Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Jennie Reed, June 7, 1863

In this letter from June 7, 1863, Samuel Reed writes to his wife upon learning of the death of family friend Charles H. Abbott in the war. He notes the heavy losses of Union troops and, referencing Vicksburg, states that hundreds more are added each day. He tells his wife that after the directors of the railroad meet on the 17th of June, he will "know what to do about remaining on the road." Reed also describes an unexpected encounter with three "contrabands from Arkansas" while scouting timberland for purchase.

My Dearest Companion

You hardly know how much I was disappointed in not recieving [sic] a letter from you this morning. From the papers I learn the death of our kind friend C.H. Abbot [sic] . It hardly seems posable [sic] that he is among the victims that have been sacrificed in this fratricidal war. How long must this war continue? I almost fear to hear from Mrs. Abbot [sic] but tel [sic] me how she [?] the terrible blow.

From all the accounts I have seen the loss on our side has been very great and still hundreds are daily added to the lists of dead & wounded. A whole nation will be in mourning for the brave men killed at Vixburgh [sic] .

I hope to go home about the last of the month but may be disappointed. When the directors meet (the 17th) I shall know what to do about remaining on the road. And will try and get time to run home for a few days.

Will you go home in time to give Cousin Adda the money she wants before the 26th inst 1863 I send a letter from her also several others which she has forwarded to me for you.

This morning I attended church and found Mr. Barrows as usual very interesting. The fatigues from last week's labors & the knowledge of hard work for the coming week warns me to be very brief and seek rest for my weary body.

There is one little incident in my past week's labors which I will relate. I was riding through a dense wood looking over a peace [sic] of timber land to purchase. I was following up a deep ravine and in urging my horse out of it, in the thick brush on the [bron] of the hill my horse sudenly [sic] stoped [sic] , and right in front of me not ten paces distint [sic] was three negroes diggin a grave. At first I was a little startled but soon mustered curage [sic] to speak. And learned they were contrabands from Arkansas and had lost a child and came there to bury it.

Dear Jennie I hope you will enjoy your visit and return home improved in health and spirits. Will you come via Burlington or go via Davnpt.

Yours Very Affectionately
Saml 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 29
  • Date: June 7, 1863