Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower

Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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Jul 21

1864 Civil War Letter by Wilson Penewate

Posted on July 21, 2017 at 5:01 PM by Jessica Cromer

1864 Civil War Letter by Wilson Penewate to his Sisters Mary and Hannah (1)
From Wilson S. Pennewit Probate File Box 361

Civil War Letter P1
Civil War Letter P2

(Punctuation was added below for ease of reading.)

“60th Regt near Petersburg, Va. Sept. 12, 1864

Dear sister,
(I)t is with the greatest of pleasure that I grasp my pen in hand to inform you where and how I am. I went to the hospital on the 16th of June. I was at citypoint(2) near Petersburg, Va. I was down with my breast(3). I got up with my Regt on the second of this month. (T)he last letter I got from you was at Alexandria. (W)e are about 3 miles from Petersburg. (T)hey are still pecing away at it. I have know military news of importance to tell you. (W)e have a pretty hard time here. (W)e won’t get more than half rations here. (T)here is but 5 of us left from Green(e) Co. in Co C. Captain Kyle(4) is agoing to resign. I wrote you to letters while I was at citypoint, one on the 15th and the other on the 20th. Mary(5), if John(6) don’t get that money from Hains(7) I whant you to get 15 or $20.00 of Jonathon Davis(8) and send to me for it is hard to do without it here. I lost your and Hanahers likeness and my knapsack and $5.00 worth of tobaca in the fight at Spotsylvania(9). (W)e don’t get half a nuf to eat here. I want you to send me yours and Hanahers likeness. (Y)ou must let Hanah(10) read this letter for I have no more paper and had to beg this. I would like to know what kind of time you have at camp meeting this year. I would like to be there and take dinner with you but I am so afraid I won’t have the privilige very soon. (W)e have had a dry summer here. (W)e haven’t seen no fences nor corn fields nor wheat fields this summer. I saw William Burn at the battle of the Wilderness(11). I would like to be at spring valy(12) this evening if I ever get home the army may go for me. I and the army is plaid out with one another. (W)ell I must bring this letter to a close thes few lines leaves me in good health. Hoping when they come to hand they may find you all the same. I give my love to all inquiring friends so no more til the next time. (Y)our Brother as ever,

Wilson Penewate(13)
Direct to
Co. C 60th Regt OVI(14)
2nd Brig 3rd Division 9th AC
via Washington DC”

(1) Wilson (1843-1887) would have been 21 years old at the time he wrote this letter.
(2) City Point, VA was the Union Army’s headquarters during the Siege of Petersburg.
(3) Breastworks were barriers about breast-high that protected soldiers from enemy fire (Civil War Trust, Glossary of Civil War Terms <>)
(4) Captain Thomas B. Kyle was in Company C scheduled for a three year service (273).
60th Reg OVI Co C Cpt Kyle p273-19

(5) Mary was Wilson’s older sister.
(6) John was Wilson’s older brother. (There was also a John McClure of the probate court.)
1850 US Census 1850 US Census Copy Highlighted
1850 United States Census

(7) Robert P. Haynes was the real estate appraiser in probate court.
(8) Jonathan Davis was Wilson’s and Hannah’s guardian after their father Adam died.
Probate Court FB 361 Pennewit

(9) The Battle of Spotsylvania, VA began May 8, 1864 and lasted about two weeks.
(10) Hannah was Wilson’s younger sister.
(11) The Battle of the Wilderness was a Union offensive of May 5-6, 1864.
(12) Spring Valley, OH was where Wilson’s family lived.
(13) Private Wilson “Pennyweight” was in Company C scheduled to serve for three years.
Roster of Ohio Troops Vol V p274 Roster of Ohio Troops Vol VI p184
Roster of Ohio Troops p274

(14) Company C of the 60th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry (1864-1865).

The Surrender at Appomattox occurred in April 1865 and Wilson’s Company was mustered out that July.
Discharge Certificate


"Ohio Deaths and Burials, 1854-1997," database, FamilySearch ( : 12 December 2014), Wilson Pennyweight, 1887; citing , reference ; FHL microfilm 182,765.

"United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 9 November 2014), Wilson Pennyweight in household of Adam P Pennyweight, Sugar Creek, Greene, Ohio, United States; citing family 1667, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

"United States National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 4 December 2014), Wilson Pennyweight, 1884; citing p. 12885, Dayton, Ohio, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1749 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 37; FHL microfilm 1,547,734.

“60th Ohio Volunteer Infantry,” Ancestry (

Until Next Time!


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