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.
March 3, 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.
This letter has been heavily color adjusted for legibility.
Before Petersburg [Virginia]
March the 3, 1863
My Dear Wife:
Yours of February 19th I received yesterday and was very happy to hear you were all well as it leaves me. You mentioned that James Edwards did not want the farm any longer so I think you done perfectly right in letting your own sister Dinah have it. Now you will be more contented. Any thing will suit me.
Sarah you need not be any way surprised if you should see me home yet this Spring as I expect I will get discharged before long on account of an Order I see in the papers to discharge all soldiers in 1862 that enlisted into all Regiments so I am one.
Sarah I have got paid 11 months pay I have got one more due me and I will send you $50 one hundreds of dollars as soon as I can get a chance to express it.
Hoping these few lines will find you and the children well as it leaves me at the present. My parents, you, and the children and all inquiring.
From your most sincere husband,
John Bryden, Jr.
- 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. ↩