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Abishai Stowell to Margaret Stowell Torrence

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Unit ID 223841

 

Page 1.

 

Feb 4

Leavenworth City

 

Distant but not forgotten sister I received your letter dated Jan 28th this evening and seat myself to answer it immediately you complain of having written several letters to me without receiving any answer (from me) but I assure you that never got them. I am well and I believe the folks at home or well. I heard from them by letter a few days ago. I had a letter from Nancy a short time ago she said that they were all well and doing very well for the times.

 

We have had great times here today the 1st Regiment Kansas Voltrs came home to Leavenworth and we had to go out and

 

Page 2.

 

Escort them into town there are about 3000 soldiers in this city besides what there are at the Ft. and there are more coming in every day there are 2 regiments the 9th and the 13 Regt. hear from Wis cousin here and there are several other regiments expected here within a few days from Wisconsin & Illinois and Ohio (one Regt  from Peoria).I expect to we will  have to start South in a few days our Regiment is going to be a molded rifle Regiment (our horses are at the Ft. Leavenworth now and they breaking him to ride as fast as they can if Ellen and Albnus  are a mine to get married  let um  go and if

 

Page 3.

 

Calvin wants to go out to Jake Speers occasionally let im rip who cares. You asked me to send you a pretty name for your little girl the prettiest name name that I can think of is Phebe Jane (that name suits me to a dot's eyeball) .You spoke to me about sending my Doggerytype  to you. (I will send it to you if we get paid before we leave here) and I would like to have you send me your likeness in your next letter for it may be some time before I get it if we leave before it comes) send it if you can be sure and write soon and often

 

From  Abishai Stowell

 

Page 4.

 

Direct to Abishai Stowell

 2nd Reg K, V,

 

in care ofSerht  Henry  Nugent

Leavenworth City

Kansas

 

Page 5.

 

Springfield  Mo  March 26th /62

 

Dear Sister

 

Your letter of March 12th & 20th is in my possession I got it a few minutes ago and was glad to hear from you once more but am sorry to hear of the ill health is a feature a user just a picture of our secure a major history also resulted going over for history factory well history factory for a of your little ones but I hope that they are better now.

 

I am enjoying the best health now that I have had sinceI have been in the service. I was home about 10 days ago and stayed  from Monday night till Saturday noon. I found the folks there all well except Almira she had the pneumonia, she was quite sick when I got home but was gaining very fast when I left and I think that she is well by this time. Father is not able to do much work yet but thinks that he will be able

 

Page 6.

 

To do considerable work this summer. He needs Jas at home very bad & I hope he will go back by all means as soon as possible. I intend to write to him tomorrow and tell him what I think about it. It is impossible for me to render them any assistance at home as far as labor is concerned and not a great deal in the money line but whatever assistance I am able to give I am quite willing to give, but out of $14 per month they cannot receive any great amount of help from me. But at the same time if all the rest you would discomode your selves1/2 as much as I do freely they would not suffer.

 

Janes ankle is so that she can

 

Page 7.

 

walk on it quite well but she has to be very careful with it yet. I got a joint letter from James & Chas Mill ­& to from Nancy at the same time they were mailed (James & Chas) on the 26th feb. & Nancy's March 1st they all complain of being well. Nancy says that they have considerable rain there & the roads are very muddy & that corn is worth fifty cts and notes 65 cts. Cotton goods are very high goods used to sell at ten cts sells now for fifty. Wages are good there this season.

 

I wish you would write to Jim right away and tried to persuade him to go home & stay this summer if not longer if he will only stay at home till this war is ended

 

Page 8.

 

so that I can help them I will be satisfied and he can't reasonably asked to do less as he is only 18 years old and never has done much for them. It is useless for father to think of starting back to Ill before fall and even then he can't go without some one to help him with his stock.

 

My fingers begin to clamp so goodbye

 

From Abishai Stowell

 

Write soon & direct to me co A

 second Regt, Kans, Vols.

Springfield Mo

 

Page 9.­

 

Ft. Riley, May 19, 1862

 

Dear Sister

 

I received a letter from you just ten days ago and for several reasons is has remained unanswered until the present time. We had been here three days when I got your letter, but I did not know where we were destined to go and I never knew certain til last night where we were going to. All of the New Mexico brigade of which consisted of five regiments are ordered to Leavenworth (except our Regt) it is quite likely that they will have to go to Tennessee (the Regts that areI ordered back are the 1st Kansas & the 12th & 13th Wisconsin Regts infantry & the 7th Kansas (Jenison's) Calvary Regt). Cos A & D of our Regt are to start for Ft

 

Page 10. 

 

Union (New Mexico) in a day or two to guard a train through 3 Cos more are to start in about ten days or two weeks with the same place for the same purpose. The rest of the Regt are to stay at Ft. Riley to guard the Ft. until further ordered. The health of the soldiers is generally good here I have no news to write I haven't heard from home for more than a month & I have written home twice in that time. I have not been home since 28 November and don't expect to go home again before I am discharged from the service as I will be about 800 miles from there when at Ft. Union and it is not likely that we will be back before the war is over. I have not heard from Ills for some time.

 

Page 11. 

 

Angeline McKean is married to Jim Dawson ( old [XX] Jim)

 

I can't think of anything else to write at present but remain as ever your affectionate brother

 

Abishai

 

Direct to me

Co A 2nd Regt K. V.

Leavenworth or in the field

 

Goodbye but remember

we do not weep with human fears,

 with sense of danger, dark and dread,

the foe shall never see the tears

which fall upon a sisters head,

but in the cottage door where love

stand waiting for the parting kiss,

'Tis there the deepest pain we feel,

where 1st we learned the sweetest bliss.

 

Page 12.

 

Ah! thither-when in fields of strife,

our in fancy still shall fly,

shall cling each fondest memory,

perchance, even then, some earnest prayer

shall crown with peace our parting breath,

and still the sigh of hearts most dear,

shall bless the spirit freed by death

 

Be strong-for oh! the day is near,

the bright and glorious day,

when truth and justice shall prevail

where error held its sway.

 

Page 13.

 

Camp Drywood

2 miles from Ft. Scott

Sept 20th /62

 

Dear Sister

I received your letter dated July 13th 2 days ago at Ft. Scott it had been there for a long time.

 

We got with our Reg yesterday about noon it is the 1st time that we have seen the Regt since 22 of May we have been to Ft. Union and back which is over 2000 miles travel our Co got to come by home and stay there 3 days our folks are all well except George & Emma they have the ague. Jane has a girl it is about 2 weeks old she has not named it yet.

 

Page 14.

 

I received a letter from Nancy the same time that I got yours it was dated August 17, she says that they have had considerable rain there this summer that the wheat was a great deal of it destroyed by bugs that corn looks very well & if frost holds of a while that they will have a good crop. She has a boy it was born on the 3rd of Aug she talks of calling it Francis Abishai.

 

Crops in our part of Kansas are a failure with the exception of wheat when the fall wheat turned out about 24 bushels per acre. Spring wheat yielded (0). They raise from 60 to 100 bushels of corn per acre in the North part of the state corn is from 6 to 10 cts per bushel around Atchison & Elmwood (6 cts ) at the crib or 10 cts hauled to market.

 

Page 15.

 

there is no potatoes here this year

 

I believe I will close by telling you the names of our officers

 

Our Genera'ls name is James G. Blunt (he lives about 40 rods from Brown's in Mt Gilead) our Col's name is Wm. J. Cloud our Lt Col's name is Owen A. Bassett our Co  officers names are Capt. S. J. Crawford 1st Lieut. Jno Johnston 2nd Sergent S. K. Cross 1st Sergt Henry Nugent the rest of the officers are not worth mentioning they are all strangers to you our Majors name is Fisk .

 

I believe there is nothing more of interest to write

this is from Abishai Stowell.

 

Page 16.

 

you may write as soon as you have a mind to & direct to

 

Abshai Stowell

Co, A. 2d Kans calvary

Ft. Scott or in the field.

 

Page 17.

 

Ellen Springs Arkansas Jan 8th 1863

 

Distant but not forgotten Sister. I now seat myself to write you a few lines in answer to your letter dated Dec 12 /62 which I received near a week ago and which I should have answered before but Brown had come here with a load of Sutters goods and I wanted to send my answer to some post office by him. ( I am going to send your letter home by him) he is going to start home in a day or 2. He says that Father has been quite sick but was better when he left. Jane is crippled with a sore ankle caused by a sprain.

 

I have not heard from Ills for a long time except what you wrote

 

I will tell you something about myself: and how I am getting along.

 

I am well and hearty and stand in need of nothing in particular.

 

Page 18.

 

I have been in 4 fights one at Maysville on 22 Oct, our loss was 4 killed & 38 wounded the Rebels lost 250 killed about 75 prisoners & 4 pieces of artilery (one

12 lb howitzer and 3 6 lb brass cannon) the number of their wounded is not known but it must be near 300.

 

The next one was at Boonsboro (Ark) on the 28th of Nov our loss one killed & 5 wounded their loss 75 killed. The next was at Prairie Grove (6 miles North of Boonsboro) on the 7th of Dec our loss 100 killed & 400 wounded 100 taken prisoners their loss 800 killed & 12,000 wounded (our force numbered about 20,000 while there number was about 3 times that number). The last fight commenced on the 28th of Dec at a place called Dripping Springs 8 miles North of Van Buren this was a running fight between 800 Texas Rangers & about 200 of our Regt we run them from their camp at Dipping Springs through Van Buren &

 

Page 19.

 

7 miles below there on the Arkansas River when they scattered the woods in a cane brake leaving their train (over 40 wagons & 240 mules & all their camp Equipage) in our possession. The rebels had 4 transports lying in the River at Van Buren they had just arrived from Little Rock loaded with corn & provisions when they heard that we were coming they put down stream as fast as possible but the shallow water and swift horses of our Regt defeated them by going across a bend in the river we got ahead of them and a few rounds from our carbines soon made them run up a white flag and come to land. We then made them run back to Van Buren, but before we got back with the last boat the Rebels (who were camped in force just across the River in the woods) commenced throwing shells into town from their camp

 

Page 20.

 

which game they played for about an hour when two batteries of our artilery came up and opened fire on them when they decamped in a hurry & never stopped till they got 42 miles from there.

 

They threw shells into our own hospital in Van Buren after taking what we could get away with we burned the boats and one warehouse & left. Among the articles captured we took away 16 hogsheads of sugar and a lot of hard bread (such as we use) the Rebels burnt 2 more boats at Fort Smith to keep them from falling into our hands.

 

You wanted to know how I was clothed. I have plenty of clothing and everything that I need & I hope you will barrow nor trouble about me. I am on the right side as our recent victories will show for. I have never been hit although I have been in the thickest of the fight & and have had my clothes cut by bullets. A. S.

 

Page 21.

 

Dear Sister

 

I improve my leisure moments today by writing to my friends & commence by answering your letter bearing date of Jan 28th which came to hand two days ago. I was glad to hear that were all well and I was also surprised when u said that u had written me 6 or 7 letters & had received but one in return for I always try 2 encourage my friends to write by answering them promptly. But I sometimes failed to answer them immediately when we are on the march but not often even then. I think Old Sam must have some man not wholly trustworthy in the Post Office Department or else the letters must desert the mail. We are camped at Springfield Mo at present, & it is not likely

 

Page 22.

 

that we will leave here soon as we have to get a new set of arms and horse before we will be of any use in the field, but may the time soon come when we will not be able to face the godforsaken Rebels once more & spread terror & confusion in their midst as we were used to do until our horses were more than 2/3 gone the way of all the earth. The very name of the Kans. 2nd is sufficient to drive a thousand of them. Our company & 3 other companies with 2 twelve lb Mountain  Howitsers Whipped 7000 Secesh and took correct four pieces of artilery from them on the 22nd of Nov last which is only a fair sample of their fighting, we are anxious to take to the field and help drive rebellion from our once happy and prosperous land that we may return to our homes and enjoy the society of our friends in peace without the fear of being dragged

 

Page 23.

 

from them and murdered by beings hardly fit to be hung with a decent dog. Sometimes I think it seems a pity to see men of my age (just in the prime of life) wasting their time in camp exposed to the hardships and dangers of war when they might be enjoying themselves at home were it not for traitors springing up in their midst.

 

But don't think dear sister that I am thinking of myself alone for it is not the case for I do believe that I am as willing to do my part as anyone else. I am only sorry that I am not able to do more.

 

I am sorry to hear of the proceedings of the legislature of our native state but am very glad to know that the soldiers of Ills are true to their country and that they are willing to let the people know what they are & what they will do.

 

Page 24.

 

the last that I heard from home father was able to do a little work and was improving and Jane was also improving but was not able to bear her weight on her foot as for Martha Nins she is badly eclipsed in my imagination by another and even if she were not I am not so selfish as to fret about it if she could do better.

 

James is boarding with Jno Charles folks­ and going to school he seems to enjoy himself very well.

 

Well I am about out of ammunition so I will close by asking you to write soon

 

From & Abishai Stowell

 

Direct to A.Stowell

Co A. 2nd Kans Vols

Springfield mo.

 

Page 25.

 

Camp Springfield Mo April 16, 1863

 

Dear sister

 

I recd your letter this afternoon and hasten to answer it. Your letter found me in the best of health & hoping that this will find you in the same fixe. I will tell you the news (if news it is)

 

The weather is very fine at present the first trees are in full bloom and those trees begin to show their leaves & it is just the kind of weather that farmers like to see.

 

As for her war news-there is none of interest. All is peaceable here now we are going to be paid off tomorrow we get 4 months pay this time which is settles up the 1st of last month leaving 1 1/2 months do yet.

 

Page 26.

 

I am sorry to say that I have heard nothing from home scince I left there about a month ago (although they agreed to write in a week after I left). Almira had been quite sick but was better when I left but wasn't able to set up any.

 

George begins to be of considerable service to the old folks he can drive the team chop the wood and do a good deal of work-and he has a good deal of it to do I'll assure you.

 

I can't help feeling out of humor every time that I think how James is acting. After sparing him over two years when they needed him as much as anyone could need another, now when they are sick & not able to help themselves-to think that he being able to help them

 

Page 27.

 

or if need be to take care of them & don't do it; I hope you will excuse me if I tell you that it makes me mad I can't help it.

 

If I could be of any service to them it would be altogether a different thing but here I am and all that I can do for them is to send them a little money once in a while but that is nothing compared to what I could do if I was there to help them with their work which they can't hire done.

 

I can't tell you anything about Brown as I have resolved to say nothing about about any of our family in the way of praise or criticism. I hope you will ask no more questions

 

Page 28.

 

about wat kind of people any of my relatives are.

 

I must close my asking you to write soon.

 

Page 29.

 

Mount Gilead Kansas.

June 11th, 1863

 

Dear Sister

 

I received your letter of May 15th four or five days ago & now seat myself to answer it. I was away from the Regiment when the it came & I didn't get it for a long time after it got to the Regt. I got home last Sunday noon & am going to start back tomorrow. I found the folks all well. James is at home he is nearly as tall as I am. I got a letter from Ann the same time yours came she says that they are all well except the children they have the chicken pox she says that they have good weather there there is spring but that they need rain bad

 

Page 30.

 

this is the wettest season that has ever been known here; it is so wet that it is impossible to plow corn or even break Prairie plowed ground is so wet that a person cannot walk over it without going into the mud overshoe tops deep. Father is breaking this summer he 3,00 pr acre but the ground is so wet that he can't do much grain looks fine but I am afraid that they won't be able to tend their corn at all. Our Regt is at Springfield Mo we have drawn new horses & arms(Sharps rifles and Colt Army Revolvers) & I suppose we will soon be marching into Dixieland again.

 

You say you have the rheumatism if you will get some brass wire & wear around your arm it

 

Page 31.

 

will leave you. It has cured it on me.

 

I will have to close so goodbye for this time

 

From Abisha Stowell

 

Write soon & direct to

Abishai Stowell

Co A. Kans, Vols

Springfield Mo

 

P.S. I am not in Gen Blunt's command.

 

Page 32.

 

[A page of numerical calculations]

 

Page 33.

 

Springfield Mo July 8th 1863

 

Dear Sister

 

Your letter of July 1st is at hand & it proved a very welcome letter too I was glad to hear from you & hear that you was well. The earth is very wet here it rains about every other day. I have not heard from Kansas scince I was there is an answer to your question I didn't hear Father say anything bout moving to us neither do I know what he intended to do he told me that he meant to the there in the spring but he didn't tell where he was going to. James didn't say anything to about how he got the money to go back with but I suppose that he had worked for it but I will find out & if they furnished him means to go back with they shall have

 

Page 34.

 

have it all back. (I have money to pay it and will do it) so that they can't have it to say that fixed him up & paid he is fare to Kas. I am heartily glad that the Rebels went into Pennsylvania I guess the people will begin to open their eyes more & their mouths less & (especially the copperheads) & although the Rebels destroyed a large amount of property & captured a large amount of stock, the war will close enough sooner to make up for all the losses the Eginear (old abe)­ that is running the machine will begin to get up steam & put the ball in motion & the result will be a speedy close of the war. It has been wanting something to stimulate the people to action for some time

 

Page 35.

 

& now they have got that something & I think there will be a blow struc's k at the root of the will that will cause the leaves to wither & eventually kill the great tree of rebellion.

 

You asked me if my time wasn't almost out I will answer & close.

 

My time will expire one year from 6 November next which will make 3 years 5 months & 20 days for me in the service of the US as a soldier.

 

I must close for I am on picket guard & it is almost time for guard mount

 

From Abishai Stowell

 

 

 

Page 36.

 

Camp Springfield Mo Aug 1st 1863.

 

Dear Sister

 

It is with pleasure that I seat myself to answer your letter of 24 July.

 

I was right to hear from you again & to hear that we were in no worse off than we are.

 

The weather is fine at present. Harvest is over except the hay & the team hay more than 1/2 done. The times seem to be peaceable in this section there is no fighting except a little brush with bushwhackers now & then. Gen Blunt had a fight with the rebels in the Cherokee Nation & defeated them taking two pieces of artilery from them (making 6 pieces that he has taken

 

Page 37.

 

from them) & killing several of the rebels & taking several prisoners. The Rebel Col Stanwaighty. Prospects of the finest now that they have been scince the commencement of the war for its speedy termination the North is just beginning to open their eyes & see the true state of affairs & to realize that this war is a dreadful reality instead of child's play.

 

If foreign nations don't interfere the war will close before 3 months at most.

 

It has been sometime since I heard from Ill or Kansas the friends were all well the last accts.

 

Page 38.

 

Please excuse me for this time this

 

From A. Stowell

 

P.S. Please direct to

Co. A. 2nd Kans. Vols. Cavy.

Springfield Mo

 

Page 39.

 

[Numerical computations]

 

Page 40.

 

Camp Springfield Sept 24th 1863

 

Dear Sister

 

Him I now seat myself to answer your letter of which got here several days ago but I was at home on furlough and I didn't get it until yesterday morning. I found the folks at home tolerably well when I got there but Jane & Brown were both taken sick a few days after I got there they were quite sick for several days but they were both well when I left (last Thursday.) Jane's the baby was sick with something like the fever there is a great excitement in Kansas about Quantrill he burned Lawrence a week ago last Friday & killed about two hundred (200) citizens

 

Page 41.

 

the people blame Gens. Schofield & Ewing for letting them into Kansas the people of Kansas have sent a delegation of twelve men to Washington to try to get them removed but I have not heard how they succeeded.

 

Crops look first rate in Kan wheat turned out well & corn is good potatoes are good. Father is sewing about 40 or 45 acres of wheat this fall the most of it is on sod & will be apt to make a good crop he intends to raise 50 acres of corn next summer.

 

I got a letter from Nancy dated Aug 3rd but there was no news of importance in it they were all well when she wrote

 

Page 42.

 

I will have to close by asking u 2 write soon

 

From Abishai

 

Page 43.

 

Direct as before.

 

Page 44.

 

Springfield Mo Oct 14th 1863

Ms CAbishai

 

Dear Sister Dear Sister

 

I just now received your letter of the 6th of Oct and hasten 2 answer it before I forget it. I am well & hope this will find u all in the same fix. I was home on furlough last month & found the folks at home tolerably well except Brown's folks they were all sick at a time will while I was there but was aroused again when I left & I have not heard from them since. I will beg to be excused from answering your questions about where our folks talk of moving to for I don't no; but they talk of moving away from where they are

 

Page 45.

 

as soon as they can shape their business to suit. Probably they will move next fall & maybe not till a year from next spring & maybe not at all.. Father has 25 acres of wheat sowed & he calculates to plant 50 acres of corn in the spring he has a span of mares & a 5-year-old horse all good work horses to tend it with. Father is able to do 4 times as much work as he used to in Ills & James is able to do nearly as much work on a farm as a man & George does a good deal such as harrowing & all such as that.

 

Almira is about as tall as Mother & ways 112 pounds.

 

Page 46.

 

our folks live in a place where there is no danger from the Indians & but little from the Guirilas as they live 31 miles from the Missouri line & there is no town within less than 12 miles that they would be likely to attack.

 

I think that the girls are all afraid that the men will all be killed off before this war ends (or else their actions be) when they marry men that they would not think of speaking to 4 years ago, but my rest is undisturbed & my dreams r full of happiness for the girl that I would have hates a coward & will never marry a stay-at-home.

 

Page 47.

 

You asked me to send u some names of the Methodist churches but I don't happen to know of any hear about except one & that is used by local Samuel as an arsenal. There 5 churches here one Methodist-1Camfilberti-1 Presbyterian-1 Baptists & one United brethren, 2 r used for government purposes the rest are used for school & religious purposes.

 

There is considerable stir here among the troops but I guess we will soon come out all right noworse this time.

 

Excuse this scribbling for my forefinger is so sore to hold a pen good

 

Abishai Stowell

 

Page 48.

 

Fort Smith Ark Nov 14th 1863.

 

Dear Sister

 

I received your letter or a day or two ago & now I will endeaver to answer it. I was glad to hear from u & to hear that u were all well I am enjoying good health at present & hope this will find you in the same fix. I have not heard from home for a long time they were all well when I heard from them last.

 

I got a letter from Nancy a few days ago she says that there is considerable sickness in Ills this fall. Aunt Ann & Luke Roots wife had both been very sick but she says that there is so much copperhead about them that there is some

 

Page 49.

 

fear that they will recover. Mathew O'Brien was not expected to live Aunt Mary has been very sick but was better when she wrote.

 

Gen Blunt arrived here with 250 wagons from Ft. Scott day before yesterday & there was a train of 440 wagons came in yesterday from Springfield & there is a train of 250 wagons more on the way here from Ft. Scott. It is sought by some that Gen Blunt will go south with his command in a few days. News is very scarce here so I will have to close by asking you to write soon & direct to

 

Co A 2nd Kan Cav

Ft. Smith Ark

 

Page 50.

 

this from Abishai Stowell

 

Page 51.

 

Fort Smith

Jan 15th 1864

 

Dear Sister

 

It is with pleasure that I seat myself to answer your kind letter which came to hand a few minutes ago & found me enjoying good health. I just got back from Fayetteville where we went to escort Gen McNeill he is on duty at St. Louis: he is relieved by Gen. Carr he is from Little Rock

 

Page 52.

 

but hasn't arrived here yet (Gen Carr news from Ills) our company was bodyguard for Gen McNeill but I don't know what will be done with us now but it is likely that we will be sent back to our Regiment. We don't have much to do now but I suppose that when the river opens we will have plenty to do. We have had a very hard winter so far (for this place). There has been about five inches here for 2 weeks & the thermometer has been as low as 12° below zero, but the snow is nearly all gone & the weather is pleasant again.

 

I got a letter from Brown a few days ago he said our folks were all well but that there considerable sickness in their neighborhood. Corn is only 25 cts per bushel in Kas this winter they are having a tolerable hard winter there I believe.

 

Page 53.

 

I will give you the names of our officer & close.

 

Capt. Jno Johnston, 1st Lieut. S. K. Cross,  2nd Lieut. Chas Archer promoted from Sgt. I can't give u the names of the non coms this time but will tell u their names next time I write. I forgot to tell u that I belong to the Veteran Corps.

 

no more for this time from Abishair Stowell.

 

Page 54.

 

Fort Smith Ark Oct 14th 1864

 

Dear Sister

 

Your letter of July 25 has got here at last & I hasten to answer it while I have time for soldiers don't know at what hour they may be called on to leave camp or how long they will have to stay away yours was the 3rd letter that I have got for over 8 months & I have written at least forty scince that time. I was glad to hear that you were all well and I would have been very glad to have met you in Illinois but I did not know that I was to go till the day that I started. I would have went to Pennsylvania to see you but I only had thirty days Furlough and I would not have had time to got back in time it may be so that I can

 

Page 55.

 

come & see you before long but there is nothing certain about it.

 

You seem to be borrowing a good deal of trouble about our folks which I assure you is altogether unnecessary for they are getting along first rate and James and I are able to keep them from suffering-it is true that I can't help them much myself but I can send them money enough to get along quite comfortably while I am in the service and after I get out of the service I am sure that we can support them without any great inconvenience and as for anybody saying anything about supporting our folks I never heard anyone but you say anything about it. They all seemed very glad to see me and all appeared quite anxious to have father come

 

Page 56.

 

back and all said that if he would come back they would help him along what they could but they shall never depend on their neighbors for support while I keep my health and if the rest of the family don't do something for them after that I'm sure that the blame won't rest on my name after I'm gone. I have always save my money and sent it home as fast as I could and I never heard them complain that they were poorly cared for although my wages are small a little economy will make them go a long way. You know that there are only one of father's family but what are able to earn their own living & even Emma is considerable help to mother and George is a great help to father & James about the farm. Ebb did not say anything

 

Page 57.

 

to me about sending father money neither did I know that father had ever written to anyone but uncle Robert and I always thought that it was money that was coming to mother from grandfather's estate and not a loan or donation at all and my advice is to say nothing about to anyone my time will be out January 5, 1867 or two years from the 5th of next January.

 

Well I will close-write soon

 

From Abishai Stowell

to his Sister Margrett

 

Please direct to Sergt A. Stowell

A. Co. 2nd Kan, Cav

Fort Smith Ark

 

Page 58.

 

Fort Smith Ark. Dec 15th 1864

 

Dear Sister

 

Your letter ( Nov 28) is at hand it finds me in good health: but I am afraid that you are not as well as u might be under other circumstances; you complain of chronic rheumatism and I am afraid that you neglect to try cure it: my advice to you is to get rid of it as soon as possible for what object can a little money be to you if you have to save it by suffering and (if you let it run long enough) dying to save it.

 

Well times are pretty hard here now but there's a good time coming by & by! And though we have to put up with considerable hardship & privations now, I am glad to be able to bear my part; & though I

 

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am not in a place where there is much of the good work to do yet I feel that I am not blame for that; for soldiers have to go wherever they are sent and not where they like.

 

Though the 1st Army Corps is doing nothing at present! still the good work goes on in other places & the day of restoration has already dawned & soon the son of peace (not copperhead peace) will shine again on this once happy land of ours as in time of old (only slavery will be abolished & suffering beyond description will be ended) then we will know how to appreciate blessings heretofore unfelt by us (a person has to be bound before they can appreciate freedom & to see slavery before they can form an idea of its horrors & degradation.)

 

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I will give you a list of prices here so that if you want to buy things cheap you will know where to find them. List of prices

 

Bacon old & strong 25 cts lb

Flour full of weevil 100,00 pr bbl

coffee common 1,50 a lb or 1,00 per doz

apples seedlings 8,00 pr bushel

Prairie chickens undressed 50 cts each

fox squirrels undressed 100 cts each

catfish fresh from the river 25 cts lb

tobacco old-fashioned twists 75cts each

whiskey sod corn 50cts pr drink

soda in lb papers 3,00 a paper

thread black cotton sewing 25 cts pr skers

& everything else in proportion.

 

I haven't heard from Kansas scince I left there (in October) or Ill since July

 

this ia all from your brother.

 

Abishai Stowell

 

Page 61. 

 

Direct to F A Smith

 

Page 62.

 

Clarksville Ark Feb 12th 1865

 

Dear Sister

 

I expect that you are getting tired of waiting for an answer to your last letter & I don't wonder at it, but I hope you will look over this delay for we were on the when I got your next to the last letter & I thought that I would find out where we were going before I answered it but it is hard to tell where we will go to yet; but I suppose that we will stay here for some time and it is likely that when we leave here we will go to Kansas for our Company's time will be out on the 4th of next April & they will have to start home about a month before that time to give time for the officers to settle up their business before they are mustered out.

 

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we are having very good times here now! they commenced to issue full rations on the 10th of this month for the 1st time scince we have been here. We have been on half rations for 15 months and it seems odd to get full rations again the General that was in command here was awfully down on the Kansas troops & never tried to get rations or anything else that his men needed but he has been relieved & I hope that his successor will do better than Gen Thayer has done.The name of the new Geneal is Bussey. I believe you ask wat I had to eat & what I had to do! I will tell you we have had rotten flour & hard bread & rusty bacon for the last 15 months till within about a month scince then we have had good bread & flower we have coffee

 

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and sugar & beans & peas (ripe with the hull taken off & the peas split in two) & rice salt & peper & vinegar we get fresh beef 5 days in 7 we sometimes get corn meal & sometimes get to kill a hog. We have been on half rations ever scince we have been in this country till day before yesterday. You asked if I suffered much with cold! I haven't sufered any with cold this winter & I don't think that there will be any occasion for me to suffer for I have pleanty of cloths & I hardly ever have to go out of camp & we have a comfortable shanty to live in: 4 of us built it & live by ourselves the company has a schoolhouse about like the old brick to stay in they have a stove; & have built themselves bunks to sleep in we have a good fireplace in our shanty

 

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& when we put on a big fire we have to open the door or else go out on account of the heat. I have two good woolen blankets & a heavy coverlid & my bunky has three blankets which makes a very comfortable bed. I wrote a letter to Ann today & ask her what regt Calvin was in. I never heard from our folks though I have wrote to them as much as a dozen times but I will have to close this from your brother

 

A Stowell

with love

 

P.S. Please direct to

A. Stowell

A Co 2nd Kan Cav

Clarksville Ark

Via Little Rock

 

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[Envelope to Margarett Florence Gambles, Alleghany County Pennsylvania]

 

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Lewisburg April 22, 1865

 

Dear Sister

 

After a delay of five or six days (to hear from home) I take up my pen to answer your letter (of March 8th) in which which you told me of father's death and you cannot imagine my feelings at that time although I had heard of it before (by letter from Mother) I could hardly realize that he was gone from us forever for when I left Kansas last August he was heartier that I ever saw before but we know not the day nor the hour when the Son of Man cometh. Father's property is left in and unsettled state I suppose! but I don't know much about it, for I have not been at home except a few days

 

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scince 1 December 1861 but I think there will be considerable property left after all is settled. I have not heard from him since 13 February and I think I will surely get a letter from so our folks by the next boat that comes up. You asked me what I thought that mother would do! but I'm sure that I am as ignorant of her intentions as you possibly can be for she never said anything about her intentions only she asked me for advice which I was unable to do! not knowing how they were situated. I sent a little money home a few days ago, by one of our neighbors (who was discharged from our company) and the prospect is good for me to go home in a few days for the war is

 

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just about ended, and I think that ours will be one of the first regiments that will be mustered out of the service; for the regiment is unfit for active service now (on account of having the horses), besides the mens time is out (or will be before they will have time to equip them).

 

The death of Pres. Lincoln & the assassination of secretary Seward and his son has caused a great deal of excitement here! the Union people feel the loss to be one that can never be repaid while the Secesh are overjoyed with the news but I hope that our grief and their joy will soon be diminished by the arrest and execution of the murders and a speedy restoration of the Union.

 

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I must close by asking you to write soon & direct to

Abishai Stowell

B Co, 2nd Kan, Vol Cavy

Lewisburg Ark

Via Little Rock

 

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