Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Jennie Reed, December 14, 1862

In this letter from December 14, 1862, Samuel Reed writes to his wife that he hopes to return home for a visit for Christmas, but not to be disappointed if business prevents him from doing so. He states that the weather in Burlington, Iowa has been warm enough for the river steamboats to "run as well as in mid summer if there was business for them." Reed also writes of his worries over the progress of the war. Lower right corner (lower left on verso) is torn off.

Burlington 14th Dec 1862

Dearest Jennie

Yours of 7th [inst] was recieved [sic] last evening & I was very glad to hear from you. & hope that I can get away from business to spend Christmas with you but you must not be disappointed if I do not. For if anything uncommon occurs I shall not leave for the present. Not that I like the business well enough to devote all my time and energies to the exclusion of family and friends. But if I remain on the road I must attend to business when it offers. The past week has been warm and rainy and the ice is out of the river steamboats could run as well as in mid summer if there was business for them until yesterday there has been no crossing for four days the [toron] is full of feet hogs and more than two hundred car loads along the line waiting for a chance to cross the river. Stoping [sic] up the chan[?] trade seems like damming up the Mississippi [?] is the business in pork & beef seeking a [?] market. A bridge is very much needed [?]

This has been a very mudy [sic] rainy dis[?] to continue raining during the [?] received a dispatch and a [?] Dec 14-1862 in which our loss is very heavy both armies sleeping on their arms on the battle field [sic] amid the dead and wounded waiting for this Sunday morning to renew the dreadful carnage. What have we as a nation done that our punishment is so great? And when will these horable [sic] times cease? I sometimes think that we shall all be uterly [sic] ruined nationally and individually if [Bimsides] is defeated which there is from the dispatches a proberbility [sic] that he may be, our cause in that part of the country is for the present hopeless. Another year and another large army will be added to the past to hold what we now posses.

My health continues good and with proper care I have no doubt it will continue so during the winter. I have not got any new clothing since I left home excepting a pair of boots but shall have to make some additions to my wardrobe soon. Burlington is quit [sic] gay parties are frequent and all seem to be enjoying themselves reasonably well. Business is brisk and many such as it is [plenty].

[?] Martha keep herself very close I have written her but [?] from her. There is a gentleman here from Denver [?] throug [sic] him of Mr. Patters on he says he is on a [?] from Denver and doing quite well I hope he [?] he.

[?] scribbled this sheet full and will send it [?] will be of interes [sic] to you. There is such a [?] and know what to write. I hope Mr. Gilberts [?] remember me to all.

Yours Affectionately
Samuel B. Reed

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Jennie Reed
  • Extent: 2 pages
  • Citation: Yale University Library, Manuscripts and Archives, Samuel Reed Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 28
  • Date: December 14, 1862