A Letter from Joyce Kohl

If you were a reader of David Boles Blogs back in the day when we were more formally known as — GO INSIDE Magazine in the early 90’s — you will be as delighted as I was to hear from our venerable friend, and early ally, Joyce Kohl, who touched in this morning via the Boles Blogs Contact form to give us an update on her wonderful life.

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Letters From The Civil War (1862: Mar 13; Oct 5 & 8; Dec 14)

by William Samuel Craig

Envelope: Mrs. Levica Craig; Leroy McLean Co., Ill – Postmark: Cheney’s Grove, Ill

March the 13, 1862

Louisiana Youngpoint Vicksburg

My dear beloved wife once more I am permitted to write to you again after reading your kind letter that I just received the 13 of this month. I am well, fat, and fine. My health is good. I believe better at this time then it has been in the last 5 years but, my dear, there was a time this winter that I thought my time had come to die. I gave up all hopes of meeting with you and my sweet baby but thanks be to God I am well now.

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Letters From The Civil War (1863: June 9 & 23; July 11)

by William Samuel Craig

Envelope: Miss Levica Craig
Miles Point
Carroll Co., MO.
Soldier’s Letter – W. E. Crissey
Act Adjt 116th ILL [–unreadable–]

June the 9, 1863


My dear loving one, this day once more I have the privilege of writing to you. This day nine months ago I bid you farewell. It was the hour of midnight the time has passed away and I am still blessed with good health. It will not be nine months more till I am with you, dear, I hope. I have spent many a lonesome hour since that time. It is a good schooling one that I never will forget. Still I am not dissatisfied of the army if it was not for you, my dear, and them two little babies. You are on my mind both day and night and I can’t help it neither do I try. This 9 months is worth thousand dollars to me. I would not take that for it. Still I am exposed to every kind of weather but I have got used to it and hard living but if the good Lord spares me a little longer I will you on or before [–unreadable–].

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Letters From The Civil War (1863: Sept 8; Oct 13 & 18)

by William Samuel Craig

September the 8, 1863 – home, home, Lord

Camp Sherman, Miss.

My dear and beloved wife, it is through the hands of providence that I have this privilege of writing to you and more in order to let you know I am getting along. I am still in the land of the living blessed with a reasonable portion of health. At this time my health has been very poor till now and, my dear, I hope these few lines may find you enjoying the very best of health and all of the connection.

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Letters From The Civil War (1864: Feb 21; Mar 22 & 27)

by William Samuel Craig

February the 21st, 1864


Well my dear, I have nothing to amuse myself only to write you another letter. I just sent one to Frank today. I have nothing of importance to write at present but I may before I close. This is Sunday and I may get a letter from you tomorrow. I hope so.

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Letters From The Civil War (1864: Apr 15; Aug 16; Dec 24)

by William Samuel Craig

April the 15, 1864

Larkinsville, Alabama

After almost losing the presence of mind and dreaming about you and waiting last night till the mail train came in this morning at 1 o’clock I was so fortunate as to receive 2 letters from them sweet hands of yours which has released my mind in the highest degree. I received them about 2 o’clock this morning. I lit my candle and commenced to write in my weak way and manner. Your letters was dated April the 4 and April the 6. Your letters has found me in the veriest best of health and in the presence of mind again. I was so glad to hear that you was well. I do not know what to do hardly. I would like to write you a interesting letter but I don’t believe I can. My mind is with you so much that I can’t keep it on this paper enough to make it interesting to you but I will do the best I can.

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Civil War Ancestors

by Joyce Kohl

Genealogy is one of the most rewarding hobbies. It was mine for 25 years. While researching for authentic information for my family tree, a living grandson of one of my paternal great-grandfathers, Jerry Craig, invited me to visit him.

When I arrived at his farm in Norborne, Missouri, he brought out a treasure chest of “genealogical gold” and laid it on the table in front of me. In the box were some very old and very yellowed letters, a small notebook, some other items. He also had in his possession an official church record book in which all the marriages, births and deaths were recorded for a number of years during the lifetime of his grandfather and my great-grandfather. The first date I noticed on one of the letters was one of the years during the time of the Civil War. Carefully opening it, I discovered it had been written by William Samuel Craig to his wife, Levica. I remember being awed and so delighted that I could barely speak. The letters were all written in a beautiful script. They were each dated and signed.

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