1863: Henry Tyrus Rice to Lydia Matilda (Rice) Smith

This letter was written by Henry Tyrus Rice (1841-1912), the son of Solomon Joel Rice (1805-1860) and Mahoney Diania All (1813-1863). He wrote the letter to his older sister, Lydia Matilda (Rice) Smith (1839-1911), the wife of Fulton Smith (1830-1921) of Charleston township, Tioga county, Pennsylvania.

In September 1861, Henry enlisted in Co. G, 45th Pennsylvania Infantry. He was wounded on 3 June 1864 in the fighting at Cold Harbor and was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps. He mustered out of the service on 1 January 1865.

Image of Henry T. Rice & his first wife

Addressed to Lydia M. Smith, Cherry Flats, Tioga county, Pennsylvania
Postmarked Hustonville, Kentucky

Camp near Hustonville, Kentucky
Friday, May 15th 1863

Dear Sister,

Once more I attempt to write a few lines to you to inform you of my health which is good and hoping this will find you the same as it leaves me. I received yours of the 6th which I was glad to get but when this comes to hand, I hope that Mother’s health will be better than it was when you wrote to me.

Well, I am on picket guard about a mile from camp and so I thought that I would answer your letter as I got it last evening and Ely was not here now so I will write a little for him. He is detailed for cattle guard and is not with the company now—only as he comes over to see the boys and to get the mail for himself. He was over here yesterday but the mail didn’t come until after he had gone back and so I don’t know when he will come over again. And when he does come, I will give the letter to him and let him answer it then.

Well, as you spoke about Em Eaten being cetched with Fowler B., I don’t know as she is any the worse for that for to hinder her from keeping my likeness but if she does want to get rid of it, she can give it to [sister] Roset[ta]. But if not, she can keep it until I come home and then I can get it myself. If Em wants to get rid of it, she will give it up without my sending an order to get it and unless she will give it up, she can keep it and when I come home, I will do as I like, whether she shall keep it or not.

And you said that I had better let [sister] Lucretia have the one now and so has Kate and if Rosetta wants my likeness, I will have it taken and send it to her as soon as I can get the chance to have it taken again. I am not a going to send my likeness to any girl and then write to them to give it up to my sisters for if they don’t see fit to give it up, they may keep it until I come home and then I can get them myself. Well, enough about that.

Well, if Miles and the little boys can do the work, I am glad to hear it for George can work out then and as work hands are scarce, he can get pretty good wages.

Well, as you spoke of Sumner W. Pettes in Elysport, I showed it to Sum and he requested me to tell Fulton that if he would send the amount of what he owed him yet on the note, that he would send the money to him next payday and I will let you tell Fail [?] for him and have him send the amount in the next letter that you write to me and I will tell Sum and I think that he will send the money as soon as he can get it.

Well, as I don’t think of anything more, I will close my scribbling. I send my love to you. Write soon. I remain as ever, yours truly, Henry T. Rice

To L. M. Smith

Please direct to]
Mr. Henry T. Rice
Co. G, 45th Regt. P. V.
9th A. C. Kentucky


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