The following letter was written by Sergeant Lovell Henslee of Company K in June 1863. Henslee enlisted in the 45th OVI on August 1, 1862 at the age of 31. He was captured on October 20, 1863 at battle of Philadelphia, Tennessee and sent to the Confederate prison at Belle Isle, near Richmond, Virginia. The regimental roster states that he died there on January 20, 1864, though his widow's pension affadavit gives the date of his death as Dec. 23rd 1863.
Camp neare Somerset Ky
June the 7th 1863
My Deare Wife and Children,
With pleasure I Sit down to inform you that I am Still well, as I was in a hury when I rote to you the other Day, and this being Sunday, not a very busy Day in Camp I thought I would improve the time by riting to you again knowing as I do that a Letter from me is always Expected by my deare Wife. When I rote you last I was very mutch depressed in Spirits as I had a Furlow out whitch I was looking for every day but in the receipt of you Letter informing me that you had paid out nearly all your Money and not having but two dollars myself, my prosspects of getting Home on a Furlow was at wonce blasted, altho a friend offered to lend me Money to go home on. But then how was I to return to my Regiment I could not git the Money at Home. So I resolved not to attemp to go home until I had the means to make the trip but the paymaster has very unexspectedly to all of us made his apearence in Camp and will pay us two months pay tomorrow. So if my Furlow Comes I will be all right, wont I my Deare.
I have been thinking a good deal about you this morning my Deare. I was thinking if I was at Home this morning to go with you and the Children to Sabbath school how mutch happier I would be than under present Sircumstances. But it is a pleasure to me to know that you are blessed with tolerable good health and are Spending a portion of the Sabbath together with our deare little Children in the House of god. It was a grate pleasure to me last Summer to go with my Children to Sabbath school and I am rejoyest to heare that you are pursuing the Same Course this Sumer. All is quiet on the Cumberlan. Wee every dan on to make a dash a cross the River and Capture the Rebble pickets. Capt Scot Sent in 15 prisners with there Horses this morning, the Horses were brot to Camp, the prisners are in town confined. We had a little Skure in Camp last night, about twelve o clock five Shots were fired in the direction of our Pickets a few Men were Sent out to learn the caus, but failed to find out anything about it. We have come to the Conclusion that the Shots were fired by negroes as they had a Spree last night. Some of our darkeys from Camp did not get in until this morning
I believe my deare I have never gave you a description of the Ladys of this part of the contry nor do i intend to know, for it would be usless for me to attemp Sutch as think as I could not do them Justice. They visit our Camp every day with Stuf to Sell to the Boyes. They know a nought to ask big prices for there eatables but the Boyes Cheat them out of there eyes. There is none of them that have any education, give them five cents and they will take it for twenty five cents. They generally go way worse off than they Came. One of our Boys works a prety Sharp game but I wont Say an honest one, he takes his coffie and makes it without grinding and dyes [dries] it and then trades it to them. They have a very Striking resemblence of Some of the Ladys we used to See in Hocking County only more ignorent. I Speak of those in the Contry, the Ladys in town are more intelegent but they are nothing to brag of. You would laugh to See Some of the Pies they bring heare to Sell. They are made out of Flower and water and a fiew dryed apples Stuck in the middle of them, no Shortning or Shugar in them at all. I have never Sasled [sampled] but one or two pies Since I have been in the State that tasted anything like those you make.
I Shal have to close my letter. The vienna Boyes are all well. George Hinkle and unkel Billy Franklin Started of on a Scout last night. William Troxel is well
My deare I Shal have to talk a little Sasey to you. I gess I think you dont rite very often. I get a Letter from you about every two weeks. I think I aut to have one at least wonce a week and Dr Young he has quit riting to me altogether. Well tell him if he dont wish to rite he needent and Zack Jones I think he might rite to me to. So no more this time
from your Husband
Direck to Somerset Ky Co K 45 Regt O.V.M.I
in care Leut Sparks
Contributed by Jason White, descendant of Lovell Henslee