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105th Illinois Infantry and 107th USCT

Item LTR-5575
April 12, 1863 Charles B. Safford
Price: $185.00


2 pages, original Civil War soldier's letter written in period pencil and war dated.

Gallatin [TN]
April 12th 1863

My dearest little wife.

I was very glad to hear from you, as I always am, for I get very lonesome sometimes, especially when I get to thinking of home. You spoke sometime ago about Patterson DeKalb enlisting in the army. Is it so for certain or did you only hear so? I wish if you have a chance you could find out whether it is so or not. I expect I shall have to make the last payment on the house to him instead of his brother John. I suppose Old Sheppard has a note against me for a piece of land on the North end of that piece I bought (or contracted for) of Dan Sprague due the first of June for $13. Would you pay it or not? If I give up the Sprague land, I shall of course give up that too. What do you think about it? Can I make a living in Malta anymore or will business be so dull that I should not find anything to do? By the way, does the drains carry the water out of the cellar as it ought to? As to gold and silver, I guess they are so scarce here as in Malta. I haven’t any of either for a long time. But my little darling, may be sure that when I do, I will send it to her. I wish it was so I could send things to you as I would like to. You would have everything there is funny in Tennessee to amuse yourself with.

But just think of it, the rebels are getting so mean that they fire into the trains of cars as they pass from here to Nashville. Night before last they fired into a train killing the fireman and doing considerable damage to the train.

I wish you would tell Cop that if he does not keep still when you are writing me I shall give him an awful scolding when I get home and perhaps slap his little ears. Tell him he has to go mind his eye. As to the piles, I have another kind now, which is easily cured, but they are piles of Greenbacks. That is to say I have been paid off to the first of March $71.90 but how to send it home is the question. I think now I shall send it by letter - $20 at a time. Don’t you think it will go as safe as all the rest of my letters to you have gone and in this letter I shall either send that bill or the second ring, which is prettier I thank than the first one was. Although it’s made of the same material. I am very sorry if you think I have got so barbarous and cannibal like as to send you rings made of Southern soldier’s bones, but when you see the second ring you will see at once that they are of very different material from bone.

I fear some one has been filling your little head full of wrong notions by the way you talk of that secret society in Malta. If it is the Union League, it is a society of which any true American should be proud to be a member. You, little Birdie, must not believe all they tell you in Malta, especially the Copperheads if there are any there.

I was out on picket last night and had a fine time, I tell you, for it rained most all night and the officer of the day came round just before dark and told us that we must patrol back and forth all night which was nice in the rain considering that it was dark as Egypt. Two of the pickets saw as they supposed two men creeping slyly up to this post and after giving the usual challenges of “who goes there?” twice and receiving no answer, blazed away, and upon going up to the spot, they found they had killed two promising young calves. Good joke was it not. I guess they will get bothered some about it although it was so dark that I could hardly see to halt the Grand Rounds. Perhaps you don’t know what the Grand Rounds are. They are composed of one captain called the officer of the day, the lieutenant of the guard and a sergeant whose duties comprise, among the rest, the job of visiting all the pickets at midnight. When you remember that this is a journey of 15 miles across lots, fences, creeks, etc. and that they have to dismount at every station, you can judge it is something of an undertaking such a night as last night was. It made me think of home to stand still and wait for them all night.

I saw an arbor yesterday which made me think of the one we used to sit in sometimes in South Grove. I suppose you have forgot it - have you not? But what pleases me the most is to think how little taddy put her bag of nuts into the wagon when we moved our traps over to Malta. Poor little tad, I cannot help laughing sometimes at your curious little actions. I coming home soon.
I long to see some more of them.

You must excuse me for being so economical of paper this time but from what I wrote on the first you can guess why in this letter I am so. But after I send that ring etc, I shall again resume a more expended style of writing. But as the difficulty which I spoke of in my last letter still bothers me I guess I shall have to close at least till I feel a little more comfortable. It is owing to my carelessness in eating. But I am going to be more careful. Remember me to Coppy with a couple of boxed ears and believe me as every your affectionate husband……..Charles B. Safford

P.S. I wish you would answer this letter just as soon as you [can] and be sure to tell or write me whether you receive the $20 which I enclose or not. It is risky work but I shall try it once. Those army records will soon be done. When you get it remember to push the record out of the pasteboard case after taking off the outside wrapper. Keep it very nice. I expect there will be a daguerreotype artist in town soon. If so I will get a picture and send it along.