Tuesday, March 1, 2011

1863 Nov. 23 Letter to Stephen Slane from Deal

Letter written in pencil on four sides of a single folded sheet. To Mr.Stephen Slane from his friend Deal. Dated November 23, 1863

Home, Monday Night
November 23rd 1863

Mr. Stephen Slane,

My kind friends, this pleasant evening in the latter part of November I have sealed myself to answer that welcome little white winged messenger that winged its way over the hills and vallies from Steve’s soldier home in Virginia. It brings many pleasing remembrances to know that although hundreds of miles intervened I was still thought of and ever kindly remembered by friend Steve.

The present finds sister Dell and I quite well. Hope you are enjoying good health also. Yesterday Dell and I had company from Chillicothe - Mr. D. Montgomery and sister, James Briggs and sister, also Major Mitchell of the 7th Ohio Cavalry. Mr. Montgomery belongs to the 11th Ohio Battery. He is at home now reconciling his health. He has been in the service over two years, and has passed through a great many scenes. He had the honor of firing from their Battery the first gun upon Vicksburg. Well may his sister be proud of him.

I hope you will excuse me for writing with a pencil, for my ink is so bad that I cannot write with it, and my pen is not any better. So I am going to write a few hasty lines with a pencil.

Last Friday morning Henry Stark’s wife met with quite a serious accident. They had eaten breakfast, and Henry had gone to the shop to his work. The girl that was living with them was in the kitchen washing the dishes. Sallie was in the room feeding the baby to sleep. She got up to lay it down and had her back turned toward the fire place, and her dress caught fire. She ran to the door and tried to get out, but it was locked. The girl heard the screams, ran in, and got the door open. She was then all in flames. John Blair was just coming to his breakfast and saw her. He ran with his hat full of water which he dipped up out of the pond in front of your fathers house, threw it on her, and she threw herself down in the pond and extinguished the flames. But it was too late. She was burned awfully, and there is but little hope of her recovery.

Poor Henry - I fell sorry for him. It seems as though him and Sallie have been very unfortunate since they have been married, but such are the ways of the world. Each one must have their share of horrible in some way.

Steve I was to see your mother the other day, and she told me when I wrote to you to give her love to you. And tell you to write to her soon for she is very anxious to hear from you. Dell says to tell you that her beau was here last Sunday, the first time he has been here since the war broke out. Pa is going to start to Cincinnati tomorrow night. I have nothing of importance to scribe so I will close. Hoping to hear from you soon. I remain your friend.


Excuse this miserable writing and I will try to do better the next time.

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