Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Jennie Reed, January 4, 1863

In this letter from January 4, 1863, Samuel Reed writes to his wife apologizing for not writing to her sooner, explaining that the end of the month is always a busy time for business. He describes his life as monotonous, and details his daily routine for her. Reed also expresses worry that Erastus H. Reed, his enlisted brother, may have been involved in recent battles near Murfreesboro, Tennessee and requests news regarding his status.


Dearest Jennie

I know you have been disappointed in not hearing from me last evening. I have been quite busy since being here last of the month brings with it all the month's business to be settled and all is crowded into three or four days which leaves no time for any thing [sic] but business to be attended to.

I was out to church this morning Mr. Barrows was quite interesting. I wrote a short letter to Martha the day after I arrived here. She called at the Barnett House and staid [sic] an hour or two but I was aut [sic] to Ottumwa and missed her she did not leave any word where I could find her. Catherine was with her. When I get through with the present hurry I shall find her if I can. From a short letter she wrote me before she called at the Barnett house which I did not recieve [sic] until after she called. I think she has remained here not altogether according to her wishes but by her mother's request.

New Year's wass [sic] passed here as usual in towns along the Mississippi. I noticed in the evening that many of the young men needed wider sidewalks than than [sic] usual and many of them would have to mak [sic] three or four efforts before [hitting] and opening of the usual width of a door. All were not so however. There was a donation party at Mr. Barrowses [sic] I did not go but understand he got about 50 dollars also. There was a dancing party at the hotell [sic] and various other [samses]of amusements all of which I had to deny myself the pleasure of attending. Not a very great denial as long as I am absent from home.

Mr. Ainsworth is now writing to Mrs. Ainsworth and says he hopes you will not receive as stupid a letter as he is sending to Mrs. A. but really there is nothing of interest to write about.

My life is one of monatony [sic] in the morning breakfast and then go to the office stay until noon and then go to dinner back to the office and stay until tea time then lounge about until bedtime or go back to the office for the evening. Such is my daily duties excepting when it is necessary to go out over the road. My eyes are much better than when I left home.

Have you heard from Erastus since I was home I fear he was in some of the late battles near Murphysburrough [sic] . How many a house has been filled with morning [sic] the last days of the year of 1862. Many a strong man has breathed out his last breath that was far from home and friends amid strife and battle that even his name will not ever be known to the public.

While Mr. Ainsworth was home he saw Marshall Hurd he had just returned from the south and had been ordered to report to Chicago. He is quite well but has been sick much of the time since he has been south. He was parolled [sic] and will not go into active servis [sic] again until exchanged.

I hope Jennie that I shall hear from you soon. I shall soon write a little letter to Anne she must kiss the little cousins for me. Remember me to all.

Yours Affectionately
Samuel B. Reed

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Jennie Reed
  • Extent: 3 pages
  • Citation: Yale University Library, Manuscripts and Archives, Samuel Reed Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 29
  • Date: January 4, 1863