A Civil War Story: Correspondence from a Nephew to His Aunt in the wake of the Fall of Richmond

Town Records of Woodbidge, Connecticut

Civil War correspondence from the Ralph Chester Smith family papers (donated by Ann Electa Smith Cassidy)

Letter to Francis Castle Bradley (wife of soldier Isaac Bradley) from her nephew Dwight A. Sperry


Jordan April 4, 1865

My dear Aunt Francis,

I received your letter to night and hasten to answer it. I am very sorry to hear that your baby is dead. I have a little brother also. He is four days old. I suppose you have seen of the fall of Richmond. They are firing night and day around here. I had a cannon but I loaded it so heavy to day that it busted.  I was the one to touch it off but none of the pieces hit me. Some of the pieces flew a great ways.

We all wish that you would come out here and make a visit. We think that it would do you good. And we want you to see the baby. I commenced going to school yesterday. To the Union School. We have a very good teacher. I suppose all the boys around there go to school.

You tell Justus if you see him that I would like to have him write to me. Does Winston Sanford live in New Haven yet. I wrote to him not long ago but have not received any answer yet.

I have twenty-four chickens now. I have some very nice chickens. They are very good layers. I get about fifteen eggs every day. I suppose you do not keep chickens now.

Aunt Elisa started last night for New Haven to live.

I am expecting to raise quite a flock of ducks this season. My dog is a playful as ever. He is a great ___ dog. He is the best in town I guess. I have a very nice little kitten. It is very playful.

Mary North is here with her husband but is agoing to leave tomorrow. She is agoing further west. Did you receive that Jordan paper I sent you. If you did I suppose you read about the flood. I was working at the wheelbarrow shop at the time of the flood. I have been working there about three weeks. I worked on some buzz saws. I worked on the same saw that a boy cut his hand off on. He cut it off right up to the wrist and his right hand at that.

I must close my letter in hopes that you will come out and make us a visit.

From your affectionate nephew Dwight A. Sperry

P.S. write as soon as possible —


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