This letter was written by John E. Kennedy (1841-1916) who mustered originally into Co. I, 37th Indiana Infantry on 26 October 1861 and then when the regiment was reorganized, he reenlisted as a veteran corporal on 2 January 1864 in Co. A of the same regiment. Battles in which various companies of the Thirty-Seventh Regiment camped or fought included: Elizabethtown, KY., Bacon Creek, Bowling Green, Nashville, Huntsville, Shelbyville (Tenn), Athens, Fayetteville, Chattanooga, Stones River, Tullahoma, Chickamauga, Sand Mountain, Lookout Mountain, Pigeon Mountain, Atlanta, Buzzard Roost, Rocky Face, Resaca, Pumpkinvine Creek, Jonesboro, and the March to the Sea.
John was the son of Samuel Kennedy (1795-1875) and Polly Sargent (1799-1878) of Putnam county, Indiana.
November 7, 1864
Your letter came to hand yesterday bearing date of October 18. It found me in usual health. We have been on the march almost steady for the last month. We are now at Kingston but expect to return to Atlanta in a few days. We are looking for a hard winter’s campaign. Sherman is going to strike for Savannah which is on or near the Gulf. He is going to abandon the Chattanooga and Atlanta railroad and open a new line of communication by the way of Mobile.
The army is getting paid off here. I drew my money today—two hundred and fifty.
I was sorry to hear you was drafted but if you have to go, I would like to have you along with me. If you have to go, I would advise you to take some tools sufficient for cleaning watches and plugging teeth. I think you can make as much here as you can at home, besides your wages.
I have not heard from William whether he was drafted or not. Mother says Christie missed the draft. I believe I have nothing more of significance at present to write so I will close. Write soon. I remain your brother through life.
— J. E. Kennedy