Letter from Apr. 20, 1865

Letter to Elizabeth, April 20, 1865

  • Full Title

    Photocopy of handwritten, unsigned letter to Friend Elizabeth, April 20, 1865

  • Description

    Photocopy of a handwritten, unsigned letter from a Union soldier in Harper Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, April 20, 1865 to Friend Elizabeth [perhaps the widow Lib (Mrs. Levi) Smith]. The writer enjoyed her letter and hopes she is well. He is sympathetic over the loss of both her cousin and husband. The writer may have served or been hospitalized with both of these men. He heard from home that the president was killed. He notes that some people rejoiced over the news and two soldiers were fined a month's pay each and jailed because they rejoiced. He hopes the war will soon end as drafting and enlisting has stopped. He wants out of the hospital, either to return home or to his unit. He notes several who are ill. He writes that both his father and brother are in service. He concludes the letter because his hand shakes so he cannot hold his pen and asks her to write soon. The letter is part of the Levi Smith Family Papers, 1851, 1903. Levi Smith (1832-March 10, 1865) was the first husband of Elizabeth "Lib". He moved to Elba Township (Lapeer County, Mich.) from Ohio. Together they had a daughter. Levi enlisted in Company I, First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics on December 23, 1862 as an artificer. He died of disease in Detroit on March 10, 1865. She then married another man, also with the surname of Smith, and had three more children.

  • Transcription

    Page One
    Harper Hospital
    Detroit, Mich.
    April 20, 1865
    Friend Elizabeth
    It is with great pleasure that i
    now sit down to answer your
    kind letter which which [sic] i received
    yesterday it found me well as
    usual and hoping these few lines
    Will find you well. It is very
    Warm to day [sic] it must been hard to
    lose your Cousin but it was harder
    to part with your husband so kind
    and good. There was bad news home
    that our president was killed.
    There was some that rejoiced [sp?] over
    his death. There was ttow [sic] soldiers here
    that rejoyced [sic] over his death and
    they put them in the guard house
    and they took two [crossed out] one month's pay
    Page Two
    From your [sp?] friend Zachary [sp?] Bigelow
    away from them i don't think that
    this war will last long then we
    all can go home to our friends,.
    They have stoped [sic] drafting and
    they have stoped [sic] enlisting. i think
    that we will get our discharge. i have
    put in for an examination. i hope they
    Will give me my discharge or send
    me to my regiment. i get sick
    of hospital life. There is 5 [?] that
    is in a bed now. There have but one
    that is dangerously sick. Holister is
    sick. he has been sick about a week.
    I got a letter from home mother
    had put her ankle out of joint she
    will have it pretty hard till some
    of us gets home. Father is in the
    service and my Brother is two [sic]. i haven't
    Heard from father since the last furlough [sp?]
    i will have to close for this time my hand
    Trembles so that i can't hold my pen still.
    Excuse me for this short letter. Write soon

  • Source

    Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University, Levi Smith Family Papers, 1851, 1903

  • Rights

    This item may be reproduced and used for any purpose, including research, teaching, private study, publication, broadcast or commercial use, with proper citation and attribution.

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  • Cite this Item

    unknown, part of Levi Smith Family Papers, 1851, 1903. "Photocopy of handwritten, unsigned letter to Friend Elizabeth, April 20, 1865". Remembering Lincoln. Web. Accessed March 24, 2019. https://rememberinglincoln.fords.org/node/849