April 1, 1863 letter to Luke & Sarah Keith from Jeff Chaffee

April 1, 1863

To: Luke & Sarah Keith

From: Jeff Chaffee, Camp Near Falmouth, VA

Returned to camp Friday; he was reported AWOL. Looked up Lieutenant Hiram Crawford who is in command of Company E. He’s a first lieutenant and all his men like him. Says to tell Aunt Catherine and Lucy to expect a letter from him.

Scan of 1863-04-01 Jeff Chaffee to Luke & Sarah Keith

Camp Near Falmouth v.a.[1]

Apr lst 1863

Dear Friends one and all

It affords me much pleasure to write to you. I am once more with my company and once more a Soldier surrounded with all the Pleasures and displeasures of camp life. I reached camp Friday noon found all things lovely. The Ajutant had got me reported absent without leave but it did not do him any good. I am all right now. There was a little excitement here last night and this morning but I guess it will not amount to anything. The long roll beat and orders came to be ready to fall in at a moments notice but I guess it was an April Fool.

Last Monday I went and hunted up Lieut. Hiram Crawford your son and brother. I found him very easily. He is onely about a mile from here. I delivered my message to him and he was both pleased and supprised when I told him who I was and where I was from. He was very glad to hear from you. He had a great many questions to ask about the folks at home. Aunt Sarrah you and your mother[2] may well be proud of your Brother and Son. He is a noble looking fellow. His men all like him by what they say. He is in command of Company E. He is first Lieutenant. He says he would like to see you all again. I think if we both live we will be better acquainted by and by for I like his looks and appearance first rate.

There is no news to write to you. I expect we will soon move. You must give my love to all that you think will receive it without being offended. You must all excuse me for not makeing you a longer visit but you know that I could not stay. I hope I shall come home some time when my time will not be limited and and I can stay untill you get tiered of me.

Tell Aunt Catharine[3] and Lucy[4] to look out for a letter pretty soon and that I am a looking for one now from them with some Pretty faces in them and also Lois[5] give my love to all reserve a share for yourself. So no more at present. So Adieu.

from your faithful friend


To Uncle Luke and Aunt Sarah

[1] Northeast of Fredericksburg

[2] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[3] Luke’s sister, Catherine (Keith) Bradley Lee

[4] Catherine’s daughter, Lucy Lee

[5] Luke’s daughter, Lois Keith, by his first wife, Minerva Payson

[6] Jeff’s last name, and his relationship to Luke and Sarah, are not clear at this point (Update of 04-02-2017): Further research indicates that this most likely is Thomas Jefferson Chaffee Jr. who was married to Luke’s niece, Frances “Kate” (Keith) Chaffee

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Updates & Corrections | Crawford/Comfort Family Letters
  2. Trackback: April 1, 1863 letter to Luke & Sarah Keith from Jeff Chaffee – Letters & Diary Entries From the 1860s

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