Co. K, 19TH MA. Infantry

Harrison's Landing Virginia - Aug 9th 1862


Dear Wife,

                                    I have recently received your welcome & expected letter of the 3rd last and as usual was delighted to hear from you again.  Nothing of any interest has transpired since writing you last.  Except a reconaisence to Malvern Hills which was made a few days ago.  We did not go as our General (Gorman) excused us - but the troops that did go report every thing successful but a few men were killed & I guess the object for which the move was made was attained which was to draw a force down from Richmond so that they could not all go against Pope.  The three thousand prisoners from Richmond have arrived in camp some of which I have seen.  They give quite a hard account of the state of affairs in R. They were treated well as far as civility & kindness goes  but suffered some from want of proper food which is very scarce article there.  We cannot talk much about hard times & high prices at home yet  while the Rebs pay 1 $ per lb. for sugar, .75 for bacon, $1 for pork, $20 for flour and everything else is so expensive.  Except clothing which can not be chased at any price.  Tea is also quite high--being $18. per pound--rather dear drinking I should say - so as far as such matters are concerned.  I think we have the best of the bargain. They willingly pay 50. per ct premium over our treasury notes & are not afraid to say slighly that they expect to get beaten.  I see the papers speak as though the war would close by fall & I sincerely hope that it will- although I doubt it very much.  We are having beautiful summer weather here and until withering the past few days it as not been excessively warm. Yesterday was a very hot day & I understand the thermometer stood at one hundred & seventeen in the shade.  The nights are also beautiful being cool and light. We occasionally have a little shower which serves to brighten up things considerably & cool the air.

                        I have had a little touch of the scurvey but am now much better. It attacked me my limbs and troubled me considerably as I was almost unable to walk for a little while.  I am now stronger & I think now that we have vegetables we shall not be troubled any more with this disease brought on by eating too much salt horse or slab pork properly speaking. I am in much better spirits than I have been any time since leaving home.  For a little time while you was unwell & my own health a little poor I did feel rather low spirited but now that you have recovered I feel all right again & mean to keep so if I can.  Burnham is quite well again while John is much better.  Both send kind regards to you.

                        I was delighted to hear of your speedy recovery especially that your breasts did not trouble you. You must take the best of care of yourself.  Do no hard work especially washing.  So Maggie is glad to have a brother is she? Well she can be just suited as she now has both a brother & a sister both of whom I hope she will love very much & be kind to.  Tell Cora I am glad she is going to take brother out to ride but am afraid she will not come out as far as here.  However, tell her I will come home to her & then he won't cry for father.  She must be good to him and take good care of him & mother.

                        Be sure and tell me in your next whether you receive state aid or not.  I have written you three times upon the subject but suppose you must have forgotten it in your answers --With best respect to all inquiring friends I will close with love from your affectionate Husband,




                                                To Maggie—

                        I hardly know what to write to my little daughter Maggie.  I would like much to see you myself & have a good kiss from those little fat cheeks.  I suppose though as you have the baby to kiss now you could hardly spare me one, could you.  What shall I do when I get home.

I cannot hold my three babies so I guess I will take my two little girls & let mother take the boy- how will that suit you?

                        I want you should write me a little letter when mother writes again & tell me how you are getting along at school--how you like and what you are going to call the baby  & I want you & Cora to give the baby three kisses apiece from me & I send lots of them to you and Cora.


**Karen J. Bentley sent the transcription of the letter written by Noah Bentley (Bently on tombstone) who died July 4, 1892 and is buried in Wabaunsee Cemetery, Wabaunsee County, Kansas.   This is her husband's great-great grandfather.  This was transcribed by her daughter. This gives you a unique picture of this moment in time at this particular place.  The letter according to Karen is in a delicate condition so some words are hard to decipher her daughter put the words that are possible but not totally confirmed as the distorted word in red.