Letter from Private Benj F Searle to his siblings;
Elk River Bridge Tenn, April 2nd, 1864,
Dear Brother and Sister, it is with pleasure I right you a few lines to you hoping they may find you all as well as me. Leave me I have not hird from you in a long time…..Have you had a hard time this winter, but I am in hopes this will find you fully recovered. My health is first rate, never was better than now. Harriet here is a ring for you made of a muscle shell. The shell came from the Tennessee river at Bridgeport Ala. Did you move this spring, it is hard for mother to move much and the move they are making. They are waking to have us under marching orders here to and have been for a week. I got a letter personally yesterday and they are all well there and talk of moving back to Waukegan. Please excuse me for not righting before and not righting more this time. The Drums are beating for role call and I must go to bed before I am on Pickett tomorrow. The Peach trees are all in bloom here and everything is gay. I tell you the sorry South is the place after all to live in. Can’t say thanks more at present so goodby, love to all.
From your ever effectionate Brother B F Searle.
PS Charles H Denis is a First Lt in the 31st US C Troops.” 2.5 pages in in ink signed by Searle.