Edwin Wright, 1837-1901
Rank: Corporal, Second Lieutenant
Regiment: United States. Army. New York Cavalry Regiment, 9th (1861-1865)
Service: September 1861-July 1865
Edwin Wright was born in June of 1837, the son of Orin Wright and Belinda Underwood. His father was a farmer in Villanova, New York. Before the war, he worked in a sawmill in Charlotte, New York, where he became a close friend of the local postmistress Loanda Lake, six years his senior. He corresponded with her regularly during his four years in the army. During the Civil War, he served in the Union Army for almost four years. He was 24 years old when he enlisted in September 1861 as a corporal in the 9th New York Cavalry, Co. D, and was mustered out with the rank of second lieutenant in July 1865. Much of Edwin’s time in military service was spent carrying dispatches, standing picket, or scouting. But in the spring and summer of 1864, he was involved in heavy fighting at Cold Harbor and in the Shenandoah Valley. Shortly before he was mustered out in 1865, he was transferred from Co. D to Co. H. After the war, Edwin became a farmer in Chautauqua, New York, living at various times in the towns of Freedonia, Pomfret, Portland, and Westfield. He married (not Loanda Lake) and had two children (Helen, b. ca. 1867, and Lucy, b. ca. 1875). Shortly after 1880 he was married for the second time, to Martha C. Rice (1841-1921) of Westfield, New York. They lived in Westfield until Edwin’s death in 1901.
Loanda Lake (b. 1831), to whom most of the Edwin Wright letters are addressed, was the daughter of Luther and Lucinda Lake of Charlotte, New York. She served as postmistress of Charlotte, New York, from 1855-1863. In 1863, she moved with her widowed mother to Hammonton, New Jersey. At the time of the 1870 Census, she was still single and living in Hammonton.