The letters listed below are taken from copies at the Library of Congress. They were obtained by
John Robertson, Jr., of Upton, while doing research for his book, On Old Marlborough Road. John
made copies of the fifty pages he had, and gave them to me. I'll try to get them all online eventually.
The first of them was written at Camp Lincoln, Worcester, on October 5, 1861, and the last from Camp
Oliver, New Bern, North Carolina, on July 6, 1862. There are others at the Smithsonian, but the ones
on this site are just those that were written during the period John was studying. His book is about two
men from Upton who were killed at the Battle of Newbern. Draper was in that battle, and mentioned
them in his letters and his autobiography. You can also read, from Draper's autobiography,
Recollections of a Varied Career, the story of his marriage during a furlough in 1862, and his account
of being severely wounded during the Battle of the Wildernesss. Most of the letters here are about life
in camp and on ships. Draper saw a great deal of action during the war, but most of it occurred after
the period covered in these letters.
Five of Draper's letters were written from Newbern. If you'd like to read more about the battle, you can
find it in Robertson's book. It's a wonderful account of the years leading up to the war, the Fiske and
Rogers families in Upton, and the battle. It's for sale at the Upton Historical Society Museum, on the
second floor over the Upton Library in the center of Upton. They're open Tuesday through Thursday,
and Saturday from nine until eleven-thirty, and on Thursday evenings from six-thirty until eight. (Even if
you're not buying the book, the museum is well worth a visit.) The price of the book is $26.25. (All
proceeds go to the Upton Historical Society and the Upton Historical Commission.) To order by mail,
send $29.25 to the Upton Historical Society, Box 171, Upton, MA 01568-0171.
October 5, 1861 - Camp Lincoln, Worcester, Massachusetts
November 2, 1861 - On board steamer Louisiana, Baltimore, Maryland
November 13, 1861 - Camp Hicks, Annapolis, Maryland
November 29, 1861 - Camp Hicks
December 5, 1861 - Camp Hicks
December 7, 1861 - Camp Hicks
December 13, 1861 - Camp Hicks
Undated - Camp Hicks
December 25, 1861 - Camp Hicks
December 30, 1861 - Camp Hicks
January 12, 1862 - On board Schooner, Colonel Satterly, Chesapeake Bay
January 28, 1862 - On board Schooner, Colonel Satterly, Hatteras Inlet
February 9, 1862 - On board Steamer S.R. Spaulding off Roanoke Island (Dear Lilla)
February 9, 1862 - On board Steamer S.R. Spaulding off Roanoke Island (Dear Father)
March 15, 1862 - Newbern, N.C.
April 5, 1862 - Newbern, N.C.
May 2, 1862 - Newbern, N.C.
June 2, 1862 - Camp Oliver, Newbern
July 6, 1862 - Camp Oliver, Newbern