Letter from Erastus H. Reed to Jennie Reed, November 2, 1862

In this letter from November 2, 1862, Erastus H. Reed, one of the enlisted brothers of Samuel Reed, writes to Jennie Reed describing his new life as a soldier as "a stern reality." He offers details on his regiment's encounters (or lack thereof) with the Confederate Army, and complains about the hard marching they have been forced to endure. He requests supplies and news, and encourages "Sister Jennie" to write to him as often as possible.

Glasgow Kentucky

Dear Sister Jennie

It gives me the greatest pleasure to hear from you. For here in the army a letter is always a welcome messenger to us soldiers. Not only soldiers in name but it is a stern reality that it is so if you could stand by the side of the road and have done and see them marching by as I have done from early dawn until night and on ahead hear the roar of the cannons. You would think that it was a stern reality. One morning as Co H of our regiment was out on picket duty they were surprised by 2 co of cavalry and were near being taken prisoners but they saw their mistake in time to save themselves. But one of them got a bullit [sic] through his hand but he is nearly well now that is the only one of our regiment that has as yet ben [sic] honored with the acuaintance [sic] of secession lead. But you sayed [sic] that anything that I wrote you could depend on well I will tell you what it is as far as news is conserned [sic] we do not know what is going on out side [sic] of our rigiment [sic] any more than a lot of sheep in a pasture all the news that we receive comes from home the papers are not allowed in side [sic] of the lines so that we hear nothing at all. Tell Auntie that I will write to her as soon as I get time. Our time is sold to Uncle Sam for the next three years and I think that we will have to stay that long if we live but if we are marched the way we have ben [sic] since we came to Louisville we shal [sic] be all killed before six months rols [sic] around. We have ben [sic] on the march for the last 3 weeks and in that time we have rested 3 days. John has gone into the hospittle [sic] but he is not very sick but I think that he will never stand it in the army. But I have the privilege of riding the most of the times. Se [sic] I get along very well but I have ben [sic] quite sick with the bilious fever since I came for fore [sic] eight days I laid in my waggon [sic] and could not get out or in only when I was helped and I tell you it was a hard place for me to be in. But I am most well now and I shall get along first rate Captain Bartlet of our company has gone home and if you can get me a pound of good tea and send by hand I shal [sic] be forever obliged to you send me a paper of black pepper for those are two things that I can not get here Doe [sic] them up and direct to me and he will bring them to me. Now Jennie I will close this letter as it is most time that I was feeding my team. Just imagine me driving 6 mules with one line then you will see how Erastus looks. As a soldier. Now you must not keep this all to your selfe [sic] but let them all see it. As I have not time to write to all but I will as soon as I can. Give my love to all. By the way I hear through Ann that Mr. Cranelles folks are in great trouble. I hope that Maggies beauty will not be spoiled. Give Auntie and all the children boath [sic] your own and Charlies a kiss for me. Pleas [sic] write soon and I will answer as soon as I can.

I remain your brother
Erastus H. Reed

PS Direct to Louisville the same as [before]

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Erastus H. Reed to Jennie Reed
  • Extent: 4 pages
  • Citation: Yale University Library, Manuscripts and Archives, Samuel Reed Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 28
  • Date: November 2, 1862