Saturday, February 16, 2008


Footprints in Marion County (IL) 32:2 (Fall 2007) features transcripts of letters from 1st Sgt. William A. Smith, Co. F, 7th Illinois Cavalry, to his wife, Mary, back home in Marion County. Sgt. Smith was in service from August 16, 1861-December 5, 1862, when he was killed in action near Coffeyville, Mississippi. His letters (the last one is dated November 28, 1862) are being reprinted in six consecutive Marion County quarterlies. This issue (number two in the series) features letters dated October 25, 1861-December 5, 1861.

Sgt. Smith's letters provide insights into life in camp at Camp Butler (Springfield, IL), including his company's ongoing war with a pesky fox squirrel. They are also peppered with Smith's pleas to his wife to write more often, and to not worry about boring him-- little details about life at home are what he really wanted. He also tells her more than once to nag relatives / friends to write more often, and to send newspapers from home when possible. He also talks about what he's planning to do once he gets home-- sadly, though, we're only too well aware that Sgt. Smith will never go home...

Marion County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 342, Salem, IL 62881

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