Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Wife and Children, December 7, 1862

In this letter from December 7, 1862, Samuel Reed writes to his wife and family from Burlington, Iowa requesting news from home. He notes that many in the area "would sooner see both north and south irretrievably ruined than have a settlement on any other grounds than the utter extinction of slavery." Reed states that if the North can hold out for another year peace may be possible, but he does not expect it any sooner unless "through foreign intervention."

My Dear Wife and Children.

How lonely and disponded [sic] I get being so long from loved ones with no person to think or care for me. It is a trial world inded [sic] that we are passing through.

Your kind letter inclosing [sic] one from Sister Ann was recvd in due time I was very happy to hear that little Anne is convulessing [sic] from her late sickness and hope and trust that she is now quite well. I have just returned from church. Mr. Barrows after the regular church servis [sic] gave us a most excelent [sic] discourse. I shall call on him with Mr. Pettar tommorrow [sic] evening to make his acquaintance from what I have seen of him in church I like him very much.

I have not seen or heard from Martha since my return. Do you hear from her if so what is she doing and what are her plans for the future if she does not choose to go home with me we had best get her cloths [sic] to her the first opertunity [sic] which will be I suppose on my next visit home. Which I hope to make about Christmas but can't be sure of any appointments as long as I am in my present business which occupies every moment of my time but I hope to get my business so arranged that I can have a little more leeisure [sic] after the middle of this month. I was very glad to hear from Ann that they were all in good health. And hope you have written to her. I will try and do so soon. She cannot be more anxious that the war with all its horrors shall cease than we are.

There are many here that would sooner see both north and south irretrievably ruined than have a settlement on any other grounds than the utter extinction of slavery. If we can exist another year I think then there will be a prospect for peace but don't look for it sooner. Unless through foreign intervention.

I don't know the reason why you have not recieved [sic] my letters more promptly I wrote and mailed a letter to you last Monday and you should have recvd it before you wrote last to me. Hope this will have a more speedy trip. My health is much better than when I was at home. I am still troubled some with my eyes but not much. I am not doing anything for them only to bath [sic] them frequently in cold water which seems to help them.

Last night the Mississippi was frozen over and some more fearless than prudent have ventured acrost [sic] on the ice this morning. Dec 7 162 S B ReedNow Jennie I hope this will reach you in due time and find you all well and happy. If I could only visit home every week I could content myself but to be for months away is too much. Remember me kindly to Sister Letty and all friends. How about the small pore has it spread any. And Mr. Crandle's family are they still on the old place?

Today if at church you have sat at the Lord's table and partaken of the emblems of his body and blood for the remision [sic] of our sins would that I could have been with you. I neglected to make a memoranda of the Baptism of our darling Mary. Will you do it. You know the place in you [sic] prayer book.

Yours Affectionately
Samuel B. Reed

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Jennie Reed and Reed children
  • Extent: 4 pages
  • Citation: Yale University Library, Manuscripts and Archives, Samuel Reed Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 28
  • Date: December 7, 1862