Benjamin C. White was the oldest son of Johnathan and Elizabeth Ann Estes. He vas born in 1843 in Roane County, Tennessee, and came to Stone County, Missouri in the 1850ís with his parents. He married Elizabeth ______. The following is a letter from him to his wife, dated August 10, 1863. While serving as a soldier in the Civil War.
August the 10, 1863. dier wife it ise with best kinds and rarest of plesier to here from you once more in the land of the living, thus to reply, I reseaved a letter from you yisterday that give me graite satisfaction to here from you, and to hear that you was all well. That is all the satisfackion that ise, ise hering from home ande from my kin. be contented for the time will soon come when I will be at home with you all. I long to see the time come as bad as you dwo I no. Tho we se every time now we half to stande garde once in about a week, and wirk one day in a week, that is not much. When we march we ride on the pontoon wagons all the time we dont carry enny thing, only our selvs, some times we donte haft to la down the bridge in 2 months, an then maby we will la it down three or fore times in a month. The boys ise all in tolrable helth, some of them have dierree since we have come here to this place, it ise mity bad water here. I dont think that we will stay here verry long. We have jest come here to repair up our bridge, then we will starte on the march, but dont know whar two, but it is some wheir in dixy, I guess some place to find the rebels, no odds on whar. That ma be that ise what we enlisted for, was to kill rebels, wheir ever we finde them. Lisebeth, I will explain to you the reson why I donte come home, it is a verry good reson, one is tha donte give a regular furlow these times and when a man ise gone home his time ise stoped till he reterns to his company, a goin on that would not soot this chickin at all, ande another reson if I was to come home before my time out I would spende twice the money that I would if I wast to wate till mi time was out ande you would hate to see me starte back again, and then I woulde hate to come back ande leave you all not noing whether I would ever get back to the company or not with out being bush whacked or not thats the greatest reson, and so I will make one trip do all and have plenty of company home, it will seem a long time but it will soon role over. I no you had rather I would sta out a little longer than for me to starte home and get kilde on the rode ande never get to see me at all, I no. Donte be un easy about me, for I think I will come out safe if I keep me helth ande luck, well jest go on as if thair was no body gone. Study not for me, I hante no boddy much no how. Tell all of the big boys that I am as devlish as ever I was. Tell them that it is no fun to fite, the bullits whistles two keen, I tell you that it makes fellows flest croll to get in clost quarters that I have bin in, from ten to twenty feet is the closest that I hve bin, ande I think that ise verry clost, closter than ever I want to be again if I can help it. Tell Will and Bob and John and John Cofer that tha neede not want to be a soldier for it is a harde life to serve, altho it ise a life that some boddy hast to serve on an I jest consider it as much one mans bisnis as another. It soots me very well. Tell William (?) to not join the army at all, tell all of the kin howdy for me. Tell Will and Bob and John to have a big water millon for me. The next of order pool my time off after this. Tell Sis to not spark the bois two. Her ande Carline ande Mary, Sary and Margrit Cofer and Mary Cofer, and all the little oneís arounde. I believe that ise all for this time, so rite soon. I remain yourís until deth.