This letter was written by Frederick Reed (1841-1923), a native of Ohio, who came to Union County, Iowa, with his parents and family in 1855. He enlisted in the 17th Iowa Infantry Regiment, Co. A, and served from 1862 to 1865. After receiving his honorable discharge, he returned to Union Co. and married Mary Ann Walters (1849-1879) in 1866. The family moved to Sherman township in the spring of 1873. They had eight children, Frances Susannah (1866-1902), Harry Ellsworth (1868-1869), Joseph Thomas (1870-1876), Rachel Jane (1872-1966), Sarah Elizabeth (1873-1898), Adam Adrian (1876-1948), Henrietta (1878-1878), and Ernest Edwin (1879-1968).
Frederick’s parents were Quinton Reed (1813-1889) and Susannah West (1817-1893).
Addressed to Mr. Quintin Reed, Afton P. O., Union County, Iowa
March the 13th 1862
My dear Father and Mother, Sisters and Brothers,
It is with much pleasure that I take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well at present and I hope when these few ill-written lines come to hand, they will find you all well.
I landed here last Tuesday and I found the boys all well here and we have plenty to eat and drink. Thee is no snow here and the river is a opening. The boys is on parade now and I will soon have to go.
The Fifteenth Iowa is here yet but they will leave as soon as the river is clear of ice and that won’t be long for it is very warm today and the boys is cussing and swearing very much. I have not seen anyone that I know since I left you all.
Now that is all at present. Excuse all mistakes. Please write soon. Direct your letters to Keokuk P. O. in care of Captain [John L.] Young.
F. Reed to his Father and all the rest of the family.
I send my love and best respects to all inquiring friends.
I forgot one thing. You said for me to send you my daguerreotype but I cannot till I draw my pay.