Civil War Letter

             John McLaughlin to His Children


State of Arkansas, Benton Co., Oct. 4th 1861

Dear children,

I am writing you all a few lines to let you know that I have forgot none of
you. I would be mighty glad to see you shortly though I am in hopes we will
be spared to see each others faces again. You must be good to your Ma and
your old Grandma and do the best you can until I come home. I want you all
to go to school all you can until I come back and learn to write so you all
can write me a letter yourselves. Elija(h) and Tom, I wrote you a letter
about a month ago. I told you in it that I had never got a letter from any
of you and that I would not write any more till I got one and I got one the
next day from your Ma though she never stated in it whether she had ever
read one from me or not nor whether she had got my likeness or not. Now,
here Polly is a lock of my hair. Does it look natural or not. I think it
does though it may look a little more gray though it has had enough to have
been all white as snow.

Jane wrote to me and sent me some of John's hair and for me to send her
some of my hair. You can divide this with her if I don't get to write to
her and send her another lock. Betty Ann, I suppose you are going to get
married before I return. If I was there I would be just like I always was,
make your own choice, it is for you to live by and not me. Be careful how
you make it as you are making a pretty serious one and a mighty long one,
for life-time. Let it be as it may, therefore, be careful. Tress, I got
your letter this morning. Tress how are you getting on, you and little
Tennie. Has Tennie quit saying "shan't do it?" Lige howdy. How are you?
Harriette howdy. Howdy Little Tom. Howdy little Becca. And how are you all.
You must write soon as you can. So I must come to a close. Farewell to you
all, to Jane, Tress, Betty Ann, Harriette, Lige, Tom and Beck.

                                Your father,

                              John McLaughlin

Update 03.24.01              David Kelley 1997                 CVL-0017.HTM