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139th Illinois Infantry

Item LTR-8575
August 19, 1864 David Hall
Price: $185.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 4 pages, written in period ink.

Provost Marshall’s Office
Cairo Illinois
August 19th 1864

My Darling Wife,

I wrote to you on Tuesday and meant to have written again yesterday. But I was pretty busy part of the day and I wanted to write an answer to Fassott’s letter. Also one that I had received from Ely Frury. These letters however I find them I answered Wednesday. But I wrote to Abner yesterday. I wanted to let Mrs. Frary know about the Captain being away with the detachment from the Company and also to let Abner’s folks know their Abner he had gone also. You know how everything is exaggerated and I thought they would both prefer to hear from me an exact statement of the case.

We have heard nothing from the expedition yet. I was in hopes to have yet some news from the daily papers but there was none.

But I presume you will want to know how I am getting along myself. I am doing first rate and as evidence will tell you that I now weigh (or rather did yesterday) 135 pounds, a gain of 7 pounds in 8 days. I am fearful that you will think that I came back to the office too soon but I am satisfied that I did not and am confident that it is far better for me to do some work than to lie around and do nothing. Perhaps I wrote to you before but if I did, it will bear expectation. I have a first rate assistant clerk. He takes hold first rate and saves me lots of work. His name is Farr. My appetite is excellent. Food has not tasted so good to me any time since the first of July, as since I have begun to recover. I trust that I feel truly thankful to my Heavenly Father for all his preserving mercies and pray that his protecting hand may be about you and Freddie as well as myself and that we may soon be reunited in our family relations. How joyfully we shall greet each other and how thankful we shall all feel to be once more reunited.

We are having quite a rainy time here now. I think it has rained to average at least every other day since August came in. It rained a little through the day yesterday and hard all night and until now (10 inch). I hope that you have had more rain in S. as it is not too late to help full feed and some other things. Company G has received from the citizens of LeMoille this week 14 bushels and two boxes of apples, onions, potatoes, beets, carrots and cabbage besides many small parcels of personal items and sent to individuals. I was fortunate enough to get a lot of dried cherries and currants. Two small tin boxes of jelly and a few nice pears from Samuel. Yesterday the boys from Company G employed at this office were invited up to take dinner with the CO. I guess if you had seen me stow away the good things you would not have thought that I was very sick but you might have thought that I would be.

We had fresh beef fried, fried onions, green apple sauce, boiled carrots and potatoes, cold cabbage and vinegar bread and butter and cheese. I ate till I could eat no longer and then went into the living area quarters and finished up with watermelon till I thought I should burst. But I was ready for supper when it came and should have been glad to have had a “bite” at ten o’clock when I went to bed. I eat hearty of bread and vegetables (when I can get them) but do not eat much meat. Don’t worry for me Darling but enjoy the rest of the time you have in S. all you can.

I will try to send you 35 or 40 dollars the first of next week. Should you need anymore you can borrow what you need there and I will send the money as soon as I return.

I want to tell you one thing right here and I want you to obey me too. When you travel nights on your way home you must take a sleeping car and get warm meals at least part of the time on your way. It will be but 2 or 3 dollars more and you will not feel the journey half as much as you will if you do not do so. Please remember this.

The health of the regiment is now very good since infirmary. Bricknelle has been rather poorly but is now better. By now Holbrook is at Post hospital, but is gaining. We will soon return to you. Hiram Childs is sick though not seriously. In fact, there are very few cures of home sickness in the regiment (Mrs. Childs sent three cheeses, two for the Company D, one for her son).

Tell Freddie that we have in the back room a cat and a litter of 5 or 6 little kittens. They are growing finally and are about 6 or 7 days old. Ask him if I shall bring one home for him. I am very glad that Freddie has been so well and has not had the sick headache. I suppose that he has grown so that I should hardly know him. He must write and tell me how much he weighs.

I do not attempt to answer your letters in full. They have accumulated since I have been sick. So much I can now hardly do so. If I have omitted answering any questions you will ask them over again. I will try to answer them. About the pictures. You can not imagine how glad I am to get them. But after all I can’t say that the work of the picture is good. You will please get as many as you think best. But I think that you can do better in Princeton or Manchester than Jonathan can possibly do. It is a shame that he does not do better work. I have to get this letter off, on the noon train but have been complacent so much that it seems impossible. It will go out at 2 a.m. tomorrow. Give my love to all the dear friends and always especially to Mothers A & B. I send a Suttler’s check for 2 cents to Minnie with my love. Tell her I am glad she is a good girl. The 50 cents is for Freddie since I have stopped earning money, I have stopped sending. Accept this with best love to yourself dear wife and Freddie.

Your Husband,
David Hall