Archive for June 1st, 2013

In Search Of Lawtons & Basingers: William Starr Basinger Writes To His Mother, July 20, 1865

June 1, 2013





                                              Johnson’s Island

                                                                July 20, 1865

My dear Mother – My sister’s letter,

with $5, (has?) come.  Yours of 12th came

this morning.  I am glad you (say?) (no?)

thing to R or P or any such.  I feel pre-

cisely as you suppose.  And I prefer

you should not see old (Sippn?)  Indeed,

when I wrote that letter, I expected to

have more use for money than I will

have.  But, as I wrote you all the 16th,

I have from Canada the information we

wanted, & there is no longer a sufficient

motive for going there.  The rest of my

plan, however, I must carry out,& for

that I can procure (?) in N. Y.  I

have already, in a great measure, (?)

(?) for it.  I am glad, however, to

have Allen’s address; though I must

know something more about them before

resorting to them.  A Mr. Devill (of N. Y.)

has written to Col. Stockton, a fellow prisoner,

to let him know at once whether there

is such a person here as myself.  I do

not know him, or what he wants but

suppose he’ll write.  Col. S. was in (?)

(?) old regiment, & helped to bury his

remains.  Col. Clark, whom I mentioned

to you last winter, is also here.  I

have not suffered at all for want of

clothing, though my supply has been

scanty.  A clean shirt daily is a luxury

not to be thought of in a prison; es-

pecially as we do our own washing.

I had yesterday a letter from Mrs. Hays

to inform me she had sent me some

things I wrote to her for.  When I am

really in want, I’ll call on Mrs. Smith.

Mrs. H. told me of Guerard’s death.  Who

could have done so much for poor Geo?

I (?) it was (Dr. Dupose?).  That saves

me some delay in Baltimore.  I can’t

stop to see Mrs. Webb.  Mr. Devill

thinks we will be released by Aug. 1.

We have many statement of similar

tenor.  Heaven grant there may be

something in them!  This long delay is

a very “weariness of the flesh.”  Yet I

find nothing pleasant in the antici-

pation of a return.  Henceforth life has

little in it but more duties, divested of

all those sentiments which make du-

ties pleasant.  Can Jack D. & Pearson

receive letters?  Love to all.

                                Affly Yours

                                                Wm. S. Basinger