Soldier who would die as POW in Andersonville writes his sister


Date Written

Nov. 9, 1863

History Referenced

Thomas P. Conrey was 22 years old when this was written.
Thomas P. Conrey died 6 months, 3 days after writing it.
It was written 159 years, 10 months, 14 days ago.
It was a Monday.

Camp Dennison Nov 9, 1863

Dear Sister,

I received your letter written the 31st of Oct. and it found me better and I hope that these lines will find you well and enjoying yourself to the best. I had a letter the same day and one from Hannah Haselton she is out west here she is at Red Wing Minnesota she is going to work there this winter for her Cousin Otis Smith brother to Minie Smith. I was not a little surprised to see a letter from that place.

You wrote about coming to see me thinking that you would go to Aunt Mary’s. I dream a great deal about coming to see you and the rest of them. I mean to try and come after I get my pay. You said you saw Joe. What is the reason he would not speak to you? I had a letter from Maria the other day. She wants me to come awfuly and wanted me to come to Milford first and give her a ride. She says all the girls have beaus. She says that she tells them that she will have her rides when the war is over. She is very sily having so much to say about beaus don’t you? Especially about other girls having them.

If I should ever come home (I'd) take care of Mother first before I got maried to any one, I want not to begger myself and the girl and let my Mother starve for the want of my care--But take good care of my mother and sisters first and then if I want I will take a wife--don’t you say so Mary?

Have you any letters from Frank Dennis lately or have you hurt him so he dare not do so again? Maria Tarbell says that Ann Gutterson has got a beau from Massachusetts. I believe she said.

I do not know much more to write this time. When I get my pay I’m going to send you and the rest some rings with silver setts. pleas accept this with the love of your brother.

Thomas P Conrey

For he told me to come over when he got it and I should have some but we had to come an so there it is. Dan tride to found out what you wrote about his letter but I would not tell him. It is raining here today and it rained yesterday and the water ran into our tent and wet our blankets and two of our boys clothes but we got pretty well used to it.

I hope this will soon be closed up so we can come home again alive and well. I hope that shall have no more battles for have seen enough of it to satisfy me.

Mary, I want one more box. Please to send me another and I will be so thankful. It shall cost you nothing but the labor for if you get the money I sent home you can pay all expenses out of that for if you get it you eighteen dollar at a pull if you get all of it just as soon as possible and I stand a chance to get it now. Put in a lot of brown bread and a small piece of butter if you can spare it and some spare nutcakes and a lot of goodies some ginger snaps and some sweet cake and some aples and I would like a paper of magmisa for the stomach burn for I had it awfuly yesterday; it seemed as though it would strangle me it was so bad and I can feel it coming on again today. I shall think as much of that and the brown bread as anything. I tell you I have not had any for so long it will taste good. Let all the stuff get thourly cold and it will keep. Do not wrap the stuff in paper but some cloth, for paper does not do it any good. I should like some good thick mince pies so bake them in something small like a saucer. I would not ask you or anyone to put you to so much cost or trouble but I do hanker so after it. I feel pretty hungry for it and I calculate to pay for it out of my ages if I live to come home. If I don’t Mother will have the whole of it for you no that I got no wife to spend it for me but enough of that. The box you will have to get Uncle Luke to put some hoop iron around the box bouth ways and nail it strong for the other box got smashed open by some one and I do not believe I got all of what started in it. My leather gloves I did not get nor see them.

Direct the box to Thomas P. Conrey
Ninth N Y Volunteers
Ninth Army Corps
Newport News Va

The letters the same as before to Washington D. C.

I will write more next time good bye from your brother
Thomas P. Conrey

Scans of Letter