Prison guard writes home to brother from Rock Island Prison


Date Written

Oct. 4, 1864

History Referenced

Nelson C. Green was 20 years old when this was written.
The recipient, Charles Green, was 13 when it was received.

Nelson C. Green died 42 years, 2 months, 28 days after writing this.
It was written 158 years, 11 months, 29 days ago.
It was a Tuesday.

Rock Island Barrack
October 4, 1864

Dear Brother,

I received your letter on last Friday evening and was glad to hear that you had got nearly all of the fall work done up so that you will be ready to go to husking corn pretty soon and then after that you will be ready to go out to hunt rabbits after I get home for I expect that the rabbits will be nice and fat by that time and then I want to go and hunt some this fall after we get home which I expect will be about the middle of next month for our time is out on the twenty ninth of this month. And then it will take us a week anyhow for to go to Philada. And we may have to stay there a week more before we can get mustered out and paid so that we will not be home much before the middle of next month.

Well Charley; Chaney Smith, Harry Hinkson, and myself were out this forenoon running around in the woods and we seen two nice rabbits and there is thousands of wild ducks on the river but we dare not shoot them for if there is a gun fired on the island it causes an alarm and often a good bit of bother and if they find the one that fired it, if he has not a good cause to shoot, he is generally put in the guard house and is sometimes tied up by the thumbs.

Well Charlie, you wanted to know why that reb had a chain and ball on his leg. Well the reason was that he killed another reb that was in prison with him so they put them on him until he gets his trial and I expect that it will be pretty soon for there is a court marshall in session here now and they are trying a reb and I expect that his trial will come next.

Well Charlie, some of the rebs here enlisted in our army to go fight the Indians out in Minesota and last night there was one of them shot in a mistake and the most of our fellows have gone to the funeral and I intended to go to but it raining so I thought that I would stay in and write to you and keep dry instead of going out and get wet. There was part of our company had to go for to fire a salute over the grave for he is to be buried with the honors of war for he was counted as the same as any of us for he had enlisted to fight for us. There is about sixteen hundred enlisted in our army.

Well Charlie, there is plenty of trees on the island so I will get one and send to you . I don’t know what kind to get but I will try to find some strange kind if I can.

Well Charlie, here is a ring for Phebe it is one that the rebels made it is made of muscle shell and you can Martha that I will get a paper and send to her and Frank. I got the two papers that was sent last. Well I must quit writing and hunt a leaf to send-

Scans of Letter