Nov 13, 1864 – mother of 36th ILL soldier (Whitney) writes to her sick son in Nashville

Letter from mother to son
[Sent to Nashville]


November, 13, 1864

[Son is Franklin A. Whitney, 36th Illinois Infantry]

My ever dear son,

As I have an opportunity to send a few lines by Mr. Rable, I thought would embrace it, we are all well as usual and hope your health is improving. Samford and Cornelia and Thinza have gone up to meeting this morning. It was pretty cold so I thought I would stay at home and write to my boy away in Nashville. We do not get any letters from Perrine. What is the matter? We hear he is in Chattanooga with the most of the 36 Reg. Has he written to you since you went North? I suppose you have heard the particulars [end of page one] of D. Cady’s death before this time. I believe he had the typhoid fever. Last week we sent you two letters and a paper. I expected to get a letter from you last night but was disappointed. Are you out of paper?  If so and you can’t get any let us know. I saw Canate Johnson last Thursday. He is coming to see us this week. He says, “Frank is a good soldier and the last he saw of him he was pecking away at the Rebs.” I wish I could see him (my boy). I am having a bad time with my pen. The children have all the penholders down to the schoolhouse so I have tied a pen into a quill and am using that. You will excuse the poor handwriting. I was up to Grandpa’s yesterday. They are well. Grandpa gave me a pair of socks for you. I shall run the [end of page two] heels tomorrow and then carry the things to Rable, Grandma is quite worried about P[initial only]. He certainly out to do so. Write I mean. Enclosed in this you will find C’s photograph. We think it pretty good. I should like to send some of the rest of the family and shall as soon as possible. We were going to have Mattie’s taken with a little rabbit, but the rabbit was killed accidentally so we have not had it done yet. Have you drawn any money yet? I suppose you can draw two month’s pay. I hope I have faith to believe you will not fall into any bad habits while inthe Army. I wish my dear boy to come home as good as when he left. I know you will not disappoint me. Your [end of page three] parents and friends follow you in all your wanderings. Please write as often as you can. Tell us everything, you need not think it will be uniteresting. You know by this time Lincoln is re-elected. We all rejoiced at it. By the time you get this letter you will have a paper from me giving an account of a rebel or an attempted rebel raid in Chicago. They rather slipped up on that and some of the Copperheads got into Camp Douglas. Now the Copperheads round here say that is a likely story you know. The children have just come home from the meeting. Miss Hand with them, and Beebe has dropped in . Our friends around here all well. Mrs. Tremain wrote to Victor where you are, and told him to write to you. Has he done it? James is at home, not very well, but between when he comes Mrs Pierce is at her fathers yet. I intend to see her before she goes South and have her see you when she gets to Nashville is possible. I guess I will send you fifty cents. It is not much, perhaps it will do a little good. I shall have to stop for the present. Good bye. If I get time I will write more.

From your mother L.M.W.


The son in this letter is Franklin A. Whitney, of the 36th Illinois Infantry.   He wrote her just a few days after this letter.

Franklin A. Whitney

Post-war photograph of Franklin A. Whitney, 36th Illinois Infantry. He was listed as from Mission, Illinois, when he enlisted as a Private on 2/29/64. He mustered into Company F, 36th Illinois infantry 3/18/64. Mustering out 10/8/65 in Washington, D.C.

Content and images copyright protected.

Items in the Kraig McNutt Civil War Collection.

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