This letter was written by a woman named Susan to her friend, Peter Lackiner of Pultneyville, Ontario county, New York. Peter initially enlisted in the 11th New York Infantry in May 1862 but deserted was at Chicago serving as paroled prisoners. He later enlisted at the age of 28 to serve in Co. F, 97th New York Infantry. Peter was wounded in the arm on 13 June 1864 at White Oak Swamp but recovered to muster out with his company near Balls Road Crossroads in Virginia on 18 July 1865. Peter’s older brother, Isaac Lackiner, also served in the same company but was killed in action on 6 May 1864 in the Battle of the Wilderness.
Peter’s parents were John Lackiner and Levina Vanderhoof of Holland, who came with their family to the United States in 1857.
March 18th 1865
I now will take my pen in hand to answer your kind and welcome letter and let you know that the letter which I received from you pleased me very much. I will let you know that I am well and I hope with all my heart to hear from you the same. I live at home now. I expect to work again just as soon as I get a place. I expect we shall move to our new place two weeks from today. Our folks are going to live on the crick road about two miles from where we live now and a farm of sixty acres.
Dear friend, I heard your brother Sim[on] say that you was fixing for a fight so I thought I would write in a great hurry for fear I would never hear from you again. I would have written you a letter before this time but I wanted to send my photograph and I did not have them taken so I waited for a nice day to have them taken. We had a very nice day and a splendid sleigh ride.
Dear friend, I wish you would be as kind as to send me your photograph as soon as you can. I am very anxious to see you. I can’t speak to you but if I can only see your picture that will please me till you come back. I hope the war will soon close that you may come and talk with me. I read in your letter that you wanted me to still trust in you but I keep myself straight till you come back. Then we will talk the matters over together andI hope that time will soon come.
Dear friend, do you remember that Sunday when you ______ on the ground. That Sunday night you stayed for supper. Your other brother would not stay but you did. That pleases me very much that night and I hope that time will soon come again that you may stay for supper and walk to the table with us and more, I would like to treat you very much. I do not expect you will send your picture in this answer but never mind that. Write as soon as you can and all the news and send your picture as soon as you can get it.
I think I will close. I will send you my best respects from father and mother.
Dear friend Peter, I will send my best respects from myself with a sweet kiss and much love. Write soon as possible.
Friend Peter, I will send my best respects from your friend, — Susan