The letter of November 1, 1864 is a follow-up to a previous thread of correspondence regarding money being loaned to John Kramer. A few letters back, John directs his father to loan money to Kramer providing that he get from him a promissory note...or bail. Later John begins to have second thoughts about loaning the money, and tells his father that unless Kramer comes to ask for the money...don't offer it up to him. Well...it appears that Kramer has indeed come for the money...and John references it here in this letter.
In the previous letter, John had given a fellow comrade, George Artz, $150 to bring home for safe keeping. This letter confirms that John's father had indeed received that money.
John is also interested in home life. He asks what his brothers and father are doing around the farm. He inquires about his good friend Josiah Fetterolf and whether the butchering season has begun.
John also teases his little brother for not writing and calls him "a little scochmen"...or...Scotsman. A common term at the time for a person who was thrifty...or cheap!
Lastly, an interesting statement is written by another hand on the letter...it reads:
“Bidding Dealer, Men & Boys Clothing, Hats, Caps and Fancy Notions opposite H. Adams Hotel, Mr. Samuel Wampole, Battery L, 3rd Heavy Artillery, Fortress Monroe, Center Street,” and “Elizabeth Weaver but if ye forgive not men their trespasses neither will your father forgive your trespasses.”
The Samuel Wampole, might be the Samuel he inquires about in this letter. I am unsure of Elizabeth Weaver or the meaning of the phrase after...
Camp near Petersburg, Va.
November the 1st, 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 and I was glad to hear that you got my money. You didn’t write whether Artz brought it there or not. But I suppose he did else you wouldn’t got it. It is all right that you gave Kramer the money. I also got nine postage stamps and the darning needle safe in the letter. I got no particular to write today so let me know what all the boys and Father are working. I forgot the direction to Samuel.* If you got it send it to me and I will write to him. Let me know how all the folks are getting along around home. Tell old Fetterolf to write a letter to me for it is near butchering time now again. Then that is the time for him to write. So I will bring my letter to a close for this time. This few lines from your son.
John W. Derr to his Father and Mother
Answer soon and direct your letter as before. I will put a fine picture in this letter for my brother William, the little Scochmen (Scotsman). I don’t never hear from him.
John W. Derr
* two notes in someone elses handwriting were included in the letter. “Bidding Dealer, Men & Boys Clothing, Hats, Caps and Fancy Notions opposite H. Adams Hotel, Mr. Samuel Wampole, Battery L, 3rd Heavy Artillery, Fortress Monroe, Center Street,” and “Elizabeth Weaver but if ye forgive not men their trespasses neither will your father forgive your trespasses.”
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