29 December 1861: “I have got to fat to run quite so fast as I used to run after the hens, but I can’t find any boddy that can out run me now.”

Item description: Letter, 29 December 1861, written by Jeremiah Stetson, from Annapolis, Maryland, to his wife Abbie F. “Happy” Stetson, in Hanson, Massachusetts. Stetson wrote of training maneuvers, the resolution of a debt owed to him, and of missing his young children at home.

Item citation: From the Jeremiah Stetson Papers #5028-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Letter 7th

Anappolis Dec 29 /1861

Dear Happy I have a few minutes to writ  and I wil improve it but I have nothing to write but war we hear all sorts of nuse but we Do not believe anything we hear till we are sick of hearing nuse but the nuse has come at last for us to be in marching order in 24 hours not ondly our rigament but all the rigaments which will be at least fifteen thousand which will fill a large place with prity sientific chans we have been in constant practice ever since we came from home we have practiceing on skirmishing for three or four days and the captain says it would take six months to learn it is a very prity exersize  their is a grate Deal of running every manoevre is dun upon the run.  I have got to fat to run quite so fast as I used to run after the hens, but I can’t find any boddy that can out run me now  I thought they would out run me the first Day the second Day their want but one that could keep up with me and now I can run him out of site, if you send me a letter send it here and it will be sent to our Regt whain ever it may be we Do not know whair we Shall go but we Do not expect to go fur.  I sent you a letter the other Day and I sent you all the nuse I had time to write.

my business is fixed up so that you will git twenty six Dollars from Wm. T. Davis, of Plymouth.  I wrote all about it in the other letter you ought to git it in ten Days but it takes folks so long to move that I can’t tell when you will git it.  Spend it as you pleas and kiss little cuner for me gest as much as you have a mind to.  I Dremt last night that I had her in my arms and I had such a good time that I got to talking out loud till I awoke but I gess no one heard it so I got out of it prity well.  And you must kiss marshel to they must both write me

J. Stetson

More about this item: Jeremiah Stetson was born in Pembroke, Mass., on 27 June 1810. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Stetson and his oldest son, Edwin Leforrest Stetson (b. 1842), enlisted in Company E of the 23rd Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. In the absence of her husband and grown son, Jeremiah Stetson’s wife, Abbie F. Stetson (d. 1901), called “Happy” by her husband, maintained the family’s farm in Hanson, Mass., tending chickens, fruit trees, and strawberries. At home, there were three other children: Melvina Louise Stetson (b. 1844), called “Melly”; Marshall Stetson (b. 1856); and Edith Ruth Stetson (b. 1859).

Jeremiah Stetson saw action in North Carolina and South Carolina, particularly during the capture of New Bern, N.C., but his increasingly bad health apparently prevented him from taking part in most of the later fighting. When able, Jeremiah Stetson performed duties as a carpenter, building barracks for the Army. He died in Hanson, Mass., on 24 February 1869. Edwin Leforrest Stetson participated in the taking of Kinston, N.C., and in various expeditions to destroy railroads near New Bern and try to take Goldsboro, N.C.

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