• Civil War: Chase Family Home Front Letter Reveals Fears After Morgan's Last Raid

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    The Chase family was among the first settlers in Racket River, NY. Joshua Chase Jr. and Elizabeth Chase moved to Kentucky before the Civil War. Elizabeth married William Edward Kelly on July 6, 1854. They had two sons, Albin Chase Kelly and Robert Clinton Kelly. William served in the 10th Kentucky Infantry as a 1st Lieutenant. By 1870, William and his boys are living in Missouri and he is married to Arthusa Josephine Overall.


    4 pp, 5 x 8, Racket River, NY, July 5, 1864, Philene Chase writes to her sister, Elizabeth, a teacher, with good home front information about the Civil War and the concerns that came with the war for those left behind.


    “…We had heard nothing direct from any of you since Morgan’s last raid and were having all sorts of fears and anxiety about you all. We were not aware that Mr. Kelly had been exchanged and were hoping his time was so near out he would escape the dangers of the southern campaign and if you came to visit us would come too when his Regiment were discharged but fear now we will never see him. We feel very much disappointed for we were hoping to see you and the little boys soon but cannot blame you for not feeling willing to go farther from Mr. K. while he is exposed to such dangers and indeed this bloody strife makes us all so unhappy that there is little comfort to be taken anywhere. We will still hope and pray that the unseen hand that has sustained and carried Mr. K. through dangers seen and unseen will sustain him in the present emergency and he will be spared to return to his family and friends…I received the $5.00 for which I am very thankful but don’t feel as though I ought to use your earnings, perhaps if the war is ever ended and times are a little better, I can yet do something for you. I shall never forget your kindness…[Mother] talks a great deal about you and your little children. I know it must be very hard for you to teach school and take care of them…We heard from Leonard a few weeks ago by way of a wounded soldier from the Reg. He was at or near Newbern and he said was fat and healthy as need be…”


    Folds, toning, light soiling, a couple of holes. Cover included addressed to Mrs. William E. Kelly of Hammonsville, Hart Co. Kentucky. Manuscript postmark Racket River.


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