Letter – James Peckham, 4 July 1865


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Letter written by former Colonel James Peckham to his mother, from St. Louis, Missouri. He and his wife have both been ill lately. He writes that he is still working as tobacco inspector, but will soon be licensed to practice law and will be going into partnership with a friend named Selah Squires. Peckham hopes that his wife will be able to go east in the summer, as the conditions may be better for her health.

-Page 1-

July 4th 1865

My Dear Mother,

I have not heard from any of you in New York since my return. I have been night sick with a billious attack but am better, and now Kate is down with a severe dysentary. The weather is very hot and I never saw so many flies before. I never got that business fixed up until last saturday and before I could get so that Staunton would act, had to remoddle the the whole thing. Instead of one fifth I only now got one sixth. I though that much of a loaf, better than none at all. I am still Tobacco Inspector, but business is dull. I shall be licensed to practice law next week and am going in partnership with an old intimate friend of George, named Selah Squires. Mr Squires is from New York City recently, & has to settle somewhere west for his health. I regard him as a good enough lawyer for me to go into business with.

-Page 2-

I want Kate to go East this summer & hope she will. Ask Nic if she cant get board somewhere in the Country where she can get fresh butter milk & chickens. She is getting weak mighty early in the season & I am afraid she cant stand it here.

Kiss Fan Belle & all the youngones for me and spank Fan besides once in the while

My best to Clark & all & everybody and each one, and the whole squad, and Eliza.

I see Nic & George Bennett have struck ile. Bully for ile.

God bless you & all the rest, Remember me to Sarah & Henry.

Love to all.

Good Bye

Affectionately Your Cub


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.

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