July 29, 1862 letter to Sarah Keith from Nancy Betts

July 29, 1862

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Nancy Betts, Omro, WI

Would like to live with them, but can’t pay. Robert and Louisa are not well. Her baby wears her out. Pros came home from the boom sick with his old complaint. She’s afraid he’ll never be able to do hard work again. Got a letter from Hiram. He was knocked down by a shell concussion, got up and went a few steps and fell down again, numb all over. After a few minutes was able to get up. The shell killed the man on one side of him and wounded another on his other side.

1862-07-29 1862-07-29B 1862-07-29env

Omro   July the 29 1862

Dear Sarah

Your letter came to hand the fifteen and was glad to hear that yoursealf and children was well and sorra to hear that Luke[1] thealth is so poor and that you hadent heard from him seance he left[2]. I hope you have by this time. I wrote to you to know if you could let me have a room below if you have it. I cant pay rent for a room now. You may be rewored in time if you conclude to let me have a room. I want a nother priveledg that is a chance to cook and wash by your stove for I wont have the means to bye a cook stove. I thought of bying sheetirn stoove at present. I was quite sick last week but better now. Robert[3] and Lousa[4] is quite unwell. Her baby[5] is verry cros. It all most wares her out. Prosper[6] came home sick from the boom[7] with his old complant. I am a frade he will never be abel to do hard work agane. He is verry much discouredg at times. He is a going to commence school this fall. I received a letter from the 26 and O how glad I was to hear from him[8] and that he had survive the battel. He said he had a narrow chance for his life at one time. He was knock down by a concussion of a shell. He thought it was all day with him. In a minet he got up and hadent taken four stepts before he fell agane and thought he was gon and felt noumb all over. In a few minets he managed to get up and toddle off verry thankfull that he was alive. The same Shell killed a man on one side of him and wounded one on the other. I feal to thank the Lord my Savour in sparing his life and his grate goodness and merses to him. O what thoughtless mortals are how unworthey we are of the goodness of God to us and how unthankfull we are when they are bestode a pon us day by day. I want you to write as soon as you receive this. If you cant let me have a room below I wan to know it. You must not think hard becaus I ask you so plane. I want you to do the same by me. My love to your self and children. Robert and Lousa Pros send thear love to you all. From your mother

Nancy B Betts

[to] Sarah C. Keith

Pros sais tell Sarah he intends to write to her soon. N B Betts

[1] Sarah’s husband, Charles Luke Keith Jr

[2] Luke sold “bed bottoms,” a form of rubberized bedsprings, and was quite often gone for months at a time

[3] Nancy’s son, Robert Crawford

[4] Robert’s wife, Louise (McCann) Crawford

[5] Melissa “Lizzie” Crawford

[6] Nancy’s son, Prosper Crawford

[7] See Footnote #5, 6-3-1862 letter

[8] Her son, Hiram Crawford Jr, whose regiment fought in the Battle of Glendale, protecting the retreating Army of the Potomac from Confederate pursuers under Gen. Robert E. Lee

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  1. Trackback: July 29, 1862 letter to Sarah Keith from Nancy Betts – Letters & Diary Entries From the 1860s

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