Civil War Period Letter 1865
Civil War Period Letter written in period ink and dated: February 5, 1865.
February 5th 1865
I received a letter from you some weeks since and was very glad to hear from you. It is so long since I’ve written to anyone that I hardly know how to being. I’ve been quite sick, the most so that I ever was. I was under the doctor’s care for more than a month. I was threatened with the typhoid fever. But I am on my taps again, about as good as new. The weather here has been very cold. The river has been frozen over so that it was safe crossing. Captain Barker has got through icing up here. It has been the best winter for icing that I ever knew. The last of the getting ice was fourteen inches thick. I worked in the houses every day that they worked, which was eleven days. It was pretty heavy work stowing such heavy ice. We had seven men on a side including myself. Who I suppose am as good as two men not that I intend to brag. However there is not much going on about here this winter. There has been a few gatherings or shindigs. Music by the Ledyard Band, which includes one bass viola, one violin and two flutes. Violin play the Bass. Professor Chapman the violin and Mr. R. Carter and H. Larrabee are the blower’s. They met at Charles Stoddard, stayed until one o’clock, danced and had a good time generally. They have since met at Courtland Chapman’s, did not stay quite as late. The band plays very well. There is to be a donation at the parsonage next Tuesday evening. There will be a general attendance. I expect to be there nothing preventing. They have made out the minister’s estimate and will make him a present of the surplus. He has cleared the church from debt. I think he has done well and is deserving of a present. Captain Latham appeared out to Church this morning with his wife. Miss Eliza Lamb. It was presumed he intends to raise a small flock of sheep. Think Muton will be cheap. Do you recollect the sailing where Muton was so cheap that anyone could have it for the asking.
I’ve not been gaming since I went with you (in the rain). Although I’ve shot considerable, one or two muskrats, one partridge and one mink. I caught another mink in a trap. I got twelve dollars for the two minks. If I had a good dowry I could do a tall business in the fur line. I presume you are in the hospital service. Yet I hope you will be permitted to stay in that department until your term of service expires. You spoke of the coming draft. They say there will be no draft from this state for the last call.
How is it about General Butler. It appears he is off duty. I wonder what the old fellow has done with the key to Richmond, guess he lost it down to Fort Fisher. What do you think? As Augusta wants to write some, I guess I must close. Give my respects to George Mc and to Dwight. Please excuse mistakes and lay the blame to Professor Satterlee as I graduated under his influence. He owes me a letter on the Burlington list yet and I presume he intends to. I wish you would remind him of it.
Please write soon and accommodate.
J. H. Belden