I believe this letter was written by someone named “Martha D.” of Indianapolis.
She wrote the letter to Abner Hyde (1841-Aft1900) who enlisted as a musician in Co. B, 34th Indiana Infantry, on 30 September 1861. He mustered out of the service three years later on 21 September 1864. Abney resided in Pennville, Jay County, Indiana. Abney was the son of William Hyde (1818-1913) and Eaura (or Ura) Howell (1813-1880).
At the time this letter was written, the 34th Indiana Infantry would have been in garrison duty at New Madrid, Missouri.
April the 17th 1862
I received your letter and was glad to hear from you. I am well at present and I hope when these few lines come to hand, may find you the same. You wanted me to write and tell you what the people think about the war. They think that you will be back to Indianapolis. They got up a sort of petition and went about to see how many they could get to sign it for them to come back to Indianapolis for their health and then I want you boys to come home. I think that that we would have a little fun.
Mary Jane and Ev Hoover is a coming out here Easter and I think that we will have a little fun. But not so much as if you and Ed was here. I think that if you and Ed Ames [were here], we would have a little fun. I think that if Ward comes home he had better buy his boy a suit of soldier’s clothes.
Well, you say that the wheat is up a foot. The wheat looks nice here. But the people hain’t commenced a plowing here yet — there has been so much rain here that the ground is too wet.
You said that you heard that ___ eyes had ______ but that ____ ___ fore he was afraid that his eyes would shine so bright that the Rebels would find them. I think that you had better hurry and come home to Lance Gorges funeral for I think that she can’t stand it long if he don’t get her there ______ ______ ______. ____ Has Griffith the other night a visit. She couldn’t come and _____ went over and stayed with her.
Well, if the ____ is so thick, I wish that you would send some up here for B____ Fararr. His health is open ready to catch everything that comes along by the girls. [He] says that they are afraid to go a past him for fear he [might] swallow them all Yankee that wrote is _____ have another miniature taken out and send it to her. She thinks that there was never anybody in the world like him. Ask Yankee if he knew what ______ ____ the state to him. There was _____ come home yesterday. He has been sick. Jim Gillson is a getting better but he looks sad yet. Well, I can’t think of anything more to write at present. Excuse my poor writing. Write soon.
— Martha D.
Give to Abner Hyde