1862 Letters

March 15, 1862 letter to Mark Lee from Jeff Chaffee

March 15, 1862

To: Mark Lee, Kalamazoo, MI                               

From: Jeff Chaffee, Camp Farnum, Washington, D.C.

Tells Mark that he should wait until the war is over before he marries. Asks him to tell Grandpa and Grandma that “they will always be rembered by me as son should remember his … parents with the tenderest of thoughts. I may never see them again but I hope I may. Give my love to them. Tell them that the flag that waived over them in their youthful days and which aney true Patrot loves to look upon shall be Guaded with my life.”

Camp Farnum[1]

March 15th, 1862

Well Done Mark[2] for you. Your letter came at last and took be by supprise but being used to supprises here it did not unman me for duty all to gether so I sit down to answer it. Your letter found me well and in good spirits not such spirits as you generaly get when you go to town for that is scarce here.  We have had a fine spell of weather here and we had a fine time a drilling to. Why Mark they would not give us poor devils to say our prayrs if we wanted to ever so bad but it is all for our health. Mark I think that you have had a fine time around town by your account several new cummers and several more expected. Well that one that looks so much like that certain Jef that you mentioned no doubt but what it is a smart child. God bless the (little fellers). Give my love to Nancy and John[3] and all the rest of the family and all of the surrounding neighbors and also Jo and Hellen[4]. I forgot to mention Grand Pas and Grand Ma in lucys[5] letter but I will not forgot it here. Tell them they will always be rembered by me as son should remember his remember his parents with the tenderest of thoughts. I may never see them again but I hope I may. Give my love to them. Tell them that the flag that waived over them in their youthful days and which aney true Patrot loves to look upon shall be Guaded with my life &c. Mark about your marrying[6] I think that you ha d better wait untill the war is over for it is dangerous to get maried now for may be you will have to be tore from the arms of the loveing wife to assist your country or flee in to the Comestock swamp and then what an (ass pecked). A poor wife and 5 children in distress and prospects of more instead of being less to tell and so it goes on. Mark there is no war news not so much as there will be before long. You must write as soon you get this. This is not much of a letter but I will do better next time.

From your friend
Jeff[7] a soldier

To Mark Lee
A Home Guard

——-

[1] The envelope is addressed to Mr. Mark Lee, Kalamazoo, Michigan, and is postmarked Washington, D.C.

[2] Marquis de Lafayette Lee, son of Ezekiel and Elizabeth (Strong) Lee

[3] John Warren Lee and his wife, Nancy Taylor. John and Mark were first cousins

[4] Joseph and Helen (Bradley) York. Helen was the daughter of Catherine (Keith) and Ethan Bradley. After Ethan died, Catherine married George Clinton Lee, Mark’s uncle

[5] Believe this is Lucy Irene Lee, daughter of Catherine (Keith) and George Clinton Lee

[6] Mark married his first cousin Julia Ann Lee, daughter of Charles and Juliana (Davis) Lee, on June 18, 1864

[7] Jeff’s last name, and his relationship to Mark, is unknown at this time (Update of 04-02-2017): Further research indicates that this most likely is Thomas Jefferson Chaffee Jr. who was married to Luke’s niece, Frances “Kate” (Keith) Chaffee


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