Last page of Sarah Jackson's letter. HCP Collection.

Hope September 17th/61

Friend Matthew.

You will doubtful be surprised on receiving a letter from me, but as Emory was not here to answer your excellent and welcome letter of Aug. 25th, I thought I would take the responsibility of doing so myself. I shall, however, forward your letter to him as soon as I get his address.

I presume you have, ere this, received a letter from him, written the day before he left home, stating that he enlisted in the army with Sammy [Baird’s brother] and a host of others of your acquaintance. They enlisted in an independent company of Cavalry called the Battle Creek Squadron of Light Horse. We received a letter from him last week, but they only arrived there the night before and he did not know what his address would be. They were at St. Louis then.

But two of those that enlisted with Emory, fled; deserted before going into service. Their names I presume you are familiar with Dewitt Keyes and Alonzo Gilbert. The latter was a clerk at Bownes store at Hickory Corners. The officers have been after them twice. They had quite a time with the old man Keyes the last time they came. I suppose the opposition of his family was the cause of Dewitt’s desertion, for they made a great fuss after they found out that he had enlisted. But I would much rather one of my friends should fall at the first charge of the enemy, know that he died in the service of his country, that to have him hunted like a wild beat, skulking around to avoid justice, and at last, perhaps, be shot as a deserter.

O, what an awful thing is war. Devastating our bright and beautiful country, causing the best blood of our nation to be spilt, destroying the youth and flower of our land, and making thousands and thousands of hearts and homes desolate. What a sacrifice! But sacrifices must be made, even though it be to unworthy gods; and in order to maintain our homes and enjoy the blessings of a free country, we must sacrifice to the god of Ambition. But we know that the God we worship, the Lord over all, doeth all things well, and he will surely give victory on the side of right, and we trust our cause is a righteous one. Brother Hoyt and his wife left here this morning. He preached his last sermon for the year at the Doud school house on Sunday, and expected to preach at the Bunnell school-house last night, but a heavy rain prevented. Br. Hale preached his farewell sermon last Friday evening, but I did not hear it, as I was unable to attend. Your Fathers people are well I believe, I enjoy the society of your cousin Eliza very well. Your Uncle I think intends returning to Washington soon.

There was a flag raising at C. B. Dickerson’s last Saturday, but not a very large attendance, as it was not very extensively known that there was to be one raised. A young lawyer from Hastings, named Allen, made a speech on the secession. But for want of space I shall be obliged to close this scrawl.

From your friend Sarah A. Jackson

Up the side of the paper: I presume Emory will write you from Missouri soon. S A J

Sarah A. Jackson was the older sister of Emory Jackson (who was the youngest of five) and would have been approximately 30 years of age at the time this letter was written.


Who’s Matthew Baird?