Marion F. Howe enlisted as a Private in Company H of the Fourth Michigan Volunteer Infantry on June 20, 1861, for three years service. He was discharged for disability on December 10, 1861 at Minor’s Hill, Virginia. He re-entered service as a Corporal in Company G of the Eighteenth Michigan Infantry on August 2, 1862 at Jonesville, Michigan. He was taken prisoner at Snow’s Pond, Kentucky on September 23, 1862 but was paroled in November of 1862. Marion was promoted to Sergeant on May 15, 1865 and discharged from service on June 21, 1865 at Detroit, Michigan.
This letter is provided through the courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.
Dear Brother, Washington Wednesday July [actually August] the 7th, 1861
I received your letter last night and read it with great pleasure and [was glad] to hear that you was well and all the rest of the folks. It is very warm here today and Elum, James, and I went down to the mill and washed off and washed some of our things, and the worst of it was Elum. I had to wash our shirts and pants and we had to go back to the camp without any and the woman told us that we had better go naked next time. We told them that we thought we should but we got back safe and I feel pretty well. And I hope this letter will find you the same. May God bless and prosper you and Melvina too. I must speak or he or she will feel slighted. I don’t mean to slight anyone as long as I am a soldier, unless it is a secessionist. And them, I will slight, or steal from them, or break their neck, and we are the boys to do it, yes we are. There is not much of a stir here today amongst the soldiers. Only there is [a] great many of them sick. But I hope that I shall not be sick till after the war, and then I hope that I shall be where someone can take care of me. You need not write to me till you hear from me again. I will not tell you the reason why. But you will soon find out. The boys are getting supper so I must close . The letters just came and James got got a letter from John and heard that they was well.
I send my love to you all, M. F. Howe [to] G. N. Howe