Smith Family Letters


Letter from
Benjamin W. Smith
to Martha J. "Mattie" Smith
and John W. Smith

January 22, 1863

Page 1 of 4

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                           Jan 22th 1863

                               Dear sister
I write to you to let you
know how I am getting
along.  I am very poorly
at present   I have had the
diarrhea the worst I ever
had in my life   the piles
are bleeding me nearly
to death.  I am going to
apply for a discharge in
a few days.   I donít
know what luck I will
have   I was on guard yest
erday but I got excused
last night. I am look-
ing for a big letter from
Mother  I wrote her one
2 or 4 weeks ago.        


Page 2 of 4

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  I will tell you what
I want for dinner if
I live to get home that
is some biscuit and butter
and a chicken and a pie
made out of that caned
fruit.  I will tell you the
rest then if any.   I am tired
of uncle sams grub.  I by
crout at ten cents a pint
and pickeled hogs feet at
twenty cents at the sutlers. 
I wont starve while I have
any money.  The mess that
I am in is the hatefulest
mess in the company.  They
ly on me about my eating
to the captain  they toled
him  that I eat a qua
rt of crout and four
hogs feet at once  that is

Page 3 of 4

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           all a ly.   They do it
to raise a fuss between
cap and I.   They are a
hateful set   I will write
a few lines to father. 

Dear father   I receive
d your letter dated
the 8th   you said you
was comeing to see me
as soo as you could get
down the river.   if you
will go to the governor
he will give you a pass
that will take you here
We are 43 miles from
Memphis  the closest
stoping place is at Masco.
I am going to apply for
a discharge in a day or
two maby I will get it


Page 4 of 4

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  and maby not.   Some
of the boys have been
trying to get me to apply
for a discharge   I am
looseing my health very
fast I think  I want
to go home.   I suppose
Morton will call us home
if they raise war their
at home.   I hope that
will never be.   Bill Wal
ker got a letter from
his wife a day or two a
go and she said that you
had started to see me aga
in. I want you to num
ber every letter so I will
know when I get them
all and I will do the
same   I must close my
        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.