Lake County Ohio GenWeb
Keathsburg (Mercer County, Illinois) Jan(uary 1864)
Well remembered friend I will now attempt to answer your letter lately received although it was sometime a coming yet it was gratefully joyfully received. For nine days there was no mail through from Chicago and yours was detained with the rest. We are all well except bad colds. We are all victims to said disease at present. Etty and Louise were quite bad last night with a high fever but are both better today. We have only our three girls (with no prospect of more) all so near of a size that one suite of clothes except shoes & stocking fits each. Etty is obliged to have shoes one size larger. Ain't it convenient sometimes when one is in a hurry. They will all go to school next summer. Etty has a third reader. The others have never been to school but can read quite well in reading.
We have had some of the coldest weather I ever saw. A great many hogs on the prairie were frozen to death some lost over hundred each some in town were frozen also. One morning it was so cold in our house that I did not set the table for breakfast but each filled their plate and sat by the stove to eat. The snow was about one foot deep on the level and piled four feet along the side of every fence. We have good sleighing since Christmas until a couple of days past it has thawed very fast and the ground is quite bare in places. People that owned wood across the river on the Iowa shore have been very busy getting over wood during the cold weather while it was safe to cross on the ice. The Keathsburg Thespian Club gave an entertainment a week ago and the proceeds were used to purchase two acres of woodland. Then they made a bee and one day cut and hauled across the river over 70 loads of wood which was generously distributed to soldier families. We are to have no draft here as we have more than filled our last quota. There are two Soldiers Aid Societies in town which do a good deal for the families of volunteers besides sending a good many things to the hospitals for the use of the sick and wounded. The club to often donates all its proceeds for the same charitable purposes.
I've not heard from brother Henry since the last of November (1863). He was then at Union Hospital Memphis but hoped to be sent to St Louis early in December. He has been sick and unfit for field service since the fight at Vicksburg. He was in the taking of Jackson. Mis(sissippi) and ten days in the fighting at Vicksburg but sometime in June was sent sick to Memphis where he was until the 12 of July. He was placed at Fort Piekering where part of the time he was able to do half duty, guarding commissary stores and in September was pronounced unfit for field service any more and was transferred to the invalid corps and was ordered to St. Louis as soon as the papers necessary were received, but was kept at FT P- until the 11 of Nov(ember 1863) was again sent to the hospital for treatment. He has the Neuralgia in his breast and legs and the aggrieve and chills visited him every day for a long time before he went to the hospital. Was not able to go out doors the last letter and thought he should apply for a discharge if he ever got to St Louis. I hope to get a letter from him tomorrow when the Southern mail comes up.
Martin Wirt's family are well. They have another little son nearly four months old named Sammy. Little Willie says now he has no Ma but his aunt Adaline for Sammy got his Ma. He is three years old.
I would like to see your children very much. Emma and Oscar. I suppose have grown too so I would hardly recognize them. And the other little ones I would like to see also. You did not say whether your babe was a son or daughter so I can't even suggest a name. What is your next youngest name? Ask Oscar if he remembers asking me to mend his pants one day as he said his Ma has no time to. Tell him if he gets ragged now days, to come and see me and I will mend his clothes any time as I have nothing much to do this winter. Noah would like to have him come out and hunt coons with him as soon as it gets a little warmer as we have got a good coon dog. Emma and Oscar must write when you receive this. We should be very glad to have them answer it. I must close as Noah is waiting to take it to the office.
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