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John Bryden Letter: January 15, 1865

Editor’s Note: John Bryden, Jr. of the 57th (and later 61st) New York wrote a series of letters from the Siege of Petersburg in 1864/65 to his wife Sarah at home. These letters were placed online in 2009 as a part of the web site My Dearest Sarah, a collection of the letters of John Bryden to his wife prior to and during the Civil War. Bryden’s descendants John (father) and Heather (daughter) Bryden made the appearance of these letters at The Siege of Petersburg Online possible, and I thank them greatly for their cooperation.  The transcription of the letter which appears on this page is copyrighted by Heather Bryden as a part of her web site and may not be reproduced without her express written consent.  All rights reserved.

January 15, 18651

Written in ink on landscape-ruled 8.5” x 10” rag paper, folded in half along the short axis to form a four-page signature. There is a round watermark on each side of the fold at the top center.


Before Petersburg

Jan[uary] 15th 1865

Dear Wife:

Your[s] of Jan[uary] 8th I received Jan[uary] 14th and was very happy to hear from you and to hear that you are all well and the children as it leaves me at present.

I suppose you are very anxious to hear from me by this time and to hear that I have got the box or not. I have got it, so you may keep easy and all right with the exception of my boots. They were altogether too big for me. I guess he made a mistake. They are big enough for Mark [Scripture] I know, but I got rid of them in five minutes after I got them. 10 dollars to James Herrington.

Sarah I suppose you had a great time over [your sister] Dinah[‘s] wedding. I think she has done very well. I think he is a very nice fellow for what I ever see of him. I wish her much joy. You may tell her for me she has done just right. Tell her never to mind the old man. I know him too well.

So it is all right with me. I am very much obliged to all hands for your kindness to me and I will always remember them for it.

No more news this time. More next time as I am very busy just now building a log house for myself. So good night with my best love to you and not forgetting the children and all hands.

I got the paper you sent to me.

From your ever true husband,

John Bryden

Write soon my dear Sarah. I got Mark’s letter, one from father and [my brother] Robert.

No more Sarah,

John Bryden

Direct your next letter

Mr. John Bryden

Company G, 61th NYV

Washington, DC


  1. My Dearest Sarah. 2009. 15 May 2012 <http://www.bloodandsawdust.com/dearestsarah/My_Dearest_Sarah/Welcome.html>.  This letter is used with the permission of My Dearest Sarah’s owner/editor, Heather Bryden, and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of the owner.  All rights reserved.
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