Saturday, October 11, 2014

Letter #41 -- Camp Near Petersburg, VA -- October 6, 1864

The letter of October 6th is a short note home telling his parents to expect money from his comrade George Artz who is coming home on leave along with his other fellow soldier, Solomon Yarnell.  It totals $150.00 which he is naturally concerned about.  Using modern day inflation calculators...$150.00 in 1864 would be equivalent to $2275.50 in today's dollars.

John was fairly diligent about sending money home and so the bounties he received in his first and second enlistment along with normal smaller amounts being sent home during the course of the war, he is naturally interested in how much money he has saved up.  Every $1000 would be worth approximately $15,000 in equivalent dollars today....or 15 times the 1864 face value.

Fractional Currency Note owned by John W. Derr

John is also looking for news from home...asking his father what he's been doing around the farm.  At this point, he undoubtable is longing for home.  With the war coming to an end in just 5 months...he must be anticipating getting back to normal life...

                                                                                                Camp near Petersburg, Va.
                                                                                                October the 6th, 1864

My dear Father and Mother,

            I take my pen in hand to inform this few lines to you to let you know that I am well at present time and I hope that this few lines will find you in the same state of good health.  I received your letter with the fifteen dollars in it and now we got paid a couple days back.  And George Artz and Solomon Yarnall went home and I did send 150.00 dollars home with George Artz to give to you.  I want you to let me know whether you got it or not for I wouldn’t like to lose it.  This is all for the present time.  This few lines form me.

                                                                                                J. W. Derr

Answer soon and direct your letter as before.  Please let me know how much money I have got at home in all.  Give my love to all inquiring friends.  J.W. Derr to Peter Derr.  Let me know what you are working at now a while home.

J. Derr