Other Letters in the Monfort Papers

These letters are neither to nor from the principal correspondents in the collection (Elias Riggs Monfort, Margaret Monfort, Emma Taylor, and J. Gordon Taylor).

  Hanover students from His167 "Speaking of American History" (Fall 2017), taught by Sarah McNair Vosmeier, transcribed these letters. The originals are available at the Duggan Library Archives, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).

For more on the people, places, and events discussed in the Monfort Papers, see the Guide to the Elias Riggs Monfort Letter Collection.   Other transcriptions and page images from the Monfort collection are also available.


Ethan Brown, letter to Kate, 24 Oct. 1861, folder 2, box 1, Elias Riggs Monfort Collection, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Brayden Smallwood, HC 2021.

Camp Read House Va
October 24th, AD 1861

My Friend Miss Kate,

Your kind letter of the 12th inst was received in due time and the contents thereof afforded me much pleasure. Yes it almost made me homesick; don’t you know that it is very unkind to write to me about the “peace & comforts of Home”? But you did not intend wrong nor do I mean to say that you did any, but you made me kind o’ think of that long deserted place. We have moved our camp thirty miles down the Miss since I wrote to your sister Emma and to find a smaller & more comfortable camp. There are no other  soldiers here now but our Regt. And that fact contributes some to the Comfort of the Camp, for in this business the old Adage “the more the merrier” will not apply. Soldiers of different Regiments will quarrell and that causes trouble.

There is some talk now of our spending the winter at this point. Should we be ordered to do that, we will have a nice time freezing & starving alternately night and day. About three weeks since when we were on our march to  [Chapmberville?] I met a man at [Payton’s?] who told me that the River very seldom is ever froze over at that place in winter but I have since concluded that that man either knew nothing about it or wanted to deceive me for it is cold enoug now to convince me that before one month we will have hard freezing weather ie judging from the way things go “down in America.”

I have been unwell for the past week not dangerously but sick enough to confine me to my quarters I am happy to find my self much better tonight, though. Soldiering agrees with me pretty  well; of course we are compelled to endure somethings that are not “so pleasant” but they afford a good topic for conversation. when [over?]  & also put us in a condition to enjoy comforts the more when we find them.

I received a letter from Chas the other day he tells me  that he thinks seriously of going into the service himself I am in some accounts sorry to hear that but still, I know he can do service and I think it is the duty of every man that possibly can to enter in and settle up this business with Jeff & & his followers, though I have long since despaired of ever again seeing the Glorious United States as I have seen them under one government. We may vanquish them in every battle for three years and yet if seven of the states persist in refusing to unite with our government we will not be able to force them in.  A rebellion of one or even two states might be suppressed but our rebellion has now assumed too massive a form to be  manageable. You inquire about our chaplain.  We are supposed to have one. At least I have been introduced to a man who was called Chaplain but have never yet seen or heard of his officiating as such in this Regiment, he has been absent in [Ciniti?] for the past two weeks.  Our Captain is also in Cincinnati at present, expect he will be absent about two weeks. When he returns maybe I’ll get a chance to go down to America. I have the whole charge of our Company now and a heavy one it is, for we have about the worst company in the Rgt and for the past three days they have been unusually bad that is made bad by some brandy that was captured the other day by a scouting party. Soldiers seem to throw off all restraint and those who at home would not touch liquor will here get drunk at every opportunity -- & consequently be disgraced by being sent to the guard house. -- I have two such cases on hands for tomorrow. One a Corporal he will have his office taken from him & the other forty-eight-hours on bread & water. You may be sure it is no pleasant task to see men who I think as much of as I do of our soldiers  treated this way -- but we must have discipline & to have it must resort to such means at the above. Why don’t [Gureton?] write to me? he needn’t wait for me. Write good long letters -- you can’t imagine how much good it does me to get a letter now days. Excuse this letter it’s pretty cold & I’m writing with my gloves on. These canvas houses are not as warm as some other kinds that I have seen.

Give all the news you write and remember me to my friends & oblige  Your friend

Ethan A. Brown

Charles L. Lundy et.al., legal document, 26 Oct. 1861, folder 1, box 1, Elias Riggs Monfort Collection, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Grant Larimore, HC 2021.

We, the undersigned, Each and Every of us, do hereby give up and relinquish all our right, title and claim, to any fees that may have accrued to any of us, in the the cases of The State of Ohio vs Henry [Sauer?]. – The State of Ohio vs John Rauth – The State of Ohio vs Earnst Gabe. Glendale Oct. 26” 1861.

Chas G. Lundy
George Brown
H [Aliultun?]
Dr. [L?] Robbins
F. [Braecher?]
[illegible: burn mark]

Dottie Young, letter to Will, 24 Jan. 1862, folder 3, box 1, Elias Riggs Monfort Collection, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Madison Snyder, HC 2020.

Glendale Female Sem
Jan 24th 1862

Friend Will,

Write and send me your address &. I will fulfill my promise if you still desire it We were quite surprised to hear of your removal from Urbana & regret you have gone for we anticipated a number of calls from you &. Sergeant Major Murdock but we were doomed to disappointment.

We wish you much success & that you will return safely to your home and friends


“Fannie sends compliments” 

Sergeant Major R Murdock
“Kindness of Adj. W. Guyune”

Compliments of Fannie & Dottie Young

James H Anthony, letter to John Torrence, 14 May 1862, folder 3, box 1, Elias Riggs Monfort Collection, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Kea Callihan, HC 2021.

May the 14th, 1862 [Leulion?] Ohio

Mr John Torrence Dear Sir I Received you letter some 2 weeks ago and was very glad to hear from you onse more

This leaves us all well and hopeing it may find you enjoying the same Blessing although I heard that you was deaf but I hope that your hearing has come to you by this time 

Peter is still here he has not got any Better of his Rupture.   well John I have nothing of interest to write on the present occasion.  I delivered the message you sent to Manda, S. she said all right she would answer your letter if you wrote to her and last Sunday she was asking me whether I had written to you.   I told her I would write this week[.]   I think she has been looking for a letter from you John if you want a nice little wife to sleep with you had better Secure her at once as she has a good many beaus  I showed her your letter and it pleased her[.]  the Rest of the girls that you was acquainted with is all Right Side up yet[.]  Eliza Davis is still liveng at John Swinks  yet she asked me about you nearly every Sunday whether I have heard from you   Hetty Swink & John Tilton is a coarting [courting]  about Right[.]  he sets up with her about twice a week some times until about Mid night  I thing that both of them ought to have there asses smacked

[in the margin: I expect to send this by Samuel Ruckman]

Henry Blake was brought back dead about 3 weeks a go  Mary Martin took it very hard

I have 2 brothers living not far from where you are I want you to try and see them  Tom Anthony lives on the calf pasture River on the Road leading from Staunton to Beverly just 18 miles before you get to Staunton North west of Staunton and Brother John lives 8 miles futher west on the warm Spring Road running from warm Springs to Harrison burg [.] he lives just about 8 or 10 mile east of Williams where I understand you had som wagons burned up and horses Stold[.] if you go from Monteray to Staunton you will go Right past Toms house if you go in the neiboarhood of them enquirees of the natives about them and if you find them tel them about me and you write to me about it[.]  I would be so glad to here from them as it has been about 18 months since I heard from them[.] don’t forget to make enquires about them Right to me as soon as you get this and let me know just where you are as I know all about that county it may be you may work in my old Virginia Shop as you go towards Staunton it is in the forks of the Road just where the road turns of to go to Staunton from Beverly it is a log shop with a shed on both sides of it just 18 miles befoar you get to Staunton   

Jas H Anthony

Write to me as soon as you get this  

[in the margin: Mary Marling told us severa times to Send you her Best Respects, so now you have got them


Nathanael Collins McLean, letter to “Gentlemen,”  4 Aug. 1862, folder 4, box 1, Elias Riggs Montfort Collection, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Andrew Clegg, HC 2021.

Head Quarters 2nd Brigade 1st Division
Camp at Sperryville August 4th


In making your selections for company officers in the new regiments, you no doubt have considered it important to have officers well qualified to drill the soldiers placed under their command, and in this view, at his request I most cheerfully recommend for your appointment to such post  in advance of the one he now holds, as to you may seem best Elias Monfort 2nd Lieut Co F 75th Rgt O.V.I. Lieut Monfort is well qualified by his military knowledge, practical experience, and natural ability to render important service in any new regiment, and his appointment by you would aid the cause so far as the efforts of one officer can do so.
Jo Military Board of Ham County

Very respectfully,
N.C. McLean
Col Comg [Commanding] 2nd Brig, 1st Div.


George Perkins, letter to friend, 16 Nov. 1862, folder 4, box 1, Elias Riggs Monfort Collection, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Jackson Wheeler, HC 2021.

Covington Ky.
16 Nov. 1862.

My Dear Friend:

Although I have been so engaged that I could not have written to you sooner, still I should have purposely delayed an answer to your kind letters of a late date in order that I might gather together more definite intelligence concerning the sad subject of its inquiries --

In the effort to do this I have been mainly successful --

You are informed as to Metcalf being wounded at Richmond, taken as a prisoner by the rebels, remaining in their hospital a short while and subsequently paroled into the hands of our surgeons. His wound – which was in the knee -  was not considered dangerous, but it superinduced Typhoid Fever, and even with  this his natural vigor of constitution sustained him so for a while that no fears were entertained for his recovery. His father visited him during this time and returned home satisfied of his ultimate recovery; but the insidious complaint had fastened certain death upon him and it came at last.  His life was not threatened for perhaps a week before his decease, and then he began writing for those at home to come and see him.

The family – all the time nursing the hope that he would soon be well again – were painfully startled on being informed one day that his remains lay in a hearse at the door.  This was their first intimation of his death, and after he was buried, for several days, those letters – written while he was looking  death in the face, and momentarily expecting his summons – came one by one, in the slow and irregular post, bearing their burthens of anguish as though to mock the bereaved household in its great grief.

I suppose that his treatment while sick was as good as could be in the place, and under the circumstances – but it is sad to think of one so good and kind and affectionate as he himself was dying with no solace or attention save what were afforded by the cold and unfeeling conveniences of an hospital, with none, out of so many that knew him and loved him, to spend with him the last few moments of his stay in the world where he had ever lived in an unselfish devotion to the noblest and kindest traits of the human character --  I scarcely dare think of the many times we have talked of our old friends of college days, and of the many happy times that awaited us in the future when we should visit, and be with them again.  Poor Met!  It is a pleasure not in store for him.  He is gone now, and to me – accustomed to be always associated with him – sorrowing recollections will be always present when visiting our old haunts, or meeting our old friends.

It needs not my poor words to assure you that you have lost a friend who scarce spoke of you save in the best of words, and in a manner that always betokened the highest esteem.

Pardon this hastily written letter, and if I can be able to call and see you soon, either at Glendale or at home, it would be a great pleasure to me.

Yours very truly

Geo Perkins.

Robert Reily, letter to Reverend J.G. Monfort, 13 Jan. 1863, Folder 1, Box 1, Elias Riggs Monfort Collection, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.)
Transcription by Gracie Phillips, HC 2021.

Stafford CH Va
Jany 13’ 1863

Rev. J G Monfort


Knowing that  it would be gratifying to you, it has long been my desire to drop you a line commendatory of  the conduct of your Son 1st Lieut. Elias Monfort. But being so much occupied in [menchly?] also so much of my time having been taken up with the necessary duties of the Regiment, so long under my sole command, that I have been necessarily detered from doing so.

Throughout the whole of our Western Virginia campaign under [strikeout: Milroy] Generals Milroy, Schenck Fremont – Pope & Sigel also, more recently, in the 11th army camp under Sigel. I have seen much of Elias --  and always have taken an interest in him. He is one of the very few Officers of the regiment who can be said always to have been at their post. In regards the company to which he is attached as one of the best drilled and disciplined companies of the regiment[.]  no company I [believe?] has been better held together -- throughout our hard marches, hard fighting and harder fare [--] than Co F. No little credit for this is due to Elias yet of course much is due his sterling commander.  

I regard it as a matter of [specia patulation?] to you sir, that your son has escaped the ordinary and terribly pernicious vices of the Army. Profanity, vulgarity, and intemperance.

It pains me to admit that he has been not been with out the example in any one of this Soldierly qualifications before him in this Regiment, and that too, in this high authority and last, the not least your son enjoys the esteem and respect of every officer in the Regiment. My earnest prayer is that he may long live to enjoy the same and to still contribute his valuable services to a cause so worthy. With [great?] respect,
I am your most [illegible]

[Rob?] Reily, Major
75 Reg OVI  

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