Letter written by Private John D. Beach of Company G, 55th IL Infantry, to his mother, from the Benton Barracks in St. Louis, MO. Beach describes the regiment’s Christmas dinner and that they received 5 revolving rifles. He writes that he received a letter from a woman named Hannah, and requests a photograph of her. He expects to receive his monthly wages in the middle of January, and requests that his mother reply to him soon, before they are ordered to move again.
Dear Mother I now take my pen in hand to write a few lines to you to let you know that I received your letter just a few minutes ago and had one from Hannah the same time we had an Oyster Supper Christmas the Capt treated us yesterday we went down to the arsenal and received our arms we got rifle muskets we was to have five shooters or revolving rifles the boys say we have
revolving rifles they warrant them revolve a man every time he shoots them they are five shooters they will shoot five time if we load them that many we will have them exchange I expect when I got your letter J Bennett came and says who is your letter from I told him from Hannah I let him see it and made him believe I did not get but one and he did not know the difference I do not show him my letters that likeness
will be safe if she will send it I shall think a great deal of it I will send mine up in this letter to you and you give it to she can keep it at our house if she does not want to take it home but I want you to send hers just as quick as you get this I must close now I expect we will get pay off about the 15 of January I hope so I must write to Hannah I guess though I will wait untill she get up to your house she said she would be there New Years at supper I would
like to be there to tell mary Hinco to write I will make things all right I will warrent no one to see any thing she sends me and they will not know as I know any thing about her I must close it is getting dark I will write more next time write just as quick as you get this for I do not know how long we will stay here no more my love to Mary Hinco I am pretty well rather white yet from you son
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I saw plenty of secesh down at the arsenal they are dirty looking
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I never saw a pretty girl in St Louis yet, they are scarce
John D. Beach from LaSalle, IL enlisted in Company G, of the 55th IL Infantry on the August 23, 1861 as a private. He was promoted to corporal and re-enlisted on April 1, 1864. After being temporarily transferred to Battery A of the 1st IL Light Artillery during the Atlanta Campaign, he rejoined the 55th IL and was mustered out at Little Rock, AR on June 14, 1865.