May 19, 1864 letter to Luke Keith from Hiram Crawford Jr.

May 19, 1864

To: Charles Luke Keith Jr., Galesburg, MI

From: Hiram Crawford Jr., Spotsylvania, VA

Hiram has received four letters, three from Galesburg and one from Cousin Carrie Crawford. General war news about Grant’s assault on the rebel positions in Virginia. Captured 600-1,000 Rebel prisoners. Today is the 15th day of fighting and so far he has escaped without a scratch.

Scan of 1864-05-19 Hiram Crawford to Luke Keith

_________, lst Brig, 3d Div, 2d Corps

Spotteselvania C H Va[1]

May 19/64

Dear Luke,

We have been deprived of mail for two weeks up to last night when I received four letters three from Galesburg and one from Cousin Carrie Crawford[2], N.Y. City. I will state that I ____________ the letter last evening just as the Enemy made an attack on our sight with the intention of getting at our trains. Our Div immediately moved to the front, engaged them and drove them back. We had a brisk fight. This morning we advanced down then across the River Ny and captured from six hundred to a thousand prisoners. It was a complete success. We returned to our old position today noon. Today closes the fifteenth day of our fighting which for blood and courage is unparalleled either in modern or ancient history.[3] The result has been successful on our side and although I have been engaged every day I have the pleasure of saying that up to this date I have escaped without a scratch. How long I will remain so remans to be seen. The enemy shows a strong front and the number is not down by a great deal. Grant says he will fight them all summer on this line but what he will annihilate them. He is a brick. Any other man but him and we would have been on the north side of the Rappahannock. Give sister Sarah[4] twenty dollars (20) oblige out of that amount I sent you. My love to mother[5], Sarah and family and believe me to be yours.


C.L. I have been detailed as Aide-de-Camp in Brig Staff. The duties are arduous but it gives me a horse to ride.

[1] Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia

[2] Hiram’s cousin and the only daughter of Nathaniel Crawford

[3] During the period from May 5 to May 20, the 20th Infantry lost 223 men, including 7 officers. Only 192 men survived. In all, Grant suffered more than 36,000 casualties, compared to only 17,000 for the Confederate army. Source: “Harvestfields of Death – The Twentieth Indiana Volunteers of Gettysburg”, Craig L. Dunn

[4] Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[5] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

April 21, 1864 letter to Luke Keith from Hiram Crawford Jr.

April 21, 1864 

To: Charles Luke Keith Jr.

From: Hiram Crawford, Brandy Station, VA

Arrived from recruiting station on February 18. Has written to Mother, Sarah, Jennie, Henry, Robert, David and Prosper and seems irritated that he hasn’t received any response from any of them. Sent $168; wants Luke to put $150 of it in a drawer someplace until he needs it. There has been lots of rain. When it is not raining the time is passed in reviews, inspections, and drills.

Scan of 1864-04-21 Hiram Crawford to Luke Keith

(Can’t make out where he is stationed. Looks like Head Less Detached 20th, Brandy Station, VA)

April 21st 1864

Dear Luke

I arrived home from recruiting service[1] February 18, since which time I have written to Mother[2], Sarah[3], Jennie[4], Henry[5], Robert[6], David[7] and Prosper[8] and have yet to receive the first letter from any of them. I wish you would drop me a few lines merely to let me know whether any of the above named persons yet inhabit this planet. If they do I would like to know why my communications are not recognized.

Enclosed please find one hundred and sixty eight dollars (168) fifteen of which give or send to Mother wherever she may be. Three dollars use yourself for express charges (I cant pay it here) and the odd one hundred and fifty (150) put away in some drawer until I call for it.

The weather has been very wet for the past three weeks. No signs of moving for some time but when we do look out for hot work. Grant has organized this Army and knocked the old organization into pieces. Our old 3d corp is broken up and we are transferred to the 2d corp. We now read 1st Brigade 3d Division 2d corp AP.[9] Between rainy days our time is principally passed in reviews inspection and drills. Some may see a great deal of sport in it but I cant. Our Regmt time is up and we are expecting them home everyday. Love to Mother Sarah and the children. Write and oblige.


H. Crawford

Lieut. H. Crawford

20 Ind. Vols

Army Potomac

[1] Around October 15, Hiram and 7 other officers were dispatched to Indiana to recruit fresh volunteers. Source: “Harvestfields of Death – The Twentieth Indiana Volunteers of Gettysburg”, Craig L. Dunn

[2] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[3] Sister, Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[4] His sister-in-law, Virginia (Worley) Crawford, wife of brother Henry

[5] Brother, Henry Crawford

[6] Brother, Robert Crawford

[7] Brother, David (D.C.) Crawford

[8] Brother, Prosper Crawford

[9] Army of the Potomac

April 14, 1864 letter to Sarah Keith from Henry Crawford

April 14, 1864

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Henry Crawford, Niles, MI

Hiram didn’t come home with the Regiment. He was detailed to stay. Virginia was in Laport because he couldn’t find a house fit to live in but has found one now and is doing very well considering the high price of gold.

Scan of 1864-04-14 Henry Crawford to Sarah Keith

Niles    April 14th 1864

Dear Sister

I received your letter to day. Was very glad to hear from you but as you did not say any thing about your self or family I am not any better posted than I was before in regard to your health & future prospects. You said Mother[1] was not verry well. I hope she will not bee sick. As your letter was a business letter I will proceed to business in the way of answering it. Hiram[2] did not come home with the Rigment that reenlisted. Thare was a part of them that did not reinlist as Hiram & three others Officers that had been home on a furlough. They ware detailed to stay. The last I heard from him he was in Camp near Culpeper[3] and was well. Virginia[4] got home last Saderday. The reason why she was at Laport so long was I could not get a house fit to live. We have got a verry good one now & are all well as can bee expected taking in casideration the high price of Gold. We would lik to have you all come and make us a viset this summer. I will close for the time hoping I may heare from you again. We unite in sending our love to all.

Your Brother

Henry C. Crawford

My pen was poor. I could not write with it.

[1] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[2] Brother, Hiram Crawford Jr.

[3] Culpepper, Virginia

[4] Henry’s wife, Virginia (Worley) Crawford

September 27, 1863 letter to Sarah Keith from Hiram Crawford Jr.

Footnote #7 updated 02-11-2017

September 27, 1863

To: Sarah Keith

From: Hiram Crawford, Beverly, NJ

War news. Has seen a good deal of New York and has found Uncle Nathaniel Crawford and a whole nest of cousins. Uncle Nathaniel’s health is not very good as he suffers from rheumatism. He has an appointment with the police department at a salary of $600 a year, lives at 67 Horatio Street. His wife is dead and he has one daughter living, Miss Caroline B. Crawford, otherwise known as Carrie. She has some cousins living in the City by the names of Bodine and Nelles [Weller?] and more relations living in Orange County. Aunt Catherine, father’s sister, is living in Orange County, New York. Hasn’t heard from Mother since she went to Canada.

Scan of 1863-09-27 Hiram Crawford to Sarah Keith

Beverly New Jersey

Sept 27/63

Dear Sister

It is a great deal the same with me here as it was in the Army continually knocking around from one place to another. It is not so with the whole regiment. Only four companies seems to be favored amongst which is mine.

When we first arrived in the City, the regiment was quartered on the Battery[1] and my company and three others were detailed to guard Armories up town[2]. One week from this date the Regt was ordered to Fort Schuyler and we were sent to Davids Island fifteen 15 miles up Long Island Sound[3], to guard about three thousand Rebel wounded prisoners of war captured at Gettysburg. We had a good time and were in hopes that we would be kept there during the rest of our service, but alas the folly of human calculations, especially military calculations. Just as we had gotten everything fixed up in good shape for living one stormy day last week we received a dispatch to be ready within one hour to take the Steamer and report to this place. Our business here looks a little strange. We are guarding a regiment of N. Jersey vols[4] at present organizing who come here and enlist, draw their $550 Bounty and leave for parts unknown. Since we came it has pretty much stopped.

I have had some good times since we arrived from the Army. Have seen a great deal of New York. And by the way have found Uncle Nathaniel[5] and a whole nest of cousins. Uncles health is not very good. He suffers a great deal with rheumatism. His hand is drawn out of shape considerable. He is as poor as the general run of Crawfords, has an appointment in the police department at a salary of $600 a year, lives at 67 Horatio Street, nice brick hous and well furnished. His wife[6] is dead and has one child living, Miss Caroline B. Crawford, or as she styles herself Carrie. Who by the way is a very fine young lady, not particularly handsome but good, is neat and tidy and seems to be very much a Lady. I like her very much. She has several cousins, second cousins of mine living in the City by the name of Bodine & Nelles/Weller(?). Very fine young ladies all of them. Shouldn’t wonder if I married into the family. Carrie has told me of more relations living in Orange County then I could put down on two sheets of foolscap. Aunt Catherine[7] (Father’s sister) is alive and lives in Orange County. If we stop over here this winter I will go and see her and if I come home this winter I will bring Miss Carrie along. I spoke to her about it and she expressed herself very much pleased with the idea. Let me know where Mother[8] is. I have not heard a word from her since she went to Canada. My love to Luke[9] and the Children not forgetting yourself. Write soon and believe me to be ever your brother,


Enclosed please find photograph

[1] Battery Park on lower Manhattan

[2] The four companies were quartered at Grammercy Park

[3] Off the coast of Pelham, New York

[4] Volunteers

[5] The younger brother of Hiram Crawford Sr. (Hiram’s father)

[6] Ethalinda (Bodine) Crawford

[7] His aunt, Catherine Crawford (4-23-1797 – 03-12-1868), was married to Johannes Miller Dickerson and lived in Orange County, New York

[8] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[9] Sarah’s husband, Charles Luke Keith Jr.

August 11, 1863 letter to Sarah Keith from Nancy Betts

August 11, 1863

To: Sarah Keith

From: Nancy Betts, Beamsville, Ontario, Canada

Was at Mary Hanys Campfield Station 18 miles from “your Unculs.” Was glad to hear Hiram survived the battle in Pennsylvania. Wants Sarah to write to David and Hiram. Is staying at Prowley Kilhorns. Says she is anxious to get home but can’t come until she gets her money. Brother Stephen is at “Alymer 12 miles from St. Tomes.” Can’t find where William Crawford and family are. Heard that John Oneal is dead; his wife may be in London.

Scan of 1863-08-11 Nancy Betts to Sarah Keith

Beams Vill – August the 11 1863

Dear Sarah

I take my pen in hand to write afew lines to you. I received your letter last weeke a wensday. I was at Mary Hanys Campfild station eightteen miels from your Unculs. He brought it to me. I was glad to hear from you and yours and David[1] like wise and hear that Hiram[2] had survived that awful Battel in Pennsylvany.[3] O how glad I was to hear that he was yet alive. I have fellt verry anxous about him and to hear from him if he was alive. I som expected to git a letter from him. I wish that you wold write to to David and Hiram fore me and when I git home I will pay you for your trobbel and the postege stamps. My health is verry good at present. I feal verry anxous to git home agane and I want to hear from from the rest of the boys but I cant com till I can git my monny. They have promest to pay me about the 23 or the last of this month. I have injoide my self verry well the most of the time in visiting. I am now at Prowley Killhorns. I expect to stay hear this weeke and perhaps a part of the next. They expect to have a Ministrual Conferns Meeting hear next weeke. They have invited me to stop withe them. Brother Stephen[4] is at Alymer 12 miles from St Tomes.[5] I do wanto see him before I returne home if I can. I cant find out whare William Crawford[6] is and famly so I cant see them. I heard that John Oneal is dead and whare his wife is I cant find out. She may be in London[7] to. Any rate, I think of stoping at London if Providence permit on my return home. I went aviseting yesterday with Mr Killorn and wife and tow other ladys to Mr Samuel and Jacob Pritchens. We had a plesent viset. I think now that I wont git away from this place till the frist of next month. I wish you would write to Prosper[8] and inquire about his health. I have ben anxous to hear from him this som time. Write agane when you git any word from the boys. I will close by giving my respets to all inquireing frinds and my love to your self and famly. This is from your mother

N B Betts

[to] Sarah Keith

NB Give my love to Ethen and the girls. Kiss Sisse and Bub[9] for me. Tel them granma wants to see them all.

N B Betts

[1] David “D.C.” Crawford, Nancy’s son

[2] Hiram Crawford Jr, Nancy’s son

[3] The Battle of Gettysburg, July 1 to 3

[4] Stephen Comfort, Nancy’s brother

[5] Alymer, 12 miles from St. Thomas

[6] The brother of Nancy’s first husband, Hiram Crawford Sr.

[7] London, Ontario, Canada, where Hiram and Nancy lived before moving to Michigan in the early 1840s

[8] Prosper Crawford, Nancy’s youngest son

[9] Ethan, Nancy, Hannah, Louese and James Keith, respectively; Nancy’s grandchildren (Sarah’s children)

July 4, 1863 letter to Sarah Keith from D.C. Crawford

July 4, 1863 

To: Sarah Keith 

From: David (D.C.) Crawford, Sterling City, CO

Mother went to Canada. He is proud of Hiram for serving his country. He says if he were needed he would go, but not until then. Wants to know how many children Sarah has.

Scan of 1863-07-04 D C Crawford to Sarah Keith

Sterling City    July 4th /63

Dear Sister

A recent mail brought me a long letter from one whom I have not seen for many a day. It brought to my mind vividly scenes that were evident and have passed into oblivion. This person above spoken of was no less than (Sister Sarah). I opin you was very happy to hear from you. Mother[1] has gone to Canada I presume. She will have a nice time amongst her old friends. I am glad she had an opportunity of going. To day is the glorious fourth. This is a small place about 3/4 Union 1/4 secession. Ive hoisted the Stars & Stripes and have celebrated in a limited way the Independence Day of our forefathers. Three cheers for the old flag, long my she wave on the land of the “free and the home of the brave.” Its the the sincere wish of your humble servant that this once happy Union but much diseased[?] country may again soon enjoy the quiet peace and happiness that it was wont to do in former days. I wrote to Hiram[2] twice in the last two months but have received no answer as yet. I shall try and write him a few lines this mail. Hiram is a good boy and I am proud that his is doing service for his country and home for hizself. I hope he may survive this wicked war and we all may again be permited to enjoy each other. Surely if the war should close soon I may pay you all a visit this fall. There is some talk of the (Draft) being enforced in the territory although this territory has furnished its quota long ago. I have always said that if I were needed I should go but not before. If the war is not closed soon many predict we will have war at home. God knows I hope not but if should I am with them. We have great many Rebels throughout the territory and if war should take place it will be ______ ______ from the fact. The mountains would be a great advantage to guerilla parties. As regards my photographs I do not think they are good ones but the time I had several taken and you can all have one and when I get better ones taken I will send them. How many children has (Lois)[3] got and also youself. I have lost all track of them. I wrote Mother some two weeks since but did not send it. Will send it this mail with Hiram likeness when he was young[4]. You can open the letter if you choose and then send it to Mother with ______tintype[?]. Please write soon.

From your brother

DC Crawford

[to] Sister Sarah

[1] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[2] Brother, Hiram Crawford Jr.

[3] Sarah’s husband’s daughter, Lois Keith, by his first wife

[4] The transcription of this sentence could be wrong; the “original” of this letter was a photocopy and D.C.’s handwriting can be extremely hard to read

June 7, 1863 letter to Sarah Keith from Hiram Crawford Jr.

June 7, 1863

To: Sarah Keith 

From: Hiram Crawford Jr., Belle Plaines, VA

Was surprised to hear Mother had gone to Canada for a visit. Jennie wrote that Ed had given up farming and that Pros was running the farm. “Mary always thought more of him [Pros] than the rest of the family.” The fight on May 3 was the hardest. He believes no battle on record shows a musketry fight of so lengthy a duration.

Scan of 1863-06-07 Hiram Crawford to Sarah Keith

Camp 20th Ind Vol near Belle Plains

June 7th, 1863

Dear Sister

Your welcome letter was received last night. I had almost despaired of hearing from you or Mother[1]. I wrote Mother twice, one just before the fight and one since and thought it very singular, for Mother is much more prompt than I be (and that you know is saying a good deal for her). Thought that the twenty dollars had stopped somewhere on the road and am glad to hear that it is all right. The first knowledge that I had of Mother being in Canada was by a letter from Jennie[2] received the 4th. I was much astonished. Mother had written something about such a journy in some of her letters but I hadnt any idea that she seriously entertaind any such an idea, much less going. Well I hope she will have a good time generally, and come back satisfied with everything and everybody.

Jennie wrote me that Ed[3] was running on the Burlington and Quincy R R and that Pros[4] was running the farm. I guess that Ed has made up his mind that the old Gentleman[5] will out live him[6], and that it aint going to pay to punish himself any longer by hoeing corn and potatoes. Well I dont think the farm will suffer any by the change for I guess that Pros is the best farmer and Mary[7] always thought more of him than she did of all of the rest of the family. I should have written to Pros if I had known where he was. He will hear from me soon.

That was a tough old week that we spent across the River[8]. I was as near used up when arrived back to camp as I ever was. The fight on Sunday (May the 3d) was the hardest on record. A continual roar of musketry was kept up from sunrise to 12 Oclock am. I believe no battle on record shows a musketry fight of so lengthy a duration. The Artilly was not idle although not quite as heavy as at Malvern Hill[9], it was enough so to make it very interesting. I might with propiety say decidedly interesting. Our supported Batteries for five days, in fact all the time most, which account for our small loss. One shell struck in my Company, knocking the arm off from one and severely wounding two others. We was very much surprised when we received the order to retreat. We supposed that we was whipping the Rebs all the time.

Everything has went on quietly since we returned up to the lst of this month when we received orders to be ready to march at short notice, sent off all our superfluous baggage, got ready and are quietly awaiting the final order. Which way where or when remains to be seen.

My love to Luke[10] and the children. Answer and oblig.

Your Brother

Hiram C

P.S. Please accept the enclosed note and oblige.


[1] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[2] Virginia (Worley) Crawford, his brother Henry Crawford’s wife

[3] His brother, Edwin Crawford

[4] His brother, Prosper Crawford

[5] Edwin’s father-in-law, Patrick Hamilton

[6] Ironically, Edwin died in 1866 and Patrick Hamilton outlived him by almost four years

[7] Edwin Crawford’s second wife, Mary (Hamilton) Crawford

[8] Probably the Rappahannock River, returning from Chancellorsville

[9] A defensive battle fought in June 1862 as the Army of Potomac retreated following its failed attempt to march on Richmond, VA

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

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

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.

Scan of 1862-07-29 Nancy Betts to Sarah Keith

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

June 3, 1862 letter to Luke & Sarah Keith from Nancy Betts

June 3, 1862 

To: Luke & Sarah Keith

From: Nancy Betts, Omro, WI

Has sold her interest in the farm. Expects to start for Michigan the first of June. Louisa had another young daughter. LP [Pros] is working on the Wolf River. Aunt Mary Wickersham is at Oshkosh. Ann Lacey got a letter from “canaday” saying that Uncle John Patterson died two months ago. Wants to come live with Luke and Sarah rather than any of the boys. Louisa wants her to live with them. They are willing to let her have a room and let Pros board with her. Pros wants to go to the gold diggings.

Scan of 1862-06-03 Nancy Betts to Luke & Sarah Keith

Omro   June the 3 1862

Dear Luke and Sarah

I take my pen in hand to write a few lines to you to let you know of my heath and affairs. My heath is better at present then it was last spring but I am not well yet. The dyspepsia[1] hangs on yet. As to my business I have got it all settled. I have sold my Farm or my intrust in it for four hundred dollors to Darwin Rice. He makes annual payments at fifty dollares a year and more if he can till it is all paid and in trust on the whole at ten persent. I expected to start for Michigan the first of June but it was so that I could not leave then. Lousia[2] was not confind till the 12. She has a nother young daughter[3]. She is verry smart and up rond the hous seeing to he work. The rest of the famly is well. L P[4] is up to the boom to work on wolf river[5]. We expect him home to day. He was well a few days ago. Your aunt Mary Wickersham[6] is at Oshkosh yet but she expects to start for Iowa in a few days to her other daughters[7]. I went to Oshkosh a few days ago and made her and Ann Lacey[8] a viset. They whare well. Lacey[9] has inlisted in the war. He was in the battle of Pittsburg landing. He said he was paralyze by a shell bursting near him. He is gon to git discharge. Ann received a letter from Canaday from som of her friends. It stated that your uncle John I Patterson[10] was ded. He dide two months ago. The papers states of having som hard fighting at Richmond. We have not heard of the perticulares yet. It made me feal sad and sorrowfull when I read this morning in the Milwaukee sentinel of the twentieth Indiana Regment wich is in Gen Kenneys [General Kearny] Division beaning in som of the hotest of the Battel. O Sarah it would be sorrowfull news to me to hear of his death[11]. It seames that I could not be reckencile to it but I know I must be if it is the will of God. I hope he will give me grace and strength to bear up under it and to know that he doeth nothing rong. Louesas brother Stuard MacCan[12] was in the Battel of Pittsburg landing. He did not get wounded. Corfee was in the the Battel to. He is promoted to Lieut. He was sick and came home on a ferlow but has returnd back. Mr. MacCan[13] and famly has move to Minasota. Thear are all discontented. The old man sais that any the poorest placees in Wisconson is better then thear. I havent heard from David[14] in five monts. I do feal unesey a bout him but I know that he is in the hans of a mercyfull God that is abel to take care of him. Luke and Sarah I would say to you both I would like to live with you If you are willing I will support my self if you could let me have a room. I feal as though I would rather live with you as with the any of the boys. Louesia says I had better live with them. She thinks I will be better contented but I dont think so. If you think it is best for me to stay in Wisconsin or you havent a room for me or if it is a go to be any disadvantage to you I feal as if it would not be wright for me to go. Wich way you disside on and think best for me to do. I want you to write soon and let me know. Robert and his wife is kind to me. They are willing to let me have a room and have Pros bord with me and we stay as long as they do. They dont know how soon they may have to give up the hous as they havent rented it for any serten time. If they had a home of thear ond it it would be difernt. Prosper has a roveing mind. He wants to go to the gold digdings or some whare elce. He dont no whare. He has botherd me this year past about going away. I told him if he would be still and say no more till I could get things stratned I would give up all claims on on him. He expects to go to school this winter.

[to] Luke and Sarah Keith

Nancy B Betts

Rober and Louesia joines with in sending our love to you all

I dont expect to go 2 Mich till after harvest

[1] Indigestion

[2] Louisa (McCann) Crawford, Nancy’s son Robert’s wife

[3] Melissa “Lizzie” Crawford, who was born May 12, 1862

[4] Nancy’s son, Prosper “Pros” Crawford

[5] The Wolf River was used for floating timber down the river to sawmills in Oshkosh. As travel increased, the river had to be cleared of rocks and debris and a dam constructed to maximize the floating of logs downstream. There were as many as five companies running logs down the river at once and each cut their own “water mark” on each of their logs which were then sorted at Bay Boom. Perhaps Pros worked at either clearing the river of rocks or in the actual sorting.

[6] Nancy’s sister, Mary (Comfort) Wickersham

[7] Phebe Catherine “Kate” (Wickersham) O’Connor

[8] Mary Wickersham’s daughter, Angelina (Wickersham) Lacey

[9] Alonzo Lacey, Angelina’s husband

[10] Nancy’s sister Elizabeth (Comfort) Patterson’s husband

[11] Hiram Crawford Jr., Nancy’s son, was in this regiment, so it is assumed she is talking about him. From June 24th to June 30th, the Indiana 20th was engaged in fierce fighting, protecting the rear flank of the retreating Army of the Potomac. This phase of the Civil War, known as the “seven days battles” decimated the Indiana 20th Regiment, which started the battles with more than 800 men. The roll call at Harrison’s Landing in early July could account for only 350 men. The rest were either killed, wounded, captured or missing. During this peiod Company E lost nearly all its officers, resulting in a field promotion for Hiram Crawford Jr. on July 1, 1862 to 2nd Lieutenant.

[12] Steward McCann, Louisa’s brother and Robert’s brother-in-law

[13] John McCann, Louisa’s father

[14] Nancy’s son, David (D.C.) Crawford

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