Smith Family Letters


Letter from
Benjamin W. Smith
to John W. Smith

January 13, 1863

Page 1 of 4

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         Tenn   Jan.13, 1863
Dear father
                    I am in
tolerable good health
now only I am weak yet
I dont gain any strength
hardly.  I had the diarrha
yesterday and to day   I was
on duty yesterday and I
am on to day again.  We
have 22 men on duty at
once  you had better not
come down here to try to
get me discharged  I have
got to near well.   I weigh
140 pounds.  We guard the
rail road   our regiment is div-
ided in three squads   we are the
middle squad  each squad
 is building a fort  we have
are (the word "are" is crossed out and replaced by "is" written above)


Page 2 of 4

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got ours nearly done   it is
a heavy fort   I tell it is not
much larger than a pig pen  
We are camped in a nice place 
I am very well pleased with this
place   I have not seen any snow
since we left Louisville   I dont
think the war will last much
longer  I can stay awhile
longer if we dont have to march
very much  I think we will gua
rd the railroad.  I would like
to see have some things from
home a good hat and a hand
handkerchief   I have none at all
and two cotton shirts and a
razor and something good to eat 
this is the 15   I could not
finish it the other day  
it is snowing like thu-
nder to day  it snowed



Page 3 of 4

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last night   it is an
awful time co tell
father to come as soon
as he can and get me
home once more if he can
I am tired of this life 
we are all nearly froze
to death to day when you
come if you do bring me
a hat and a handkerchief 
all the rain runs down the
back of my neck.   They have
the power to discharge at
lagrange  come as soon as
you can   Wing is at their
in the hospitle. Cap give
me thunder for writing
to father to come and
get me discharged that
made me mad   I want out
of his company as soon as I


Page 4 of 4

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he has got very mean
to all the boys.. you
go to the go Governor and
he will give you a pass
to come to see me get
a pass and you can come
down the river   I wish
I was at home to day  
I would give all he
owes me   I want to see
some of mothers victua
ls again  ours is not good  
if father comes I want
him to bring me a watch
about like brints if he can
get it  I kneed it to
take medicine by  I ought
to had one long go   I must
come to a close   I thought I
was writing this to Jane  
 it is all the same. 



  *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.