Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Jennie Reed, December 6, 1863

In this letter from December 6, 1863, Samuel Reed writes to his wife describing how busy he has been kept with the problems his crew has been having with wells along the line of railroad construction. He states that he has found his name on the draft enrollment list in Burlington, Iowa "among the unmarried and less than 45." He believes he will be able to prove both facts untrue, and asks her to check the enrollment list in Joliet, Illinois so that he may work to have his name removed from that list as well if it appears there. Reed also expresses displeasure at the efforts of some to force the pastor at the church he attends to "preach abolitionism instead of the gospel as handed down from the Fathers."

Dearest Jennie

Late last evening I returned from the west and was very much disapointed [sic] in not recieving [sic] letters from you. It must be that you have written to me since I was last at home and the letters have failed to reach here. I hope you will write immediately on the recpt of this. I shall remain in Burlington nearly all of this week and hope to hear from you before I leave for Chariton.

I have been very busy almost night and day since my return from Joliet. Nearly all the wells on the road have failed and it has been very dificult [sic] to get a suply [sic] of water to keep the trains running in some places we are digging new wells. In others boarring [sic] or drilling deeper. This with my ordinary duties has kept me constantly out on the road. You can judge how anxious I was to hear from you after so long a time. I wrote to you immediately on my arrival here.

The draft I suppose will tak [sic] place in Iowa on the 5th of next month. I find by the enrollment list as published and posted in Burlington that my name is in the first class that is among the unmarried and less than 45. All of which I think can be prooved [sic] untrue. I have not seen the provost marshall but will and have my name stricken from the rolls. I wish you would ascertain if my name is on the enrollment list in Joliet if so measures must be taken to have it stricken off. If I should be drafted it might cause me some trouble to satisfy officials that I am not liable to be called into active servis [sic] . According to late act of Congress.

There seems to be very few einlisting [sic] now and I have no doubt that the draft will have to be einforced [sic] . Do you hear from Erastus?

All quiet on the Potomack [sic] yet. Mead [sic] retreats and Lee follows him what forward and back moovements [sic] that amount to nothing. Western armies with western commanders will have to take Richmond if we ever get it.

I have not been to church this morning but intend to go this evening. I was talking with Judge [Rorerer] last week on the train about church matters here. He with some others (rabid abolitionists) are very much dissatisfied because Mr. Barrows will not preach abolitionism instead of the gospel as handed down from the Fathers. They are tring all they can to break up the church and may succeed in driving Mr. Barrows from the parish. I should very much regret to see any of our parishes in any part of the land fall from their high estate by promulgating politics instead of the sublime [?] of our Savior, and trust and hope that they will all avoid all political questions during these times of war and carnage.

How about Adda and Mr. Nave?

What is the hay worth?

I expect to go home about the first of Janry. My new suit which is being made pants vest and coat will cost me $42. What a price for a business suit. The cloth appears to be good and I hope will be servisable [sic] . The woolen shorts and drawers are very comfortable.

Remember me kindly to all. Kiss Anne & Mary for Papa and accept love and affection from your husband.

Saml. 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 30
  • Date: December 6, 1863