Smith Family Letters


Letter from
John W. Smith
to Margaret Smith

February 25, 1863

Page 1 of 4

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       Feby 25th, 1863

 Dear Wife   I again Take
my pen in hand to inform
you that I am well & that
Ben has improved Some Since
I come to him  I have got
him greatly Regulated in
his eating & drinking   I have
got him to drink cold coffee
in lieu of water when I came
he drank a pint of water evry
little bit & now a quart of
cold coffee does him 24 hours
without any water & his bowels
were operated on Say 20 times
in 24 hours & now for the last
4 days his bowls has not been oper
=ated on only a bout 3 times
in 24 hours   last Thursday &
friday evenings he had Some
fiever and Since then he has sweat


Page 2 of 4

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more or less evry night that
that you no is weakning  he had
a very bad coff & that is agre
=ate dale better  he does not
coff any thing up more than
any one does with a common
bad cold   I have no Idea
his lungs are affected any
more than mine but you
may rest assured he was
poorer than I expected to find
him   I think I will get
him discharged & home Some
time in March   it is a
Slow mill to grind & we have
to be patient   I shall not leave
him till I bring him home
if I keep well   I have got
his discharge all made out
in the Regment & it has now
to pass the Brigade Sergant
and then to General Mcferson


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at Memphis   Some times they
are crowded with Business &
Such things lay a long time 
I am going to get lieutenant
Parsons to take the papers to
Memphis & hurry them through   
we are 50 miles out in Tennessee  
If you right you will Send as
usual to the Regment send one
to Memphis and Say nothing about
the Regiment and perhapse I will get it
[At this point Ben Smith writes
the following short note to his mother]

Dear Mother  I take
my pen in hand
to let you know
that I am prety
near well   I have
not got my discha
rge yet but I hope
I will soon.  I wan
t you to have that
turky you promis
ed me when I get home
[end of note]


Page 4 of 4

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when you Rite to the Regment Say
nothing disrespectfull of them they
all have a cted the man with us
& perhapse they may get it after
we leave   you need not Right
to the regment without there is
somthing verry erg ant & then
I would be Sorry to hear it for
I intend to start for home the
first day & the first hour I
can get the business finished.
   I would like you would rite to
Memphis and Say nothing about
that is not direct it to the regmet.  
Tell the boys to go a head   I will
be home as soon as possible & take
the lead.   I will sai no more at
presant but Remain your
affectionate husband as ever
  (J. W. Smith)         Margaret



  *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.