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Silas Smith was born in 1844 and grew up on a farm in Meredith on today’s Waterman Road. He volunteered to serve in the Civil War on August 30, 1864, as a substitute for Thomas Covert of Meridale who promised to give him his $600 bonus.

Twenty-five letters he wrote home are archived at the Delaware County Historical Association (DCHA). Cynthia  transcribed them and she and Nancy will read interesting excerpts.

Silas was frail and not well suited for military life, which was a struggle for him, and he spent much of his time in the hospital.  His letters don’t record exciting accounts of battles, but they do give  a vivid account of what life was like for the many soldiers who were ill or wounded. He did participate in the Battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865, where he was wounded in the leg.