This letter was written by Lyman Henry Wood (1840-1914), the son of David Wood (1804-1877) and Lucretia Baldwin (1815-1851) of Tompkins county, New York. He wrote the letter to his older sister, Frankes (“Frank”) Woods (b. 1836) who in 1863 still lived with her father in New York State. Just prior to his enlistment, Lyman was residing in Bath township, Greene county, Ohio, working as a carpenter.
Lyman served in Co. I, 44th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI) which organized at Springfield, Ohio, in the fall of 1861. After spending the winter in West Virginia, they were ordered to Kentucky in the fall of 1862 and spent the winter near Richmond and then Danville, Kentucky, where this letter was written on 4 January 1863. One year later to the day, 4 January 1864, the regiment was changed to the 8th Ohio Cavalry.
Camp near Danville, Kentucky
January 4th 1863
I received your letter last evening ad this dreary, rainy morning I will try and answer it. You see by the heading of this that we have moved from Richmond. I thought once that we would remain at Richmond through the winter but I begin to think winter quarters for our Brigade is played out and it suits me for winter quarters won’t end this war and I want to be at home next 5th of July if not sooner.
Yesterday the news of Murfreesboro fight came to us. If the report only turns out to be true that Gen. Rosecrans has gained a complete victory over the rebel force, I think it will have a great deal to do towards ending the rebellion.
I must tell you what a good time I had yesterday. A squad of 31 men went out to guard a forage train and while the train was loading, four of us went to a house and what do you think we saw there? “Why” three pretty little Kentuck girls. They went to work and got us a first rate dinner—the best dinner I have had since I have been in the service. After dinner we had a good chat with them and before we was ready to go, one of the boys came and told us the train was ready to start for camp so of course we had to leave though not without being invited to call again. And if it should be my luck to go with the train again, think I will accept the invite.
I suppose you had a good time during the holiday. We put our timer in at marching & building entrenchments.
I can’t think of any more to write so I will close promising to do better next time. Write soon.Your brother, — L. H. Wood