Smith Family Letters


Letter from
John W. Smith
to Margaret Smith

March 2, 1863

Page 1 of 4

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                        Feby March 2nd 1863
                Dear Wife I again take
my pen in hand to inform you
of our health  I am well & I think
Ben has improved some  he  has been
up in town 3 times with  me  It
is about as far as from our house
to the old mill dam  His bowell complaint
is a great dale better   he was up                                
not less than 20 times in 24 hours when I found him
and for the last week he has not
had more than from 2 to 3 motions in 24
hours..  He eat sow belly & beans more
in one day than you ever seen him in
two when he was well & drank gallons
of water every day  I had a hard
time taking the fever off of him
but have suck Seeded   I have
to humor him Some  Some times
he is quite contrary  He had fever
2 evenings about 10 days


Page 2 of 4

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  ago & Some nights he Swets verry
mutch  I think I will get him
dis charged and get home with him
Some time towarge the last of
March perhapse sooner  You will
have to manage business among
you till I get home  I cannot
think of leaving him   he is verry
anxious to get home & if I Should
have to leave I think he mite
fall back in his old habbits of
eating & drinking to ackcess &
when that is the case they never can
get well of that diarea.  I See
hundreds of fellows Just eating
thire way to the grave. Shure
there is about 200 sick in this
hospittle & there has not but 8
dide since I come  I have been
here 17 days  I am getting anxious
to Start home but must be patient  

Page 3 of 4

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  we are having nice weather hear
now it Looks distressed hear to
look at the Sick in the hospittle
& to See the dis truction of
property   farms without a fence & in
many cases the houses burned down 
thousands of negroes hear the gove
rment feeding them  the small
pox is among them & Some
among the whites I think there
is no danger of us catching it. 
Ben Anderson is hear in
one of the hospittles & I think
will die   he had the camp fever
and has taken the ereciplis --
Wing McCormack is well &
harty   I am not at a verry
heavy expence only about 50 cts
per day   I Suppose about now
you are making shugar from
the  apearance of the wether here 

Page 4 of 4

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we have had no letter from home
since I left home   if you Right
to me direct to Ben & direct it
to Lagrange hospittle No. 2 
Tennessee   I think though we
will be home before this could
get home & another back.
   Just do what you think
   best on the farm & I will
   get home as soon as I can.  
   I want care taken of them
   mares about foalding time  Keep
   them out of the stable & secure
   from hogs ----------------------
     Sowe oats as soon as
   the wether will permit

                 I will add no more
             yours respectfully
   (signed)  J. W. Smith to  
          Margaret 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.