Smith Family Letters


Letter from
John W. Smith
to Benjamin W. Smith

January 23, 1863

Page 1 of 4

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               January 23rd 1863

          Dear Son  I once more take
my pen in hand to inform you that
we are all well hoping these lines may
find you improving   I this day Recd a letter
from you and hav got to plainfield on my way
to See you a gain and was in formed by Robt
McCalment that the Adgent General said we
could not get through & from your letter I 
concluded to wait a week or so longer & find
presizely where you are  They are going to make
a march on Vicksburg but I Supose you are
shurly not foolish a nuff to go with them
in your condition   you have been quite
foolish draging along with the regment
in as poor health as you have had   I want you
to go to the hospital & take as good care of your
selfe as possible   your Diarear will soon be
a cronic & that is hard to cure if ever it is
done attall   do you think there is any show


Page 2 of 4

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  for you getting a discharge if so rite to
me in your next letter how bad is your Rheumatism
and diarea   let them be as bad as they may & I do
not expect you say mutch to the doctor  
If so you cannot never get a discharge   I
would be so glad you could  I new when you
Volunteered that you had not constitution to stand
what a solder has to undergo & if you had listened
to my advise & that of a great many others
you never would had to went through what
you have & we not soffered the uneasyness
we have now as it respects the working
over   I see no signs the Suthurners have had
the better of nearly all the fights, that one at
Merfirsborough was all most a dog fall we
gained the ground but shared the worst of the battle
soldiers are diserting wonderfully  they are not
willing to lay down theire lives for the niger
fredom & that is all this war is for or ever
was intended for in my opinion at least that
is the intention now nothing more and nothing

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  if you have to Stay till the war is over
you need not think of getting out before
your 3 years Runns out long before half
your time is out I think the Republicans
& the democrats will be Ingaged in a war
all over the united states   I fully believe
it will come to that   I will hope for the
better & prepare to meet the worst Mourton
has got arms & has 50 thousand State malitia
all ready organized   the State Legislature  nearly
all over the north have passed Resolutions
not to furnish another dollar or man for
this abolition war   Linken is filling up the
ranks with negroes as fast as possible
now   I want you to manage to get out
if possible for I no you are not able
to stand the hardships   Rite to me as
soon as you get this I would send you
money but it is so unsertain about you
getting my letters & I intend going to See
you as soon as I can get through

Page 4 of 4

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  & if you are in the Hospitle at Memphis
I could soon go there if they would let
me at the presant time   all the boats
are taken up with government troops
& I shall wait from one to 3 weeks 
I will take you as mutch as I can
to eat but there is not mutch chance
to take a great dale   if you are
in the hospitle at Memphis I
will take you a box of provision
but if you are still with the
army it would be to unsertain a
game   I have a letter from Jane
I was taking to you   I will just
mail & send a long rite with
out delay.     Respectfully

         J.W. Smith to
                         B.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.