Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Wife and Children, January 11, 1863

In this letter from January 11, 1863, Samuel Reed writes to his wife and family describing his work contracting "for wood timber and telegraph poles" along the railroad. He again requests information about Erastus H. Reed, his enlisted brother, fearing he may be among the list of those dead or wounded. He also asks for news regarding a family member named Marshall's "prison life in the south." Reed notes that his eyes have been troubling him, and that he may ask for a few days off if they do not get better soon.

Burlington 11th January 1863

Dearest Jennie

Another week has passed and I seat myself to hold a few minutes converse with my dear wife and children. How I wish I could seat myself in your midst instead of remaining here alone in my office and communicating with you through this unsatisfactory mode. The past week I have been very busy most of the time out on the road contracting for wood timber and telegraph poles. We are building a telegraph line for the benefit of the road and hope to have it done by the first of April if the ground is not to [sic] much frosen [sic] to prevent setting the poles. I have used my eyes too much this week and must be more careful of them in future the first week after my return they were much better than they had been for some weeks before but are not as well now as they were when I was at home but hope with proper care and frequent application of cousin Adda's medicine that they will soon be quite well again. I should like to see Marshall and hear an account of his prison life in the south if he is in Joliet remember me to him. I saw in the Chicago a notice of the death of Col. Bartletson has the report been confirmed? Do you hear anything more from Erastus? I fear to see the reports of the killed and wounded. Burritt I suppose is or has been in the late battles in vicinity of [Vireburgh] although I have not seen any notice of the 34th Iowa Vol. [Infantry Regiment] being there. I have not seen Martha yet. Shall send her a letter in the morning.

I have not been to church today on acct of my poor eyes may go this evening. If they are not better soon I shall ask for a furlow [sic] for a few days to give them time to get better I am making frequent applications of Adda's remedy. I must now say good bye [sic] hoping to hear from you very soon. I remain yours.

Very Affectionately
Samuel B. Reed

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Jennie Reed and Reed Children
  • Extent: 2 pages
  • Citation: Yale University Library, Manuscripts and Archives, Samuel Reed Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 29
  • Date: January 11, 1863