This letter was written by Alfred J. Snider (1840-1903), the son of John Snider (1808-1878) and Mary Albertson (1818-1886) of Bucyrus, Crawford county, Ohio. During the Civil War, Alfred served in Co. E, 34th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI), a.k.a. “First Ohio Zouaves.” According to Ohio Military Records, Alfred enlisted on 30 July 1861 at Bucyrus and he served until 30 September 1864 when he was discharged at Columbus, Ohio.
After the war (1866), Alfred married Viola Jane White (1845-1915) in Columbus and continued to reside in Crawford county, Ohio.
This letter was addressed to a friend named Eliza A. but I cannot make out with confidence the surname on the envelope.
Addressed to Miss Eliza A. _____, Bucyrus, Crawford county, Ohio
Charleston, West Virginia
September 23rd 1864
According to promise I drop you a few lines as we arrived safe at Charleston finding the friends generally well. Benia [Benja.?] & I have visited the hospitals today finding the boys in grand spirits generally. We are a going up the river to Camp Piatt ¹ tomorrow—the first camp that we ever camped in Virginia—that was 3 years ago the 28th of this month. We expect to spend two or three days up there. We will soon have our visit out—that is in Virginia. It won’t do to stay here too long after staying so short a time at home or the folks will think that we have forgot about home. I have to close for Binia says it hain’t worth while writing much for we will be home before three years this time. So excuse this short letter.
Hoping these few lines may find you and all the friends well as it leaves Benia and I at present. I shall ever remain your friend, — A. J. Snider
It’s not worth while answering this for we won’t be here long enough to get your answer, Benia hain’t sick anymore since we left Bucyrus.
¹ Camp Piatt was named after Colonel Abraham S. Piatt who commanded the 34th OVI. The regiment entered the war in 1861 as “Piatt’s Zouaves.”