The following was transcribed fromThe Life of Clara Barton Founder of the American Red Cross, Volume 1, pages 313 - 314, written William E. Barton, published by Houghton Mifflin Company, The Riverside Press Cambridge, 1922.
"Greenfield, Mass., Sept. 25, 1911
Miss Clara Barton
My Dear Miss Barton:
I am a stranger to you, but you are far from being a stranger to me. As a member of the old Vermont Brigade through the entire struggle, I was familiar with your unselfish work at the front through those years when we were trying to restore a broken Union, and being a prisoner of war at Andersonville at its close, my mother, not knowing whether I was alive, appealed to you for information.
Two letters bearing you signature (from Annapolis, Maryland) are in my possession, the pathos of one bearing no tidings, and the glad report of my arrival about the middle of May, 1865.
The thankful heart that received them has long been stilled, but the letters have been preserved as sacred relics.
I also have a very vivid recollection of your earnest appeal to us to notify our friends of our arrival by first mail for their sake.
If to enjoy the gratitude of a single heart be a pleasure, to enjoy the benediction of a greatful world must be sweet to one's declining years. To have earned it makes it sublime.
I have also another tie which makes Oxford seem near to me. An old tent-mate, a member of our regimental quartette, a superb soldier and a very warm friend, lies mouldering there these many years. He survived, I think, more than thirty battles only to die of consumption in January, 1870. Whenever I can I run down from Worcester to lay a flower on George H. Amidon's grave.
I write not to tax you with a reply, but simply to wish for you all manner of blessings.
F. J. Hosmer
Co. I, 4th Vt."