This letter was written by Adie Allen Stevens (1845-1917), the son of James Stevens (1818-1846) and Caroline Ann Agnew (1823-1915) of Blair County, Pennsylvania. Adie wrote the letter from Camp Hooker in Lookout Valley near Chattanooga while serving in Co. G, 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment (Anderson Troop). He enlisted in that regiment on 28 September 1864 and mustered out of it on 21 June 1865.
A biography for Adie states:
Adie Allen Stevens was a babe of one year when his father died. He was carefully reared by his capable and judicious mother and was educated at Tipton, Charlottesville and Altoona, where he resided at the time Altoona was first laid out as a town. He was a volunteer of the Civil War, enlisting in the First Pa. Vol. Inf., and reenlisting in the 15th Pa. Vol. Cav., and continued in the service until the end of the war, his record being that of a brave and efficient soldier. He then learned photography and from 1865 until 1870 devoted himself more or less to perfecting his skill in the art, but in the latter year he settled down to the serious study of law, entering the office of the law firm of Neff & Riley, at Altoona. In March, 1872, after being admitted to the bar of Blair County, he located at Tyrone and ever since then has been recognized as an able exponent of the law, practicing in the Supreme and Superior Courts of Pennsylvania and in the United States District and Circuit Courts. He has been successfully connected with a large part of the important litigation engaging the attention of the courts of Blair County, and for twenty years served as president of the Blair County Bar Association.
Adie’s only brother, Finley Stevens, was killed at the Battle of Fort Wagner while serving in Co. F, 76th Pennsylvania Infantry.
Though he addressed him as “friend,” the letter may have been written to his cousin Joseph Stevens (1844-1910) who also resided in Blair County and was in the undertakers business in Altoona.
February 9th 1865
Your truly ever welcome letter of January 29th came to hand on Tuesday, February 5th and was read with pleasure, I assure you. I thought you had forgot me but my thoughts are in another channel. I have not received the cards yet but hope to soon as they are quite a companion. Well, Joe, I must tell you some of our fun. They have what they call refugees house-warmings — that is refugees put up a log cabin and the first night after the house is finished, they invite a lot of gals and we go on an invitation of ___ and pitch in. I walked about 3 miles last night to one and when I got there there was none and you may bet that there was a gay time when I got back to camp. They all plagued me about it.
We are getting full rations ____ and put in a gay time, I tell you. I am enjoying the best of ____ getting as fat as a pig &c.
I would like to hear from Theo Aushutz or some of my old Pittsburg friends to know how they get along. Mollie Hammond is in Philadelphia. I do not know what for.
John David must be flourishing. Where is his regiment stationed. His ball tickets must run up pretty smartly now are you $25. That would take off a couple of month’s pay. Ours are not quite so expensive. The women down here are the queerest I ever saw. They have the big end of their legs down and they are nearly as wide as long. They chew a stick of snuff and if they can’t get that, they will chew tobacco. The first thing when you go into a house is, “Have you got any tobacco?” They swear and blackguard worse than any man.
Our winter is just setting in here. On Tuesday we had about two inches of snow and I went out rabbit hunting. I seen 4 but they was too sharp for me. We dare not shoot any around here. The guerrillas are plenty. Our regiment captured and burned 310 waggons in two days. That was pretty good.
There is a report here that the draft has been postponed till the 15th of March. I only enlisted for 1 year. I have 7 months to serve yet. The time flies rapidly away. I have not much more news to write to you. Hoping to hear from you soon, I remain your sincere friend & well wishes, — Adie A. Stevens, Co. G, Anderson Cavalry, Camp Hooker, Chattanooga, Tenn.
P.S. Send me along some papers to read. Excuse this scrubbing as I am awful cold.