In Search of Lawtons & Basingers: William Starr Basinger Writes To His Mother, April 27, 1865




                                Prison at Johnson’s Island, Apl 27, 1865

My dear Mother, I trust you have received

at least one of the letters I’ve written you since

my captivity.  On the supposition that you have,

I’ll repeat nothing.  I can’t write as fully as I

designed, for the rules as to length of letters are

more rigid than I supposed.  I understand

the limit for letters both ways is 28 lines of

letter paper, or 48 of note paper.  Remember that.

I am quite well, & fortunate enough to have fallen

in with several olf friends & acquaintances.  But

I am in want of everything.  Send me as soon

as possible a check on New York, payable

to my order for $25.  I don’t like to name a

larger sum on account of the (?)

of the mail just now.  But is far from suf-

ficient.  When we ascertain how the mails work

it will be time enough to think of further

remittance.  Direct to me by my military design-

nations & as “Prisoner of War, Johnson’s Island,

Ohio.”  Write to me often.  You do not know

how I yearn for news from home.  I must

learn to day what I wish more highly than I

like in my letters, & may this perhaps, be able in

time to give you some notion of the life here.  My

love to my sister.  Tell her to learn Spanish.

                                Affly Yours

                                                Wm S. Basinger


You can see that he has reduced the size of his handwriting to fit his letter onto one page.  That certainly makes it more difficult for me to read, and most probably the quality of the ink isn’t that good.  I’m probably incorrectly transcribing the third sentence from the end.



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