Jerome B. Satterlee, of Albany, N.Y., enlisted in the 44th N.Y. Vol. Inf. (known as the "Ellsworth Avengers") on Aug. 20, 1861. He served in Co. B under Capt. Lucius S. Larrabee, whom he fondly mentions in several letters and who died at Gettysburg, with a number of Satterlee's unread personal letters in his pocket (from whom, Satterlee does not state). Satterlee was honorably discharged on Aug. 30, 1864.
Captured at Gaines' Mill, Satterlee was held at Libby Prison from June to September 1862. (For an ironic anecdote about his capture, see Eugene Arus Nash, A History of the Forty-fourth Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry , 303.) During his imprisonment, he lost nearly 50 pounds. He was hospitalized several times before and after his time in Libby Prison. On the last occasion, at McVeigh House Hospital in Alexandria, Va., he recovered sufficiently to serve as both a night watchman and male nurse.
Satterlee's letters are addressed to his parents, brother, and sister. He wrote on national and New York politics, Lincoln and his Cabinet, Union and Confederate generals, life in the military, and life in McVeigh House Hospital.
As of 1910, Satterlee was living in Washington, D.C. His last known postal address was at the United States Department of Agriculture, Washington.
The Satterlee correspondence came to the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections before 2001, perhaps as part of the Harlan Hoyt Horner and Henrietta Calhoun Horner Collection.