This letter was written by Charles K. Reppert (1842-1921), the son of Jacob Reppert (1814-1901) and Christina Margaretha Reppert (1817-1902) of Allegheny county, Pennsylvania. In 1860, the Reppert family was enumerated in Harmar, Washington county, Ohio.
Charles wrote the letter to his younger brother, William Eichbaum Reppert (1844-1913) and mentions their brothers George and Henry Reppert in the letter. William was serving as a volunteer in Co. C, 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry at the time of this letter in July 1864. William died in 1913 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Charles was educated at the Univ. of Western PA (now Univ. of Pa), and at Marietta College in Ohio. From Aug. 5 to Dec. 1864, he was a private in Maj. Bennett’s regiment of reserves. Until his retirement in 1904, his occupations over the years were varied:
clerk for the Pennsylvania RR
clerk for Peoples National Bank for 10 yrs.
treasurer for J. Painters & Sons for 25 yrs.
cashier for American Steel for 5 yrs.
and worked for an Incline Plane co.
From this letter we learn that Charles and his brother William were investing partners in the soap business in Louisville, Kentucky, marketing their own brand of soap at 417 Market Street.
Addressed to William E. Reppert, Co. C, Anderson Cavalry, Nashville, Tennessee
Postmarked Louisville, KY
Sunday A.M., July 24, 1864
I received your letter of 22 this morning. You say you still have no horse. Well when you do get one, you will be apt to get a good one after waiting so long. I suppose you have no horse to take care of.
The weather has been very pleasant here for the past two days—quite cool in the morn, night and evenings. I hope it will continue so the balance of the summer but do not look for it to do so. I received a letter from Father [on] Friday. They are all well at home. Harry and Sis did not get off on their trip as the boat quit running. He said nothing definite of the oil well & was waiting to hear from [brother] George. He said Kier and Foster have gone into the coal business & are not doing much in the soap business, They have been having warm weather there also.
I am very well, Will. Am happy to say [I] eat what I want. I must have become acclimated. I do not hear of much sickness here but am afraid when the dog days come from the condition of the streets and alleys there will be.
I worked in the factory till Friday when I seen the sales had been very few for the week & I went around the city to grocers for past two days and yesterday sent out 6 fifty pound boxes and 7 dozen one pound cans and some 5# cans. I done considerable talking and carried some small cans with me & would give one occasionally for trial. I wish we could do as well everyday. I believe our sales will increase as other soaps are so high and they sell the same wholesale as by retail. Father did not answer any of my inquiries about bar soaps. I expect to hear by Tuesday. I believe it will pay. I still have the man in tow. I spoke of selling ½ interest to [him]. He is going to quit the dry goods business. He has money. I want to get another man—a March manufacturer in too. We can run both with [the] same steam power & then after we get started, I will sell out to them & go into something else. I have had several talks with him. I will keep him in tow till I am assured it would be to my interest to sell. I would like to get our money back. I believe we could do better with it in other business more agreeable.
They are very strict on Kentucky just now. No one can get goods or ship them without he is loyal & has a permit. Good for her for in my opinion she deserves it. It is killing on some merchants and hinders trade generally—hence to Rebeldom.
There is to be a draft for 500,000 more on September 5th. “No commutations.” Don’t know how our ward is getting along. They say the Negro enlistments have cleared Kentucky. See Mr. Dickey anyway, Will, & let me know. I am sorry you can not get up. I wish you were was here today. Take care of yourself brother & God bless you.
Your brother, — Charles
I am writing with your pen and think it a mighty good one and see nothing wrong about it. Do you want it sent to you. Try it and if you think it out of order, send back and I will attend to it. I am going to take a smoke here as luck to you. Yours with a gusto. — C. K. R.
I put a notice in the paper. Will send you the paper, See under Special Notices. Intend getting some cards struck off so Fushon for to stick up in the groceries & dealers.
Reppert Bro. & Co.
Silver Pearl Soap
Pat. April 19, 1864
None genuine unless bearing our trademark Silver Pearl Shell
For sale &c. & &c.
What do you think of it? Will cost about $25 for 500 of them. Did you get the stamped envelope I sent you?