Smith Family Letters


Letter from
John W. Smith
to Margaret Smith

March 10, 1863

Page 1 of 4

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                 March the 10th 1863
        Lagrange, Tennessee
                Dear wife  I again take
my pen in hand to inform you
that I am well hoping these few
lines may find you all well 
Benís health is improving Slowly   he
is verry weak  he has not gained any
strength since I came all though
I think his condition mutch better  
when I came he had the diarea
so bad that he had at least 20 operations
in 24 hours now from one to three  
when I first came he was laboring
under a low form of Tipoid &
newmony feever   now I think he is
clain of that all though he has
unregular chills but light and
followed by a light feever and night
swets that Keeps him from gaining
strength    my impresion is that his
liver is some afected that causes
the chills feever and night swets.


Page 2 of 4

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  as for getting him discharged I do
not no to a certainty when I will get
the thing accomplished   if he had been
in the Regiment in place of the hospittle
I would had him home discharged before
now they are in a habit of hanging on
to men till they are past cure  I got
his papers made out in the Regmt & they
ware of no account when they gave
Him up to the hospittle   they gave up all
Power over him and the matter has to
be maneuvered with the hospittle doctor
he is a fine fellow   we have now in charge  
the one they had when I came was a drunken
selfish crabit pusilanimous Puppy  I
think I can get a discharge from this
doctor in a few weeks at farthest   if I
was to leave him I believe he would go
down   he is verry anxious to go home  
Jo Norman tells me to take him whether
I can get him discharged or not  for he
says if he was as well as when he first
volunteered he is satisfyed he cannot Stand
the hardships  but I tell you I cannot


Page 3 of 4

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  even get started from hear  no one
can get on the cars without a pass from
the provo marshal & I would Rather be a
month longer and get him honerably discharged 
I would like to hear from home you had better
rite for I do not no Just when I can
get away with him & to leave him I should
think about equal to sacrafizing him for
to leave him in this hospittle where there is
150 sick in the house and 80 in the room
where he is & all manner of diseases  - tiphoid 
and all other kinds of feever and erisiplis 
more or less contagious now I Suppose
Charly will have to have some money
before I can get home to by some
spring clothes you get it from Jane &
 let him have it & I will settle with
her when I get home tell the boys I
want them to take good care of them
sows as for the management of the
crop you have it among you & do
the best you can   I would be glad to
be at home but I think it my duty
to stay with him at least till he gets

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They are going to furlowing sick before
long & if I cannot get him discharged
I will next try a furlow   it is anuff
to disgust Old Sattin to see how things
is managed here in this army   old man
Rollings is hear he is or has been a  great war man
and he says he is satisfyed with what he
has seen that the thing is all for the  money
and negro a white man hear is not near
as good as a negro if I ever get home
I can tell you all about it Ė
There is quite a moove among the troops  
they are either going to Merfersborough
or to Vicksburg   I think they will have
a fight some where before this comes
to hand   they are skirmishing evry
few days not more than ten or 15
miles from here Right soon to
Lagrange, Tenn.Hospittle No.2--
I do not no what to do about getting clover
seed and having that field below the Race
sowed   it may be to late when I get home
but I am hear & things at home will have to
work there own way for a spell
Yours respectfully   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.