Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Jennie Reed, May 11, 1863

In this letter from May 11, 1863, Samuel Reed writes to his wife describing the difficult work of the past week. He details his trips up the Mississippi, Skunk, and Iowa Rivers in search of timber for railroad ties, stating that his party is heading out again that day and will make use of a steamboat to make the trip up the Mississippi easier. He also notes that Mr. Thielsen has requested a railroad pass for her to come to Burlington, Iowa with and that it should be arriving soon. Commenting on the "battle and defeat" on the Potomac, Reed asks "will the administration ever be satisfied with shedin [sic] [the] blood of our countrymen?"

My Dearest Jennie

One week ago yesterday I wrote you as is my costume [sic] expecting to recieve [sic] a letter from you in reply before this time but have looked in vein [sic] .

For three days last week I was on the most laborious and disagreeable labor I have had this spring. I took one man and went down the Mississippi with a small boat and up the Skunk River in search of timber for ties we could not get back until Sunday morning on account of the strong current in the river against which we had to work the boat. Today we go up the Missippi [sic] as far as the mouth of the Iowa River and explore the country on both sides for timber and ties down to this place.

We shall go up on a steemboat [sic] and come down in our small boat which will be more comfortable than having to work up against the stream with our small boat. I expect to get back about Wednesday night. Mr. Thielsen has sent to Chicago for a pass for you to come to Burlington which I suppose will be here on my return.

What a terrible battle and defeat we have had on the Potomack [sic] will the administration every be satisfied with sheding [sic] blood of our countrymen. How many firesides have been made desolate both north and south by the great slaughter of the past few days. When shall we see the end of these dreadful battles where men are killed by thousands and none but immediate friends seem to care? Our sins must be great indeed that such calamities befall us.

If Mrs. Baily is visiting you remember me kindly to her. Has the Hayer trial terminated yet? I have been too busy to keep track of the proceedings. What appears to be publick [sic] opinion now in Joliet?

Write to me very soon. The steamboat is coming and I must close when I return I hope to recieve [sic] several letters from you.

Kiss our children for Papa. Yours 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: May 11, 1863