditch efforts were made by Union soldiers as the unstoppable Confederate tide swept through its intended target. Somewhere in that chaos, Levi Lupton was captured. His regiment had about 240 men before the battle began and lost 8 killed, 29 wounded and 141 captured or missing for a total of 178 casualties, or a loss of 74% of the regiment.
Levi Lupton was sent first to Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia with a number of his comrades. They were then transported to the Confederate prison at Macon, Georgia, before finally being moved to Charleston, South Carolina. The suffering was unimaginable and Levi contracted Diarrhea. On September 12, 1864, Levi Lupton passed away at the Charleston Race Course Prison, far away from his beloved wife and children. He was interred in the Beaufort National Cemetery with 174 other soldiers who died in the prison under unidentified markers. One of prison hospital's caretakers, Mrs. Lorenzo Potter had promised the Union prisoners she would return after the war to erect an appropriate memorial in their honor. She kept her promise and also kept a list of all those who had died in the prison. She used her own funds to erect a marble tablet in the Beaufort National Cemetery listing all those men whom she had cared for, that had died in the Charleston Race Course Prison. That work of tender care and a promise made good can still be visited today.