This letter was written by someone named Edd who worked in a military department in Nashville in 1865. It seems clear that his parents lived in Waverly, Tioga County, New York, and that he expected to be released from his situation soon though I can’t tell from the letter whether he held a military or civilian job.
He wrote the letter to his friend Albert (“Bert”) Hayden (1844-1918), the son of Sidney and Florilla E. (Miller) Hayden. Sidney Hayden was a successful brick manufacturer in Athens, Pennsylvania. The letter was addressed to Alexandria, Virginia, where Bert’s uncle Julius was in business. Presumably Bert was employed with his uncle. In 1870, Bert went to work for the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company. Bert was married to Ruth Eleanor Lester (1857-1910) in the 1870s.
Addressed to Bert Hayden, Esq., Alexandria, Va.
Care of S. Hayden
July 5th 1865
My worthy Friend Bert,
Your kind letter was received with a good deal of pleasure and although it is soon after the Fourth, and so beastly warm that I can hardly breathe, I have concluded to answer it this afternoon. I am enjoying the best of health and hope by this time that you will have recovered entirely from the effects of that fever. It was awful dull here yesterday and I did not have a bit of fun. I got pretty full of lager, however.
I suppose you had a huge time in old Alexandria, did you not? I saw Jack Shepperd ¹ last night. He told me that himself and wife were going to start for home next Monday. I expect to be out of a job very soon now myself. The man I work for is discharged and I suppose they will very soon tell me they can get along without me. But I don’t know hardly how they will for I think I have been the main stay of the Department since I have been here. That’s a joke on the Department, isn’t it?
We are having blackberries here until we can’t rest. I don’t put myself outside of many. That is a mistake. I am going to send my Darkie out in the country tomorrow to get some. June and Tozer are well and getting along after the same old sort. I received a letter from home this week. The folks were all well and still living in Waverly. Little Jack is tending bar at the Waverly House. They were going to have a big time at the Snyder House [in Waverly] on the 4th. Going to commence dancing at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. I will bet there was some sweating and lathering between the legs. Don’t you think there was? I guess you can tell who that young lady was without any explanation.
Well, I must close for it is almighty hot that I can hardly breathe. Hoping you will excuse the shortness of this scratch and that you will soon favor me with an answer.
I remain your friend, — Edd
¹ Jack Shepperd was the son of Preacher Shepperd of Waverly.