This letter was written by Pvt. William Lindsey of Co. H, 4th Michigan Infantry.
September 21st, 1861
I take my pen in hand to let you know that I am alive and but pretty sick. I have not sat up but one hour today and I thought that I would write some today and to move on and finish my letter. My hand does tremble so that I can’t hardly write and I can’t read it after I have written it. But if you can read it, you will be smart. And I have not done any eating in three weeks and I don’t think that I shall be able to do anything this winter for I am the poorest person in the company. When I left Adrian I was 164 pounds and now I do not weigh 100 pounds. So you can see that I am [not] fat.
I hurt my back lifting on the cannon [while] helping [to] mount it and have not been able to stir around much since. I haven’t eat[en] anything since yesterday noon. I can’t eat anything yet. If some of you girls could take care of me I guess that I could get well so but I do have to stay on the grounds and I never shall get well as long as I have to lay on the ground. Sime [Simon Hadley] wanted me to go to the hospital and I told him that I wouldn’t as long as I know anything. And I shant for if I go there I shall never get out alive. You must all excuse me for not writing to you before. I couldn’t write before and I hadn’t ought to write now for I am not able to write but I will write a little.
Sunday morning 22nd I can’t write but a little for I was awful sick last night and I haven’t eat[en] any breakfast. Tell Robert that I am a going to send him 40 dollars. I had a letter from Henry W_____ last night and he said that mother was sick and she was a little better. And I can’t answer his letter for I am so sick. I shall close my letter by saying goodbye right now.
From William Lindsey to Laura E. Hadley
Give my respects to all of the folks