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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

January 15, 1863

File:Louisville Kentucky 1861 cover+3c.jpg

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

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Louisville_Kentucky_1861_cover%2B3c.jpg

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.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Stamp_US_1863_2c.jpg

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.  http://www.civilwarhome.com/Pay.html  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 http://postalmuseum.si.edu/letterwriting/lw04.html