The left and right pages of this letter seem to be attached, but note that
the page on the left has distictly different folds in the paper. I cannot account for this
apparent annomaly. Perhaps the leaf on the outside of the folded letter got more waer. There 
is a noticable difference in the spacing of the sentences, although the handwriting appears 
to be the same in other respects.

In the letter, "Cousin Ellen" is Theresa Ellen Offill, born November 25, 1845 in 
Carter County, Kentucky. Theresa married Reuben Fletcher Ross. She was the daughter of 
James Offill and Mary Louellyn Scott.

The writer of the letter, Elza Offill, was the Elza Offill who was the 
son of Allan Offill and Louise Hargett. Allan was the brother of Theresa's father, James

The page on the left indicates that it was written on March 1, 1864. The draft that is being referred
to is the draft instituted by the Lincoln administration during the Civil War.

"Ashley" refers to Ashley, Illinois.

In the letter, "James" refers to Elza's brother, James Offill, born in 1842 in Kentucky. James "went to Iowa".

An article on "Frank Leslies Illustrated Newspaper" can be found at:

A table of contents of "Rebel Cousins" can be found at:;idno=wright2-0254

Information on "Charlotte: A Tale of Truth (also known as Charlotte Temple)" can be found at:

----------------   TRANSCRIPTION  ---------------
Ashley  March the first / 64

Cousin Ellen
                     I take
the pleasure of writing to 
you this evening it being
the first opportunity that
I have had to do so since
I have been at home    I am
well this evening as common
I hope when you get this
you will be well as you was
when I left you all the
connection are well as fare
as I know except Oliver   He
is not very well  I am not
able to tell you what is the
matter with him  I received
a letter from Sanders 
yesterday  He tells me he
is well   He also said that
he saw James the day


Cousin Ellen I have no
news of importance to write
to you that would interest you
very much  I suppose we
will have a draft here on the
10th of March if they draft 
me I intend to leave here  I have 
said that I never would fight in
this war   I may be in Kentucky 
or go to Idaho(?) to the gold diging
There is great many going from
in the Spring  I am repair
ing a wagon to go   I will start
from here on the 10th of March
Well cousin Ellen I have not
had time to get my picture taken
yet thoug I will and send it
together with some books and
one paper  The names of the books
are as follows, to wit  The Rebel Cousins   
The Lady Lienknavet(?)  Charlotte - 
Temple and Frank Leslies Illustrated 
News Paper   I will start them in
a few days any way. Now cousin
Ellin will soon quit writing  Don't 
forget   Write soon and often
      From your Cousin Elza Offill 
   	Good Bye