Letter – James Peckham, 29 January 1865


Hi-resolution scans of the full document can be made available for a fee. Please see our Image Request page for details.

Letter written by former Colonel James Peckham to his mother, from St. Louis. Peckham is now a tobacco inspector, and he and his wife Kate have a new house. Governor Thomas C. Fletcher has promised Peckham that he will stay in this new role, after long talks with the Commissioner of Internal Revenue and the Secretary of the Treasury in Washington. Peckham writes about he and his wife’s efforts to furnish their new home, and talks about the possibility of visits from a few friends. Also enclosed is a letter from Kate to Peckham’s mother, in which she also mentions their new house and the recent cold weather.

-Page 1-

Saint Louis January 29. 1865

My Dear Mother

Kate & I are amusing ourselves this evening, writing letters – she to her own mother & I thought I would write you. It may be very possible that I shall go to Washington City in a week or so upon some business connected with my office, and if I do I shall return by the way of New York in order to see you. Kate & I are both well & we are now at house-keeping – got a nice place & continually accumulating something in the way of furniture. I think I shall Keep my office – Governor Fletcher when in Washington about a month ago called on the Commissioner of Internal Revenue & the Secretary of the Treasury, & had a long talk about me, in which the promised him I should not be removed. That is all I ask of the Governor, is to keep me where I am & he has promised to do so & is trying to do so. I dont think I shall be disturbed at all.

-Page 2-

Kate & I make a great fit of it, at marketing. She knows nothing about meat & I know but little, but we manage to be very lucky & get good stuff without knowing it until it is cooked up. However, we are improving & have a good girl. you would laugh to see us. We have plenty of room & but little furniture – but we are gathering a piece here & a piece there & I hope in a month or two we will be prepared to see somebody if that somebody should choose to call on us. I shall not be surprised if Nic comes west this spring. I would like to see him here and will be prepared to entertain him. Nic. Raynor tells me he bought quite a bill of good of Nic. It might do good to Nic to come out here. I know everybody here & can trot him around in double quick military style. I hope you are getting stronger & in better health. Kiss all the young ones for me. Give my love to everybody May God bless you all. Yours Affectionately


-Page 3-

Dear Mother,

James has told you about everything I believe that would interest you – we are really housekeeping at last. I teased James into it – James said I had “House” on the brain and at last told me if I would find a house we would go to housekeeping, and I found the house and we are quite settled down in it. I enjoy this way of living much better than boarding How is Amanda and the baby – has she named the little girl yet? I often think of you all and should like to see you. I have purposed writing to you and Amanda for a long time, but as usual have been negligent. James is growing so fleshy you will scarcely know him. During the past week the weather has been very cold, to day is warmer. I shall be glad to hear from you and Amanda. Kiss the children for me. Give my love to Miss Eliza Amanda and everybody else accept much yourself from

Yours affectionately Kate.

James Peckham was a member of the Missouri Legislature before the Civil War and was a strident Unionist when the state was debating to secede or not. He left the legislature and organized the 8th MO Regiment. Peckham served as the 8th MO Regiment’s Lt. Col. and led the regiment at Shiloh and Pittsburg Landing, TN, and at Jackson, MS. He later went on to lead the 29th MO. After the war he published a book on the history of the war in Missouri and General Nathaniel Lyon. He passed away in 1869 and is buried at Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, MO.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s