RSS Feed

March 5, 1863

Posted on
Tilghman House Paducah KY

Tilghman House Paducah KY via Wikipedia

Paducah Ky

March the 5 1863

(original letter with Cheryl Skalsky)

(Scans of original letters below.)

Dear wife

it is with great plesure that I sit down to write you A few lines to let you know that I am well at this time and hope you and Family and _____ are well also. I received your kind and afectionate letter on day before yesterday of the 20 ___ and was glad to here from you may depend on it and realy glad to learn that I had got another big Boy. you said that he was born on the fourtheenth day of Febuary whitsh would make him almost one Month old. and you said that my Milton was well witch I was glad to hear for was I was anssious to hear from you all. I was out on picket duty day before yeterday and was at A _____ house A geting my diner when the _____ come and then we went to Camp and got ready to move and then went down to the river and got on the boat and then stay there untill after dark and then came up to Cario and stayed there untill day light and then started for this place and got here last Night and A prety place it is to but it is chuck full of sceerh (?) and we will have to trim them A little yet I think. this is quite A large place it is as large as Otawa or larger it is about fifty Miles above Cairo up the Ohio River. it is A bufilao Counntry around here.

you wanted to know if thare was many Traytors around here. I tell you thare is lots uf them here and at Columbus ____. the day that ______ to work them was we would go out on picket duty and when we was of of duty we would go to there houses make them get our some diner and then we would eat our diners and then fill our pockets and go back to our duty. i was glad to here from the folks but sory to here that they was sick. i hope they will all get along. I was glad to here from Albert and Steven(?) but sory to here that Albert was sick. I will write him A letter and Steven A letter to morrow if nothing happens. I received your letter with money in it on yesterday and it came in A good time for I was plum out but I think we will get some money to morrow or next day and if we do I will send it home to you. you said you was afraid I was sick for you had not heard from me for A long time. you had no reason for that for i never was in better health in my life than I be now but for A slite cold that I took A coming down here. you wanted me to send home A Name for that big Boy for you said you named our boy Milton but that dont make no diference. I would rather you would Name him but if you insist on it I will send one whitch will be Franklin. you may put the other in yourself if you please for I would rather you would. I wrote A letter to you Father my Mother and Albert and got no answer from them. tell William that i have wrote to _____ twice and got no answer. tell him john and Fancy to write to me. you tell Milton that i think of him every day and al most hour and hold boath of my boys for me. Tell Elisia that i am obliged to her for that peice of her weding dress and i wish that it had been her in steed of the peace. it is so dark that i cant see to write no more this time.

so good by for this time

yours truly

John A Loveless

to his Family

ps give my love to all

March 5 - 1sm

March 5 - 2sm

March 5 - 3sm

Catherine ended up naming the baby Franklin Amos – after his father.  Franklin is my great great grandfather.

John mentioned moving camps – he started out at Camp Halack in Columbus Kentucky, then moving up the Mississippi River to Cairo Kentucky, where he had been posted previously, and then on up the Ohio River to Paducah Kentucky.  There is a bit of interesting history with the location of the Union troop headquarters in Paducah as it turns out.  Kentucky was a neutral state – so kept slaves but were still with the Union.  A prominant house built by Lloyd Tilghman and then lived in by the Woolfolk’s was directly across from Union headquarters… The Woofolk’s were with the Confederacy and flew the flag in opposition to the Union troops across the street… and as one might guess, more than a few unkind words were said.  It led, in part, to Ulysses S Grant’s rise in power and the Woolfolk’s banished to Canada.  For the entire story, use the links below.


February 23, 1863

Feb the 23 1863

(original letter with Cheryl Skalsky)

Dear wife and Family and Friends

I now sit down to write you A few lines to let you know that I am well at this time and you and the rest of them are enjoying the same blessing. it is now about four weeks since I got A letter from you and I had the blues so bad that I did not know what to do until I got A letter from Elisia on last week and it told me that you was sick. the first that I new of it and it told me was doing well which I was glad to hear for I was almost crazy to hear from you and Milton and to get something to buy Tobaco with for I am plum Crazy so Capt Jenkins ___ and so I think myself and I am plum of writeing material and am A writing to you with borrowed Material at this time. I all most forgot to Congratyoulate you on our fine boy or girl as the cease may be and alow me to wish you ____ health and Hapiness with the new hear and Milton to ask William if he and john are mad at me and if so what for. for i would to know why they dont write to me.

give my love to all the friends. do write a little oftener to me.

Gods sake and mine to and yourn in pertiekelar and for my sake dont wait so long if you please.

No more at presesant

yours truly until depth

John A. Loveless

to Cm Loveless

February 21, 1863

General of the Stash

General of the Stash

“ASAsboth” by Original uploader was GhostPirate at en.wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User:Sreejithk2000 using CommonsHelper.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –

Fort Hallach

Columbus, Ky.

Feb 21, 1863

Dear wife-i now sit down to write you A few lines to let you know that

I am well at this time and you and the rest of you are enjoying the

best of health. we are still and will be for some time yet i hope the

last letter I got from you wrote to me on the first of this Month and

it is very Curious indeed- it is now dark and no letter from you but i

will hope for the best and hope it will come in good time- i have been

in good health for a good while and be in the best of spirits and enjoy

myself first rate- it is with a sad heart that I Received the Death of

David Speer- he died in the Hospital with the Tyfoid fever- he was in

the Hospital five days- he was A good brave and peaceable Soldier and

is A great loss to his Country in this day of her peril- he was resined

to the will of his Maker- I have not heard from Knoxville for some time

but John Targart got A letter some few days ago and they was all well

then – there has been a good deal of sickness in the Regament of late it

I heard of diarea and fever but i have never had it yet- and i dont think i

will have it if i take care of myself as i should i got so that i

Will not have that office that i told you of for it is harder than to

be a privete so i told them that i would not have it. you wanted me to

tell you the news but there is not much to tell. there is now at this

place the 111 Ill. the 3 Minasota whitch has been taken prisoners twice

and now they are a going to try it again- they have been up in Minasota

a fighting the Indians and are now on their way down the River- they

have just now drawn there Arms to start there is now here A Regament of

Drafted men from Wisconson and hard Cases they are to but the most of

them are substatute . they got from one hundred and fifty dollars to

three hundred coming for other men for nine Months but i would not like

to be one of them you may depend on it for they are used more like dogs

than men. there has four Companies of our Regament gone up to paduca

and will be gone some time to guard that place- we have A new General

here now his name is Asboth(?) he is a good man i think from what i can

see – i want you to pray for me for i feel in need of it. i have been

trying to make my Election sure and by the grase of God i will • i wish

you would send me a little money for i need it. we have note drawn any

yet and i dont know when we will – it is now midnight and i will have to

close for this time by saying kiss my boy for me and tell him to be a

good boy for me and to kiss you for me. i often think of you both and

may god be with you all is my prayer

more anon

give my love to All

and believe me yours till death

yours truly

John A. Loveless

to his wife and family

Fort Hallock Columbus Ky,

General Asboth was born in Hungary and served in the (failed) Hungarian revolution in 1848.  He was exiled, along with his his leader, to the United States in 1851.  In the next ten years, he became a US citizen and served in the Union Army. John C Freemont appointed him Brigadier General of Volunteers …he was then wounded while in command at Pea Ridge Arkansas in 1862.  In 1863, he was in command of Columbus KY and later the District of West Florida.  Following another battle injury, he was appointed in 1866 as the US Minister to Argentina and Uruguay – where he died from the last injury.  His body was moved in 1990 to Arlington National Cemetery.

February 14, 1863

Valentine 1862 via Wikipedia

Valentine 1862
via Wikipedia

Franklin Amos Loveless was born.

Franklin was Edna’s (Gram, of Gram’s Cookbook series) father.  He is my great great grandfather.

Valentine’s Day, or versions there of, has been around since around the 5th century and is likely based on a Pagan fertility celebration combined with  one or more Christian saints named Valentine.  (For more information about the long history of the day, this History Channel site has lots of easy to read facts.)

Valentine’s Day in it’s current form was starting to be popular by the middle of the 1600’s…especially in England.  By the early 1900’s, pre-made cards were becoming more common.  Esther Howland started selling the first mass produced Valentine cards in the 1840’s…The top card, found on the Wikipedia site, was sent in 1862, the year before Franklin was born.



This is an Esther Howland card from the 1870’s…

We have no card or romantic letter for either Valentine’s day or the day of Franklin’s birth.  

Historic Scams

I found this rather curious.  Of course people are people are people and so logically there are those so inclined to take advantage of others.  It’s just the old fashioned versions of these falseities that is interesting.  Click on the link below to find the article.

This is a link via NPR…

February 6, 1863

Columbus, Ky Feb the 6, 1863 

Dear Wife- I now sit down to let you know that I am well at this time and hope the

same-your kind and afectionate letter of the first is received and I was glad to here

from you and Milton you may depend on it for I was

glad to here that you was well and sound for I was afraid

you was sick. you said you was afraid i was sick and you was

mistaken-for i am well and i have wrote you three letters that i have

got no answer from yet. you said yo had lost your heart pin whitch

pained me to learn but as you said i was glad you got what you did-you

tell Milton that his pop corn was first rate and i wish he had sent

more of it-you said you wanted me to tell you all of the news-there is

not much to tell- the 35 Iowa has gone to Cario- to guard prisoners

there is here the 3 ___ Reg here now and about 500 Drafted men from

Wisconson here now and the 111, Ill now and ours-one of our companies

have gone to Memphis to guard a Bat(?) down but will be back in a few

days- We have a fine time a standing guard now days we stand about twice

a week- it commenst (commenced) snowing night before last and snowed

untill yesterday. now it is six inches deep-i was guard last night and

it was as cold as it is where you are and i was guarding Batery, of,

six(?) guns and it was a cold place but i stood it first rate and never

g___ , for it was no use- i wrote you in another letter that the old

Man Targart was Dead but i was a mistake for john got a letter

yesterday and he had been sick but was better. you said Albert was in

the Hospital-in what place is he and what Company, and Reg is Steven

in- it pained me to hear of so many of my friends a being in the Army

and of so many deaths also- i want you to kiss my boy for me and i want

him to kiss you for me-tell William and John that i would like to see

them down this way. so i will bring my writeing to a close by saying

send me some Money if you can anyway, for i want A chew of tobaco mity

bad-give my love to all more Anon-write soon

Yours truly

John A. Loveless

January 30, 1863

Fort Halach, Columbus, Ky. Jan the 30, 1863

Dear Wife- I now sit down to write you A few lines to let you know that

I am well and hope you are the same. I wrote you A letter on the 25

and told you how I was situated in regard to money, we have fine

weather now it is so warm here now that it dont freeze any of A Night.

There is but few s ___ ps here now they have about all gone to Memphis

Ten– the Regulars left last night– there is here yet the 35th Iowa

and us and two comanies of Cavalry and that is all to guard this place.

we have around 250 prisoners to guard and the post besides. we go on

guard about twice A week. i was out on pictrol(?) the night before i

got your letter and a nice time we had too- we was about 50 miles from

camp and we had A good time generally. i was out in the Country all day

and we went to an old s ___ hs house and got our dinner and then came

back to Camp. John Targart got A letter from home about one hour ago

and it said that the old man Targart was dead a so was gorge Smith down

at the Mills(?) there is A good deal of sickness there this winter the

old man very suddenly with his old complaint- Smith with the Measels. Dave

Speer is sick now with a cold. there is A good deal of sickness in

the Regament now at this time with colara(?)

you wanted me to send you that letter from John and i will soon it is

you now i should i but sent it to you but i had not- you wanted me to

come home now but i cant do it now for they wont give a furlough from

the oficers now so i dont know how i can do it now. i expect we will

stay here for a good while yet. i dont know how long, you wanted to

know what i thought of you going to your fathers but i think you had

had better stay where you are from the —-· i want you to write to me and

and let me know how the neighbors are a getting along and all of the

news —-I have not got A letter from your Folks or ‘ mine yet and I dont

know what to make of it. This is my last sheet of paper to write on and

if I cant borrow I dont know what I will do.

i must quit now for it is A getting dark now and supper is ready

— — give my love to all and i remain

yours till Death

John A. Loveless

to his Wife C.M. Loveless and Boy (kiss my boy for me)

John often mentions his and Catherine’s parents.  Upon doing research, I have learned that Catherine and her parents lived somewhere near Seneca Kansas, in what was then the Kansas Territory.  Albert is often mentioned in letters – he is her brother who was 9 years younger.  Apparently, despite the age difference, they were close.  Albert lived with her parents still along with 3 other siblings.  (Her youngest sibling, Edward Franklin Sherman, was only 3 years older than her first born child, Alice Loveless.)  John’s parents are a bit more of a mystery… The only census data that is available is from 1850 when John and Sarah Boyd Loveless lived in Kendal Illinois.  In the 1870 census data, Sarah and Homer Loveless were listed as living in Henderson Illinois but there is no mention of John.  By the 1880 census, Sarah is still living with Homer and his wife and family.

As to the other men that John mentions in his letters, I am still trying to determine who they were.  I have looked through the census pages for the Seneca area for 1860 but the writing is difficult to read to say the least and I have not found any of the men mentioned.  I tag them in each post in hopes that their families who may be looking for information about them find this page in an internet search and are able to read a bit about their lives.

Cholera is a bacterial disease characterized by severe diarrhea and vomiting.  It is easily spread through fecal contamination in food and water.  It results in severe dehydration and death and even now causes over 100,000 deaths a year as of 2010.  Considering the lack of training of most of the volunteer soldiers and the extremely difficult living conditions they faced on a daily basis it is of little wonder that diseases such as this spread quickly and killed many.

January 29, 1863

Columbus Ky, Jan the 29, 1863

Dear wife, it is with great plesure that

i now sit down to write you a few lines to let you know that i am well

and hope you the same. your letter of the 22 is received A few minutes

ago and rite glad i was to hear from you and Milton and to here that

you was well and glad to here that you had got your trunk to. i got a

letter from John White and have sent it to you. the old man Targets

folks is well. I am glad to here that you enjoy your self very well.

the postage stamps you sent me came in good ____ to me now for i did

not have one to write a letter with. David Coats is sick again and is a

going to be discharged and so is Bob patten(?) also Uncle have not

drawn any money yet and i am a sufering for the want of it. i have not

had a chew of Tobacco for two weeks and am almost crazy for it. i can

not get any of it that is oweing to me and I have none to buy paper

with and have but one more sheet and then must quit writeing. i was

glad to here that your Father had sent you some money. you must tell

Milton that i was glad to here that he was a good boy. i will send him

a vest pin in this letter and he must take care of it. you must excuse

me for not writeing more this time for i have been out on picket duty

all Night and just come in more now. write as soon as you get this

and i remain

Yours till Death

your Afectionate Husband

John A. Loveless

to his wife

Catherine Loveless

January 25, 1863

Columbus, Ky. Jan the 25, 1863

Dear Wife, it is with pleasure that now sit down to write you a few

lines to let you know that I am well at presant and still ere at

Columbus yet and hope you and Milton are enjoying the best of health

and spirits., for i am in the best of health and spirits and am geting

fat again fast. When i last wrote to you we expected to leave here

within a few hours but did not go for our order was recalled and we did

not go. but the thirty third did go down the River on that night.

John Targart got a letter from home on yesterday and they were well.

Dan Coats is geting fat again fast. Dave Speer is well also is Jim

Thrasher the rest of the boys and Regament is generaly well but

young , he has gone to the genaral Hospital with the feaver at

Mound City: you know who i mean i guess i mean that young, that ____ of

from that Fort girl now you know who i mean. we do not drill much now

but stand guard about one day in five and that is about all we do for a

liveing and press(?) things to eat into the service. there was a squad

of our men went out a few days ago and brought in a two year old heifer

to eat and a niger to boot. We live very well here for ours(?) i think

for you know that i would always live when(where?) i could and you may

but that we make the south fork over to our __ We have just been out to

get a suply and got some-the boys is in good life and spirits and in a

high glee for a fight but i dont think we will get it soon i we will

stay here all winter now we have not drawn any money yet and god knows

when we will for i dont for the pay master of this Department has

gambled away some $250,000 dollars of the Soldiers money and that is

the last of it now. you wanted me to send you some money but you see

how it is with me for money. so i shall not make no promise now to you

than to send it to you as soon as i get it.

We have got good huts to stay in. they will hold six men in them very

comfotably and there is tow forts here at this place and we are in Fort

Hablach(?) the Fort is about three acres big rite on top of a very high

bluff rite on a big bend of the River. the town is m ___ ou on to

Bottom and we are above there(them?) about 100 hundred feet. i wrote a

letter to Mother and Albert the other day and one to your Father also

but have got any answer yet but be a looking for one every day. i have

not received any letter from in a good while but do not know what is

the matter but sopose you do. i want you to write to me once a week if

not oftener, but once a week you must now. bare this in mind for my

sake any how i have sent you four letters to you before this one and be

a going to send this to night. i want you to tell my boy to be a good

one to and mind his Mother for me and i want you to kiss him for me

every morning noon and Night and tell him to kiss you for me and i want

you to tell John and Faney(?) to be sure to write to me and Elisia and

William to write soon for i am lonesome here and i want you to send me

some postage stamps in a letter for i have had all of mine stolen from

me and my pocket Book with it. i have only two left.

no more at presant

write soon and oblige

yours truly

from your Afectionate


John A. Loveless

to his wife

Catherine M. Loveless

January 15, 1863

File:Louisville Kentucky 1861 cover+3c.jpg

Letter sent and forwarded three times from Boston to Louiville, KY in 1861.

Jan the 15, 1863 , Columbus,Ky.

Dear Wife, it is with plesure that i take my pen in hand to let you

know that i am well at this time and hope you and Milton are also well.

i received your letter on the 1Oth or the 11 and was glad to hear from

you and my boy. you may depend on it youring and afectionate

letter found me in good health and spirits and still here . i have wrote

some four letters to you and Milton and got no answer to them and do

not know what to make of it but i guess you dent write very often to me

hould i got a letter from John White on day before yesterday

as you s • . . . . ·t big

and they were well the i will send it to you in this i write you a

letter on last January and will write once a week to you and Milton.

it rained here all day, on wendsay and night and_ then went to snowing_

and kept on untill friday night and then froze like the devil but it is

nice today. i want you to tell me what Reg John and Dave Cooper belongs

to so i will close by telling you to kiss my boy for me and give my

love to all. we have drawn no money yet and this is my last stamp. so

goodby for this time.

write soon

i showed the boys what Milt said and it made them laugh to kill

Yours truly

John A. Loveless

Letter to Catherine Loveless from husband John A. Loveless

File:Stamp US 1863 2c.jpg

Two cent stamp from 1863.

In July of 1863, it cost 3 cents to mail a 1/2 ounce letter.  (Today it is 49 cents for the first ounce.)  Prices dropped to 2 cents in October 1863 and then in July 1865 it went to 2 cents for 1 ounce where the price remained until Nov. 1917 when it went up to 3 cents.  Union privates were paid $13 per month and were considered fortunate if they received their pay once every 4 months.  The pay interval frequently was longer.  Considering that John had to buy food with his own wages (referenced in later letters) and the infrequency of getting his salary (as mentioned in this letter) – spending money for stamps was likely a luxury.

During the Civil War, many families found themselves divided between North and South.  Letters were their only form of communication… but in an effort to isolate the South even further, and with the South’s desire for independence, the US postal Service severed ties to the Confederates in June of 1861.  Letters sent to the south were put into the dead letter file and returned to sender.  Blockade runners would carry letters across the lines but it would take months for the letters to be recieved and Confederate stamps were not honored in the North.

Another issue with letters of the time was the continuous movement of troops.  This made it especially difficult for letters from home to find their soldiers – as witnessed by John having written 4 letters to Catherine without receiving one in return.  No doubt Catherine was writing as much as John was but her letters had a much more difficult time of finding their way.

There is much more fascinating information regarding mail and the Civil War era at