27 January 1864: “Dear relatives and friends I once more take up my pent to write you a few lines to inform you that I am as yet among the living.”

Item Description: Letter 27 January 1864 from Robert S. Sifford written from Hammond General Hospital at Point Lookout, Md., where he was a prisoner of war. The letter is generally addressed to family and friends and is meant to be shared; it is found in the papers of Harriet McIntosh, who was his niece.. “Wmc” in the letter may refer to William McIntosh, another uncle of Harriet McIntosh, and J.F. refers to J.F. Sifford, Robert’s brother, who would be dead by March of 1864. Sifford was a private in the 52nd North Carolina Infantry Regiment and after the war settled in Tennessee.

18640127001

[Transcription available below image]

Item Citation: Folder 9, Harriet McIntosh Papers #4794, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Hammond, Genl. Hospital

Point Lookout Maryland

Jan. 27, 1864}     Dear relatives and friends I once more take up my pent to write you a few lines to inform you that I am as yet among the living. I am well. I am [cancelled ampersand] worse and have bin for 3 months. Wmc is so he can go on crutches, but not near well. JF. is in camp about one mile from here but I don’t get to see him now. My treatment is very good, and has bin since being a prisoner. My absence from home appears a long time. A great many of my reg. are here please write to me Direct to Hammond general Hosp. Ward 14. Bed 69. Point Lookout MD. Hand this to all inquiring friends I hope to meet you all again when this ? Lee Remember me though many Broad Rivers and Mountains between us ly. Take care of Dill and both for me. Yours for Ever

R.J. Sifford

This entry was posted in Southern Historical Collection and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 27 January 1864: “Dear relatives and friends I once more take up my pent to write you a few lines to inform you that I am as yet among the living.”

  1. Liz Bezera says:

    Here are a few comments and revised readings that have piled up over the past few months. Brackets indicate my readings:

    Nov. 7
    Old [Binah] went into pantomime as is her wont whenever she sees the buggy coming up the avenue. The plantation looks like desolation, fences tottering, building dilapidat[ing], in fact everything giving [unmistakeable] evidence of neglect [incident] to the war [times] that are upon us. Returned to town to dinner.

    Nov. 13
    My other two brothers W.A. & W. F. remained at their homes. [His brothers are W.A. and W.F.]

    Nov. 12
    Your letter of the 29th ult. from Edgewood containing the announcement of Uncle Lucius’ death reached me on the 7th. Luther from Lynchburg had fully prepared me for this sad intelligence, but, while the shock of it was this les-sened, it did not less grieve me. I believe that in my dear Uncle you and all yours have lost one of the kind-est, most steadfast and [disinterested] friends we ever had – one of those whose ["adoption tried"?] had shown us how fully he could be relied on, how sincerely he was to be esteemed and loved. For my own part I can truly say he was he very first person in the world, after my im-mediate family [circle], to whom in adverse circumstances I should have turned for comfort and for assistance, so well assured did I feel of his interest in me.

    In addition to the two conditions just [advented?] adverted?] to them is another worth regarding,

    (Lt. Col. Fulmantle of the [Cold Stream] Guards) on the Get-tysburg Campaign. It appeared first in Blackwood’s Magazine for Sept. and was copied in the Rich [Richd with the "d" as a superscript abbreviation for Richmond] “Record” for Oct. 8.

    About the small hours’ of the night, after an un-usually long halt, the slumbering [inmates] of the coach [were] startled by the discovery,

    Nov. 16
    Lee has got to be saying he know of NO way, not he knows of ONE way.

    Nov. 29
    Your letter of 26th [probably ult.] was received yesterday. [See the Nov. 12 letter, above -- ult. meaning the last month]

    Dec. 6
    We heard you were ordered to Weldon to [relieve] Ransom’s Brigade.

    Last line of the letter reads: Ham [Young? Long? George?] is here on _ has [resigned??]

    I should have said; is a regular spark among the ladies, still continues to bite at the widow. Yours etc., John S. Henderson

    Dec. 27
    End of entry reads: Read Horne on the idolatry of the Jews this evening; very drowsy. He’s reading David HUME, not Home.

    Jan. 7
    I wish our Ladies Solidiers Aid Society in Hillsboro would make about fifty prs of gloves
    I wish YOUR Ladies SOLDIERS….

    Jan. 27
    Dear relatives and friends I once more take up my [pen] to write you a few lines to inform you that I am as yet among the living. I am well. I am [a nurse] and have bin for 3 months. Wmc is so he can go on crutches, but not near well. JF. is in camp about one mile from here but I don’t get to see him now. My treatment is very good, and has bin since being a prisoner. My absence from home [appear] a long time. A great many of my reg. are here please write to me Direct to Hammond general Hosp. Ward 14. Bed 69. Point Lookout MD. Hand this to all inquiring friends I hope to meet you all again when this [you see] Remember me though many Broad Rivers and Mountains between us ly. Take care of Dill and [Bill? bull?] for me. Yours for Ever

    Would less-badly wounded prisoners be used as nurses of their comrades?
    “When this you see remember me” is/was a common inscription in autograph books, yearbooks, etc.