December 5, 1863

Grafton, West Virginia

My dear General:

Allow me to tender you congratulations with the rest of your friends, on the new laurels you have won for yourself and your command in the late battles that drove the Enemy from his “strong places” on “Lookout Mountain” , and inflicted on his panic stricken and dismayed legions one of the deadliest blows to the Rebellion it has received. A few more such, and the bloody drama is ended… My earnest prayers for your safety, success, and happiness, you will always have.

Most truly,

Your friend, S.N. Sherman

S.N. Sherman to Oliver Otis Howard [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]

November 12, 1863

Lookout Valley, Tenn.

My Dear boy,

I have just received a letter from Mamma. She says Guy has improved in reading. I am glad to hear this for a poor reader seems like a poor scholar. In this part of the country I have not met a little boy who can read or write. There are no school houses. Hardly any of the grown up people can read. They make their mark. […]

From the high mountain the rebels throw shells down every day with their guns: only one or two have done us any harm. They fire at us in the morning. […]

Lovingly, Papa

Oliver Otis Howard to his son, Jamie [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]

October 30, 1863

Dearest

We have passed through another encounter with the enemy and providentially have escaped unharmed. My Corps left Bridgeport on Tuesday the 27th and marched some fifteen or sixteen miles encamped at a place called Whitinder. You can hardly imagine a rougher country – rocks, hills and mountains with deep valleys. We met with coal miners on the top of the high peaks with an arrangement of a car, tramway and rope to let down the coal. [Illegible name] had a log-house [...] one large woman and several small children. How poor, how filthy, how ignorant the people are. One abandoned house at the Depot was pretty fair. It had two rooms. We had it swept and a fire built. With [illegible] well out and some misgivings about the enemy we had a fair night. [...]

Oliver Otis Howard to his wife, Elizabeth Ann Waite [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]

Ocotber 24, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps, Army of the Cumberland, Bridgeport

Dearest,

We received a letter written to Chm. and mailed Oct. 16 – It had reached him in eight days and I am glad to hear Jamie is so well and you say nothing of Guy’s illness so I presume his fever too was soon over. “Ruby has a little cough” to keep company with papa I hope nether will last long. This is a cold damp place, more so than Augusta it seems to me. [...]

Oliver Otis Howard to his wife, Elizabeth Ann Waite [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]

October 19, 1863

Bridgeport, Ala.

Dearest,

Yesterday I was lucky enough to get a letter dated the 9th it was nine days on the way. You last said Jamie had begun to recover, but he hadn’t gotten full use of his fist yet. The one didn’t say one word about him and so I must infer that the little fellow is well. I was sorry to find Guy feverish again. How poor his digestion has always been – nuts, acorns and such like he will have to forgo. I suspect he is like his father. My cold holds on unaccountably. I cough pretty hard and raise. The climate is peculiar – fogs on the mountains and along the [illegible] always chilly mornings [...]

Oliver Otis Howard to his wife, Elizabeth Ann Waite [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]

September 23, 1863

Hd qrs. 11th Corps

My dear sister Lizzie,

Otis just came in and said as he had now Officers Gen. Schurg and Col Burchbeck in his tent he feared he would not be able to write you and wished I could do so – said that he was very anxious still about Jamie that he had rec’d nothing later than the telegram and your note in pencil of the same date. Mrs. Stinson’s was of the same date. Says that he is well – I never knew him to have so much anxiety as he has about dear little Jamie and I do trust we will get more cheering news from you soon. [...]

Charles Henry Howard to his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Anne Waite [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]

September 20, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps, Catlett’s Station

Dearest,

I received Mrs. Stinson’s letter yesterday and began to realize how sick our poor little Jamie is. In dispatch of the 18th…was two days later. The at present makes me fear he is yet not better, but I cannot yet realize we shall lose him. I say and try to feel as you do, “My will be done.” God has been truly gracious, long-suffering and offers tender kindness to us. Mrs. Stinson says you look pale and worry. I hope you will not over-work but I know you cannot spare yourself, she said mother had com, but did not say whether Gracie had come home. Jamie said in his little room room: “God loves Jamie” and I feel sure, Papa loves Jamie. When he is delirious he does not realize his suffering.

I write very slowly because I keep stopping. It is Sabbath morning about 10 AM. The weather has become very cold. I am left 25 miles in the rear of the rest of the army to grant the communications: this is a nicely how for I can hear from home with more regularity then if I was on the front line. John says I have but ten minutes more. I can think only of home. [...]

Oliver Otis Howard to his wife, Elizabeth Anne Waite [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]

September 14, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps

Dearest,

I received your bundle of letters with two most welcome ones from yourself. I had already began one to Grace and intended to send it to Leeds as you said in the letter from July that you would probably have been there for a whole. I sorry to hear that our little Jamie is so small, but are in hopes that you and Dr. Briggs by the divine blessing will soon cure him.

Oliver Otis Howard to his wife, Elizabeth Anne Waite [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]

September 8, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps,

Dearest,

I get more and more frightened everyday. I think you must be still visiting and cannot write, I think you must be sick and cannot. I remember that roughly cough and am afraid it is holding on. I did not write you at Farmington for you intended to go to Leeds so shortly I sent my first letter there – one from Washington with a check and two or three since I returned. Day before yesterday I wrote Guy a letter and directed it to Augusta. The days are now quite warm and considerably monstrous. [...]

Oliver Otis Howard to his wife, Elizabeth Anne Waite [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]

September 7, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps, Va.

My dear Guy,

Papa begins to wonder why he does not get a letter from Mamma. Is Mamma sick so that she cannot write? Is her cough bad? Are any of the children ill? How is that sweet little baby who talked in his own way and pulled his father’s whiskers? How is Jamie with his keen black eyes and his quiet form? How is sister Gracie, with her loving heart? And how is our manly boy Guy? Did you have a happy time at uncle Rowland’s? And how is papa’s mother, who used to have him, not many years ago as her little boy? Has Grandpa’s finger got well? I want to know all these things and whatever else you can tell me about your visit. [...]

Oliver Otis Howard to his son, Guy [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]