Smith Family Letters


Letter from
John W. Smith to
Benjamin W. Smith

December 25, 1862

Page 1 of 3

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             Dec. 25, 1862

              Dear Son  I once more take
my pen in hand to inform you that we
are all well   Hoping these lines may
find you in better health than when
you last Rit   I started to go take
you three days a go & found I could
not get through at Cairo & turned
back at Mattoon Illinois   I never
hated to give any trip up so bad but I
could not do animpasabillity  if I had
started 3 or 4 days sooner I could got
through   I am waiting to hear that the
way is open for travel & I am coming
certain if I live   we got a letter near
2 weeks ago & you was near Oxford &
verry unwell  I do not want you if there
is any way to avoid it to lay out on
the ground without any tent & at the
same time having the Rheumatism  you
shurly can never get any better and
all chances to get worse under such


Page 2 of 3

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  treatment  you shurly can get to go
to a hospittal where you will not have
to travel & will shurly have better
treatment than is possible under presant
arrangements   I think if you are a bad
off with the Rheumatism as you say & in
Addition have the diarea & Piles if there
is any humanity shown to privates you
can get a discharge or leave of
absence untill you get able for
service again (if ever)  I well new
you had not constitution sufficient to
to go through a campaign  I am shure
you was well told of it before you
Volunteered but none of us can help
your condition now   I am coming &
if I can prevail on the authorityes
to let you off I shall shurly try if
you are not a great dale better we have
ritten a great  amount of letters to you & from
your report you have not got but 2 of
them   I rite with but little faith in

your getting this for you perhapse


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  are not with the army & if not will
be shure not to get it   if you do
Rite immediately so I may no where to find
you   Direct one to Cairo& one home So
if I get Started before I get one that
I may get the Cairo one.   Willson and
Jim McCalment is in the same
army with you and perhapse you never
have seen them   I have nothing strange
to tell you a bout home if you are
living & I keep up I will see you
as soon as I hear the way is open  
         So no more at presant  
                      Yours respectfully,

  to B.W. Smith
(signed)  (J. W. Smith )



  Note to researcher:  This letter has been transcribed by Archives staff verbatim
as the words appear on the original written page.  The spacing, punctuation, and capitalization are identical.  Words that are unclear have been enclosed in brackets.