Abiel Peyson Williams

“May God Speed”

 The Civil War Letters of
Abiel Peyson Williams
Company D, 25th Massachusetts
Volunteer Infantry Regiment

George Champion Williams

Company E, 1st Massachusetts
Volunteer Heavy Artillery Regiment
to and from their family
in Dudley, Massachusetts

Transcription, Commentary
and Footnotes

Robert R. Ducharme
March 17, 2005

George Champion Williams

On January 20th 2004, the family of Harold and Claudine Goodell, of Murietta, CA, donated 50 original letters, written by Civil War soldier Anson P. Goodell of the 25th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment between 1861 and 1877, along with transcribed copies of these letters to The Black Tavern Historical Society. In preparation for a presentation on these letters that were made at the Black Tavern on March 17, 2005, I began to read and research the letters. After some 40 hours of reading, (some requiring the use of a magnifying glass) correcting errors in the transcription, and researching the subjects in the letters, I decided to call Mrs. Marion Moseley, who along with Anson Goodell, is a descendant of the Tavern builder Hezekiah Healy, to ask if she would be willing to discus some of the subjects of the letters with me. Mrs. Moseley not only graciously accepted to do so, but invited me to her home where I spent some two hours with Marion, her husband Charles and their son Will discussing Anson’s letters. During that time, she showed me several Civil War letters written by Abiel P. Williams, Mrs. Moseley’s grandfather, who was also in the 25th Mass. Regiment. She also showed me several artifacts that Abiel took home from the war along with photos of Abiel, and George C. Williams, Abiel’s brother, and their cousin Anson P. Goodell and his family. I was so excited at this find that I asked the Williams family if they would allow me to borrow the letters and photos so that I might copy them and use them in my presentation. They most graciously allowed me to take these precious pieces of not only their family history but that of our nation. I then spent about 40 hours of the next week transcribing and researching the content of these letters as well as making copies of the photos.

After an additional 40 hours of typing Abiel’s letters and retyping Anson’s letters along with the research done on each, I placed the information along with all the photos in a binder and gave copies to the Williams family and the Black Tavern Historical Society.

In addition to the presentation at the Black Tavern, my plans for the future are to put together an exhibit that may be displayed at “The Tavern” and to publish a series using these letters in the local paper so that folks in the local area will be made aware of the sacrifices made by these local patriots who answered the call to preserve the Union.

Anson P. Goodell and his brother Edwin D. Goodell, along with their cousins Abiel P. Williams and his brother George C. Williams, were but a few of the Dudley boys who went off to fight in the Civil War. Edwin would lose his leg at Cold Harbor and George would make the supreme sacrifice when he was killed at Petersburg.  Thankfully, today in their letters, we are still able to share their thoughts, hopes, dreams, and beliefs. Reading and working with these letters was truly a privilege and I will be forever grateful to the Black Tavern Historical Society and the Moseley family for allowing me to do so.

Robert R. Ducharme


Letters written by Abiel P. Williams, George C. Williams, John Williams, Becca D. Williams, and Agnes Newton 1862 - 1865

Letter # Date

Letter written by

Letter written to

Letter from

1 January 21, 1862 Abiel Father On Board the Eagle Pamlico Sound
2 June 30, 1862 Abiel George Camp Oliver, Newbern, NC
3 August 12, 1862 Abiel George Camp Oliver, Newbern, NC
4 August 14, 1862 Abiel John  Camp Oliver, Newbern, NC
5 February 16, 1863 Abiel John  Camp Oliver, Newbern, NC
6 April 3, 1863 George Dear ones at home Washington ?
7 May 14, 1863 Abiel Hezzie Camp Oliver, Newbern, NC
8 June 21, 1863 Abiel Parents Fort Stevenson
9 July 4, 1864 John Abiel Dudley, MA
10 July 4, 1864 Mother Abiel Dudley, MA
11 July 7, 1864 Abiel John  Petersburg, VA
12 July 19, 1864 Mother Abiel Dudley, MA
13 July 20, 1864 Agnes Newton Abiel Leicester, MA
14 October 15, 1864 Mass. State Adgt. A. W. Williams Washington, DC.
15 November 28, 1864 John  Abiel Dudley, MA
16 March 8, 1865 Abiel John  Bivouack, Near Kinston
17 May 21, 1865 Abiel John  Charlotte, NC

Other documents relating to Abiel P. Williams and George C. Williams

Document #




Obituary George C. Williams


Obituary Abiel P. Williams


Address of Ira D. Bates Funeral of Abiel P. Williams


Reunion Menu 25th Mass. Reunion


GAR War Sketch Abiel P. Williams

Abiel Peyson Williams