These two letters were written by John F. Anno (1830-1864) to his wife Laura Ann (Bartram) Anno (1840-1911). John served served in Co. A, 85th Illinois Infantry. He served in all the campaigns in which the regiment participated, but was wounded at the Battle of Peach Tree creek, Georgia, on 19 July 1864, in the right arm, side, and back, and died of wounds 25 July 1864.
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER ONE
Addressed to Mrs. Laura A. Anno, Manito P.O., Macon county, Illinois
New Albany, Indiana
Hospital No. 11
April 27, 1863
My dear wife,
I received your kind letter of the 23rd. I was glad to hear from you and I was glad to hear of your good health. my health is just tolerably good. I hope when these few lines come to hand they will find you enjoying good health.
The times are very dull here now with the exception of tobacco. I received a letter from Father yesterday. It stated that you were all well and they stated in their letter that Nelson and Joseph had sent them some money. I was very glad to hear of that. And he also stated that they were both well and in good spirits.
I would love most dearly to see you and my most dear little children but I do not know how soon I will get to see you and them. But you must content yourself the best you can until I get home which I still have hopes of yet.
You must let me know whether you have sold them hogs yet or not and if so, tell me how much you got for them in the next letter.
Well, my dear, I have told you all for the present. You must write soon. I send my best respects, — John F. Anno
to L. Anno
Note — This second letter was clearly written by someone other than John F. Anno on his behalf. It was most likely penned by a nurse at Hospital No. 11 in New Albany, Indiana.
TRANSCRIPTION LETTER TWO
Addressed to Mrs. Laura A. Anno, Marito, Mason co., Illinois
Hospital No. 11
New Albany, Indiana
May 15th 1863
Your very kind & welcome letter of the 10th came to hand this morning which found me in my usual good health & spirits. I am sorry to learn of your poor health & hope ‘ere this comes to your hand you may have regained your accustomed health.
You may be certain I am ever glad to hear from you & home & when the time passes in which I look for a letter from you, & fail to get one, I feel as though something was wrong. You can but know by a like experience my failings on failing to receive your letters as I have reason to expect them.
It very frequently happens that letters fail to arrive at their place of destination. This is the case with the letter you say your Father wrote to me, as I have not received such a letter. I have no reason to blame you for not having written to me oftener, or for your not writing about those things sooner as you say your Father had written to me about them.
Before this comes to hand, you will have learned your good news about the taking of Richmond had no well-grounded foundation & proves to [be] untrue, which I am very sorry is the case.
I think if you get yours & the children’s likenesses as you spoke of doing & send them according as you stated, I will be very apt to get them before I go to my regiment.
I want you to be careful in trying to train the children right. You have all the care of them in my absence & are responsible in their training. Teach them to love their Ma & each other. Talk to them at convenient times about their Pa. tell them Pa has not forgotten them, but think of then often & loves them as dearly as when at home.
Dear Laura, [I] think the time short till I get home. As I have nothing more of importance to write now, I guess I will close, stating before I do [that] we are expecting our pay in a few days as Hospitals in Louisville are being paid off this week.
I close remaining as ever yours, dearest Laura, till death, — John F. Anno
P. S. I have not heard from the boys for a month or more & cannot tell the reason. — J. F. A.