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Rachel Stanton/Searles Family Papers - MS 597 mf: Transcripts

Correspondence - 1864

From Alfred Searles, February 24, 1864

Nashville, Tenn.
Feb. 24, 1864

To my dear Parents and Brothers and Sisters,

Again I take my pen in hand to write to you in answer to your of the 19th, which came to my hand this morning. I was glad to recieve it and to hear that you were all well, but was surprised to read that you, father, was a going to start for this place so soon. I had not hardley expected you would come unless I wrote to you to come. I asked you in my last if you intendid to come, but I shall be happy to see you and think that I shall be able to go back with you. I fast spoke to the Dr. about furlow. He says he thinks he will have no trouble in procouring one for me.

My helth is a gaining pirty fast now, but if you start when you speek of, this will not rech their till you are here. I have no yous of my right foot yet and I am afraid it will be a long time before I do get the yous of it.

But I will close fur this time. Hoping this will find you all well and with my best wishes and kind love to all, I remain as ever your son, Alfred D. Searls.

Write soon. Direct Hospital No. 8, Ward no. 1, Nashville, Tenn.

From Alfred Searles, April 4, 1864

Chesterfield, Ohio
April 4, 1864

Respected Parents, Brothers, and Sisters,

The light of Monday morn has come and as Mary is getting breackfast I will try and write you a few lines, as that is all the way I have of visiting you now, eny more than when I was a thousand miles from you.

They is no conveyance here of eny kind. If I was to stay a year to be hired in this parts and I am not able to walk as I once could. Yet my foot dos not pain me as much as it yoused to, but the whole leg is diseased and for the past few days there is a bunch a swelling. First above the anckel and is quite red and soar, acts much like a gathering. I have had the Dr. to see me once and he was taken sick and is not been able to rid this far yet and they is no other one around that I car about employeng.

I started or had done the Dr. cirtificat of my disability in not being able to return when the time should expire upon my furlow. I have not heard from it yet, but I can bear a litle weight upon my foot and as soon as I can walk with it I shall start back. I should like to come and see you, but don't expect to this spring. I hope you are all restored to health and are now enjoyeng the comforts of home. All well here. I believe I am gaining slowly in strength and flesh.

I shall be pleased to see eny or all of you out here to make a visit, if but for one night. No news to write.

Pleas inform me how your mail comes to you and how often and what days. I guess they are a keeping some potatows for you, although they are pirty ready. Sale now at $0.50 to sixty cents per bushel and the old lady has got some apples that you can buy if you want and should be able to get here before a great while. But I must close for this time. Pleas to write soon. Good day. My best wishes to all, I remain, Alfred D. Searls.

From Alfred Searles, May 16, 1864

Columbus, Ohio
May 16, 1864

Well, I suppose you will be a looking for a few lines from me this week and as you have but one mail a week I will start it in time so you will be shure to get it. First, I am about the same as when I were to your place. I have gained some strength, that is about all the change that I can see with my self. We are a havving good news from all of our armes now and I expect to hear befure another Sunday of Grant being in Richmond. Yesterday a part of the army had taken one line of their outerworks and were within 3 miles of the corporation of Richmond. The last reliable account here said Grant had taken 30,000 prisoners, 50 pieces of artilery. Gen. Thomas is at work in Georgia. He has taken Dalton, 5,000 prisoners, 12 pieces of artillery. If you could get them ever, I would send you a paper, but you will get the news by report befur you do papers. I hope to hear from you this week to know how you are a getting along.

I don't know what they will do with me yet. If I have to go in the invelid corps I expect to go to Washington. They have just sent one regt of invelids their, but I don't know. If I had my discriptive list I would try fur my discharge and see what kind of luck I would have. It youst to be mean anough with the regiment, but if I have got to stay till fall I want to be to the front, in preference to all such places as this. Their I should know what to depend upon, here I know notheng.

I suppose you would like fur me to write to you with ink, but I have not got it, nor I cannot get out to get eny. We are just as much confined as the prisoners in yonder prison. This the boasted land of freedom and its subjects that have fought to save its freedom must be kept under a close guard night and day, as though he were some fellon doomed to die a fellon's death. Such are the restaints now upon the subjects of this so called land of freedom.

If they will give my papers correctly this week, they may thak [take] what they owe me, some over $200 in welcome. But I must close fur this time. Write soon and oblige me. I will write to you again when I hear from you.

My best wishes and kind love to all. I remain your son, Alfred D. Searls. Direct Seminary Hospital, Ward no. 4, Columbus, Ohio

From Alfred Searles, May 16, 1864

Columbus, Ohio
May 16, 1864

Dear Parents,

As well as yousiel. But I drop these few lines to tell you not to write to me till you hear from me again, fur I don't know where I may bee. I shall leave here tomorow. I expect the Dr. is a tryeng to send me to my regiment, but I have got him I guess. But if I can get away I shall go to Nashville, where I ought to went first. No friend have I to yous any influence for me. I must fight it out alone. Give yourselves no uneasyness, for I shall write soon again.

My love to all, I remain your son,
Alfred D. Searls.

Good by.

From Alfred Searles, May 18, 1864

May 18, 1864
Seminary Hospital, Ward no. 4
Columbus, Ohio

Dear Friends,

Another day is nearly gone and the sun is setting bright in the west and with the fleeting of time and the hassening day. A letter has just come to hand from my wife and one also from you in it of the 5th of May. You speek of a piece of land their under cultivation and can be bought at a bargen, but it is not among the possibels for me to do eny thing at the present time, for I don't know what they intend to do with me yet. But if I were at liberty, I would try what I could do or if it remains untill I get away I will see and perhaps I may get shaped so that I can made a move for it. You must be mistaken where it corners the lot that Moses was after. You say it is upon the south side of the road cornering to the northwest corner of said lot. It must be near the plank road acording to that.

I hope you are all well and that Oscar will not be crippled for long. I remain much the same, gain verry slow. They may start me for my regiment, can't say. Don't know what or where I shall spend the next 3 months, if I live. I should like to hear from you, but they is no yous of your writing till I know I can get it. I shall let you know after a change takes place.

My respects to all and love also. Good by. Perhaps this will reach you this week yet. I remain as ever you son,
Alfred D. Searls.

E. G. Searles to Alfred Searles, July 3, 1864

Amboy, Ohio July 3, 1864


We received yours of the 26th on Friday last in good time and glad to know of your situation as regards your health. Can their be nothing done to relieve your foot and leg? How does your place agree with you? Is your lungs affected yet? Are you rid of that diaereah?

Oscar, April, Mary and Julia has gone to hold their Fourth with your family. All about as usual except Harriet. She has been badly poisence, but is now better. We have had heavy rains the past week, so much we cannot worke in corn. Have nearly lost some three tons of hay, which will be a loss as hay is very light and hard to be got in these parts.

As to your request respecting hay, it is some doubtful wether it can be had. Yet I have and will try to get it on punt ofit. It is thought hay will be worth one dollar a hundred next winter. Much will depend however on course fodder, which is now improoveing fast.

I think that I shall try and rent that forty I wrote you about, as there is no one a living on it. If I can rent it we then can do as we please in regard to buying it. It corners, as I said, to the northeast corner of that 80 Moses wanted.

As to news, we are as dry as a contribution hose. We know as little what is a doing as though we was out of this little world. The worst fault we have of the place. It is reported things looke dull at the front. When shall we see the end of this awful strife?

We have not begun the house yet. Shall build of logs because we cannot get lumber sawed. We have 18 acres of corn, 5 of oats, shall have 6 of buckwheat. Have taken in 6 acres of crops to cut. Have all the worke we can do. Hope you will get home so as to help me finish up a house in September. Am anscious to get mooved.

Should I rent that forty, if you thought best, you could move there in the fall. If you get a paper that has much news, send it to me, if you have the privilege. As I think of nothing more of interest, will close for the present. With the respect of a father to his son, E.G. Searls.


USA Seminary Hospital
Columbus, Ohio
July 8, 1864

Mr. Searles:

Yours of the third arived on this inst. and as your son took sick on the night of the 4th inst. and died next day about 4 p.m. with apopleptic fit (some say cholera), I thought to open the letter to inform the person of his death. We notified his wife of the same. The letter had to be opened to know who to address, but not red by any one.

Yours truly,
per Surgeon's Clerk

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