Saturday, December 5, 2009

Chrstmas Letter from a local Civil War soldier

My son had a wonderful opportunity to transcribe hand-written letters for the Chemung Valley Historical Society. This one in particular is from a young Civil War infantryman from Elmira named Charles Personius. In this letter, he writes to his mother at Christmastime. His anticipation for his visit is so evident.
Also, his grammar and spelling choices are as accurately depicted as possible. I wish you could see his beautiful script, as well.

Christmas Morning
Dear Mother
I will try
finish up the sheet which
Ella commenced to write on
though I have nothing of
importance to write about
except to inform you that
we are well and enjoying
christmas finely and expect
to have a nice dinner of
your own cooking which
I am sure will relish first
rate for I allways liked
home victuals better than
any other When Pa and Ella
came down here their trunks
got delayed at Baltimore
and they did not forward them
on so Walker telegraphed
there and they will be in
on the express train about
noon so if we wait untill
one or two oclock I think
we will have a fine time

Pa and Ella came quite
unexpected but I was
awful to see them I am
afraid we wont be able to
keep Pa here a great while
for he is getting uneasy
and thinks that he must
go back home He cant
stand it to stay from home
like the Captain and myself
for we don’t think of such
things I must close for it
is time for the mail to leave
so good bye for this time

This from Charlie


  1. Kathleen, I was touched by this letter. Nothing changes. A young soldier's letter to to his mom today would be the same. nike

  2. How interesting. I love getting a peek into the real lives of folks. That is cool that your son got to transcribe this.