Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Jennie Reed, January 23, 1863

In this letter from January 23, 1863, Samuel Reed writes to his wife apologizing for not writing her sooner and lists the reasons that he has little time to spare. He also notes that a telegram has been received which announces that "a great battle is raging in Virginia" and wonders how much longer the war will last.

Dearest Jennie

I did not think when I last wrote to you that almost two weeks would pass before I should write again, and I hardly know what has prevented my writing sooner. Sunday is the day that I must write you if not day after day slips by and you don't get letters from me.

My work is not hard but I find but very few moments to spare every train that comes in brings letters that must be answrd or attended to and when my whole time is not occupied on the running part of the road there is calculations on the new work to be made and between the two I have no time to play. My eyes are much better than when I last wrote to you. They have not felt so well for some weeks as they do now and I hope they will soon be strong and well again. Day before yesterday Martha Catherine and Louisa called at the [Barnit] house and for a wonder I was at home. Martha says she has been homesick ever since she has been here. She is living in Burlington says she is going to Muscatine in the spring to make a visit with her mother. Catherine has grown to be a large stout girl she is taller Jan 23 1863 than Martha and full as heavy. She wants to go to Joliet to live with you.

I am not surprised that Adda thinks more favorable of Mr. Knowes proposition than formily [sic] . From what I have seen of him, (which of course is but very little not enough to form an reliable opinion) I think there is many worse men than he is that may appear on the surface to be much better.

I hope to get my month work closed up so that I can go home about the tenth of next month perhaps I can get off a little before that time.

Yesterday I recieved [sic] your kind letter how I would like to be with you now instead of writing this poor letter.

I have a great mind to get your picture copied and photographed and send it to Mrs. [Jsell]. What think you? Would she recognize it. Mine I have no doubt she would like not for her album but I don't know about sending it the Col might be jealous, and you are intitled [sic] to one if I ever have a picture taken.

It is late in the evening and I must close. There is a telegram to night [sic] that a great battle is raging in Virginia. How long is this bloody war to last? God preserve the right.

Good night. Kisses to our children. Affectionately yours,
Samuel B. Reed

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Jennnie Reed
  • Extent: 2 pages
  • Citation: Yale University Library, Manuscripts and Archives, Samuel Reed Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 29
  • Date: January 23, 1863