1865: William M. Griswold to Parents

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William M Griswold, 74th Illinois Vols

This letter was written by William M. Griswold (1843-1890), the oldest son of George H. Griswold (1814-1900) and Hannah R. Jackson (1821-1904) of Rockvale, Ogle county, Illinois.

William mustered in as a private in Co. G, 74th Illinois Infantry on 4 September 1862. Transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps on 1 July 1863. According to the Illinois Veterans Index, William stood just shy of 5′ 8″ tall, had dark hair, brown eyes, and was employed as a farmer prior to his enlistment.

After the war, William married Mary A. Mumma (1842-1890) and resided in Ogle county, Illinois.


Cairo, [Illinois]
July 15th 1865

Dear Father & Mother,

I received your kind letter which I was looking for a good while. I had began to think you was not a going to write any more. I suppose you are looking for me to get home every day. There is talk of mustering us out as soon as they can get some other troops to relieve us. I don’t care how soon for the boys are about got me chawed up. I have lost 20 lbs. since I have been here. We have to drink the river water with ice in and when we can’t get ice, we have to drink without. There is a great many of the boys sick out of my company. Since we have been here, no 8 and 5 sick in the quarters. I believe that the whole company will be sick if we stay here much longer but I am in hopes we won’t. As for my health, it is good so far.

The Fourth [of July] went off like any other day—only the lieutenant got a keg of beer for the boys out of the company funds.

You said in your last letter that I must excuse you for not writing any longer letters. I don’t know what you will call this one for I don’t have much time to write. Tell Frank and Emily I will try and write to them soon. So I must bring my scribbling to a close. Excuse me for not writing any longer letter. I expect to be at home by 10th August. No more at present.

From your son, — W. M. Griswold

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