Nov 17, 1864 – 36th Illinois soldier writes mother in Newark (ILL) from Jefferson General Hospital in Jeffersonville, Indiana

Letter on U.S. Christian Commission stationary


Jeffersonville, Indiana

November 17, 1864

Dear Mother,

I set down this morning to let you know that I have been moved further north. I got here last night about 9 o’clock. I feel as though I had got into America again. The town and everything looks so much different from what they did in Dixie. Our hospital is situated on the banks of the Ohio River so I can set and watch the boats play up and down the river. Sometimes there is as many as twenty to be seen at a time. [end of page one]

Last night they looked very pretty with their lamps all lit up. I am in hopes that this letter will reach you before [Rable] starts from home for you wouldn’t like to send those Yankees to N[ewark] While I am here at Jeffersonville. I don’t know but this letter will be rather late. You need’nt send that box until I write again for here we have to get the consent of the Doctor before we can get any which thing in here. Maybe we won’t need it here. I don’t know whether we get any sanataries here or not. I will wait and see before I write for them.

[Picture below of Jefferson General Hospital during Civil War]

I suppose that Mrs Harriet has commenced her school and that Father has got his [end of page two] corn picked by this time has he not, and you are trying to find something to do on Thanksgiving. Ain’t it most time for [initial indecipherable] Tremain to get home. I think so if they don’t keep him over his time which they are very apt to do. I notice how are all the neighbors today and I get that letter that letter that I sent to him without the stamps on. I am most out of stamps. I expect I might have some if they would let me stay in one place long enough. I expect I will let me stay here now till they send me to the front and I don’t know for sure that will be. [end of page three]

Well I want this letter to go out in this mornings mail so I will stop writing. Give my love to all and write often.

From your boy Franklin

Jefferson U.S. General Hospital
Ward 17

Jeffersonville, Indiana

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 3/19/64. Mustering out 10/8/65 in Washington, D.C.

**************************************

Content and images copyright protected.

Items in the Kraig McNutt Civil War Collection.

3 comments

  1. I am delighted to see a sketch of the Civil War hospital at Jeffersonville, Indiana, where my great-grandfather, Brev. Lt. Col. Harley P. Mathewson, a Union surgeon, served. Mention of it having been constructed like the spokes of a wheel has been handed down in the family. I would welcome any further information about the hospital, especially any mention of Dr. Mathewson.

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