June 2, 1865 Washington, D.C.
The Last Letter, June 2, 1865
Letter addressed to Mrs. Levica Craig, Carrollton, MO. It was written
on a letterhead which said: "United States Sanitary Commission" and
it was postmarked Washington, D.C. No changes in the original
grammar, punctuation, or spelling have been made. It is typed
exactly as it was written.
June the 1, 1865...1, 1865.....1, 1865
My dear I must write a few lines to you to pass of the time as
I have been expecting to start Northward any day. The time seems
so long and the only way I can pass the time and good amusement
is when I have the privilege of writing so I will now proceed as
follows. Dear, my health is good and, dear, I hope and trust that
these few lines may find you enjoying the same blessing for good
health is the greatest blessing that ever was bestowed upon human
life. Dear, it has been some time since I have heard from you but
if I could only get to hear from you every week the time wouldn't
The weather is very warm but thank God our marching is ended.
This time last year we was moving on the enemy through the heat
and dust but now when we start on a campaign it will be homeward
and would have started for home today but the President requested
all business to cease for this is Thanksgiving Day. But, dear,
we will start for home soon. I am sure of this fact.
A few days ago I went to see the capital of the United States.
I went through the whole building. I once thought I had seen the
whole world but I had never seen the cornerstone until I visited
this building. Would you believe if I would tell you it was made
out of marble stone and it covers 5 acres of land. I also was in
the President's mansion. I was also in the patent office. There
I saw George Washington and his army equipment, his sword, and
his messbox, his saddle, and his tents.
Dear, I will tell you all about it when I come home. The doors
of those buildings has never been open until we came here. It has
been open for us soldiers and no one is allowed to visit the Capitol
- only soldiers and it is a sight to behold.
Dear, I will send you 5 dollars in this letter as I have borrowed
it for that purpose. Maybe it will do you a little good. Dear,
I am so sorry that I can't sent you more but, dear, when I get
it now it will all be in one pile. It will be upwards of four hundred
dollars and it is said that we will draw one hundred and 50 dollars
more according to the War Department so if that should be the case
I will be able to go to housekeeping again.
Since the year of 1864 from Larkinsville, Alabama in the month
of March I drew the last of my pay and I have only spent fifteen
dollars in that length of time. There is 18 months pay due to me
today. But it is not the pay I am looking for now it is that sweel
little cottage home and loved little family where I was so happy
and free but thank God that day is coming again and is now almost
Oh, my dear, I often think of the good messes that I will get
when I come home. So dear, I will close for the present hoping
this will find you all well.
(Signed) William Craig to my dear beloved companion
[ Note: I am the great-granddaughter of William Samuel
Craig. These letters from the Civil War were in the
possession of his grandson, Jerry Craig, and they were loaned
to me during a visit to his home in Norborne, Missouri. All of
these letters were difficult to "translate" from the
decorative script-writing; some have areas of blanks which were
impossible to decipher. Each letter retains some of its
original spelling and grammar; some punctuation has been added
for clarity; paragraphs have been created for easier reading.
Where a word or phrase could not be read, "[--unreadable--]" is
inserted; some words, such as places and names, may have "[Sherman]" immediately
following. ---Joyce Kohl ]