Letter to the Front,   Apr 4, 1863

...in the midst of life we are in death

630412eck Page 1

Eckford, Sunday, April 12/63

      My Dear Son
    Since writing my last we have recieved 2 letters from you, they date april 2 at Lebanon and April 6 at Louisville,   we were very glad to here from you again,   you wrote in your last that you had not had but one letter from me in a long time,   the letter that you got was the forth one that I have wtitten to you since your Brother died,   I hope that you have gotten the others long before this reaches you    if you do not get them before you answer this, I will write to you again what I had written in them in regard to Johns death,   the message that your Aunt Elizabeth spoke of from John to you was this,   when he bid us farewell I asked him if he had any word for his Brother William and he said yes tell him that {I bid him farewell and that he must meet me in heaven}   but I will not write any more of it at this time in hopes that you have recieved the other letters that I have already written in regard to his death    your mother is quite unwell today, the rest of us are as well as common,   your Grandmother Wells is here,   I have just been up to Greens after her,   She says the friends over the river are all smart,   Uncle James has bought him a farm    it is the George Doolittle place,   it is the second farm on the south side of the road west of the corner where your Uncle Julius Humerton lives
in one of those letters you spoke of you wanting us to come and see you if you get to Louisville,   I do not know how it will be,   your Mother is not able to travel so far and we have not the means,   not withstanding it would be a great satisfaction to us if we could both of us come but as Mother is not able I do not know as I can come without her,   she thinks that I had better try and go to see you but I do not know how it will be,   if I had the means to come with I would start immediately, for I want to see you very much but it is such a hard thing that I do not think I can get the money

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630412eck Page 2 the daily paper yesterday stated that our forces a Charleston had commenced a heavy Bombardment on Fort Sumpter    I think the reports in regard to the war are quite cheering    it seems to me that the Rebels cannot hold out many months longer if the reports are one half true in regard to them,   and our army are all around them on every side and are penetrating into all parts of their territory

Wednesday Apr 15

My Dear Boy
      I received yours mailed Apr 11 last night and was very glad you may be shure to hear from you again and hear you were well and would be glad to get one from you every day    Oh my son we are so lonely    if I must stay in these drery[dreary] woods one year more I must leave this world    I cannot endure this terrible loneliness    you know that ever since Paul died that Johnny has been my company and all my life and all my pleasure was derived from him    he would play music of some kind every time I was sad and low spirited and he would talk so funny and scuffle and play with me and he was all that seemed to be all the comfort we had and all there is of us is your Father and the two little girls and I and we see no one but Dans[?] folks and Rapps    I am sick so I cant go from home hardly ever

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630412eck Page 3 you spoke of our coming to see you    I would be very glad you may be shure to see you,   you dont know how much I want to tell you   but my son I am not able to get there    if I had one hundred dollars in gold it would be impossible it hurts me so to ride I have not been able to go to Fathers in all winter and I am not able to sit up all day no day    your Grandma Wells is here now    she is just looking at Johns Dulcimer and sounding the strings and Oh my son how it makes my heart ache to hear it and think the hands that used to bring such music from it is cold and still in death    Oh Willie dear if I could only lean my aching head on your shoulder and tell you all I want to   but Willie I can never write it all    Oh my son pray to your Heavenly Father every day that he will prolong your life to return to your home   and I hope I shall live to see you again in this world and I hope that all the rest of our family may live to see you return   but my son your Fathers health is miserable and has been all winter    your Grand Fathers I fear is mourning himself to death for Johnny    he has failed fast since his death    he says it is for Johnny for he said it seemed as if he seen him all the time asleep or awake every way he turned his eyes he was before him    they want you to write to them often it is a great comfort to them    I will try to write to you about Johnnys sickness in my next    it dont seem as if I could yet he wanted me to write to you the week before he died and tell you just how he was but I told him I wanted to see him better first it would make you feel so bad to hear he was so sick    well he said it would be better to prepare you for the worst news    I told him I hoped he would get better    I could not give him up and he said nothing more about it then    he seemed desirus to stay with us and still he said he wanted it to be as the Lord willed it     now my son do live so as to meet him as he said when ever your called away...

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630412eck Page 4 ...and you dont know how soon that will be for in the midst of life we are in death

 I believe I have no news to tell you    I go no where and see no one to tell me any    we wrote to you that we had sold yours and Johnnys Cow for 16 dols and then I had to let old Dr Blair have one of mine and we paid him 30 dols doctors bill and I would be glad if he should never doctor any of our family again for he has done more hurt than good in what he has done for us     I should be glad to have your Father come and see you if he could get the money and then there would be no other way he could leve only by renting to have the stock taken care of and you know that the girls and I could not stay in these woods all alone     we should have to go somewhere and if I was in as good health as I was one year ago I could take care of myself and girls     but not withstanding if he can get the money I will go either to Fathers or rent a house     when ever I commence to write anything about John I get to feeling so bad I cannot say what I would like to     dont let what I have written trouble you my son     if you live to come home then I have a great deal to tell you
give my respects to Charley or you can just let him read this     Aunt Silvia says give my love to the boys     tell Charles that she has written three times to him since she got that money and has had no answer yet,   your Grandma is going away today and I must be left alone again
good by for this time for your Father is in great hurry to go away with it    be a good Boy my son and write often to us and you will recieve the dayly prayers of your Mother

Martha B Wells

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Paul is Wm's brother, Paul Henry Wells who died October 1st, 1861, aged 3 years 6 months and 12 days.
William's grandfather and Martha's father, John Clark, died shortly after on May 2nd, 1863 at the age of 82 years, 17 days.
Wm's Grandmother Wells is Mary Kennedy Wells, . Aunt Silvia is the wife of Green Wells.

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edited by Peter J Wait, 5/8/2000