This letter was written by Levi Springer Anno (1838-1909), the son of Thomas Anno (1798-1875) and Sarah Bunn (1804-1875). Levi served in Co. A, 85th Illinois Infantry. He enlisted on 18 July 1862 as a private and was later promoted to corporal. The 85th Illinois was organized at Peoria on August 27, 1862 and was mustered out of service on June 5, 1865. The companies A-K were formed in Mason, Fulton, Menard, Woodford, Tazewell and Schuyler Counties Illinois. The Regiment went into battle almost immediately after being formed. They were organized in September 1862 and were in action at the Battle of Perryville in Kentucky on 8 October 1862. At Perryville, they led a bayonet charge at 3 o’clock in the morning, carrying Peter’s Hill in the first action of the day-long battle. [Source]
Levi wrote the letter to his sister-in-law, Laura Ann (Bartram) Anno (1840-1911) — the wife of John F. Anno (1830-1864). John also 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.
Levi married Nancy A. Hopkins in Tazewell County, Illinois on January 25, 1859. If the marriage date is correct, Nancy would have been only 13 years of age. This is from an IGI record batch number M533781. Nancy A. Anno is buried in the Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Mason County, Illinois. She wasborn October 12, 1846 and died May 7, 1870 at 23 years, 6 months, and 25 days. Their infant daughter Lillie was born May 5, 1870 and died May 12, 1870. Nancy may have died due to complications from childbirth.
Levi S. Anno married second Rebecca Brooks on January 11, 1872 in Mason County, Illinois. Source: Illinois Statewide Index 1763-1900. Pet Anno, infant daughter of L. S. Anno and R. Anno was born September 4, 1872 and died December 22, 1872. She is buried in the Mt. Carmel Cemetery.
Levi and Rebecca Anno are listed in the 1880 Federal Census for Rockswall County, Texas. Levi islisted as 43 years of age, born in Illinois. Rebecca Anno is listed as 37 years of age, born in Indiana.There are five daughters and two sons listed in the census: Sarah Anno, age 18, born 1862 in Illinois; Sherman Anno, age 18, born 1862 in Illinois; Willard Anno, age 16, born 1864 in Illinois; Lora Anno, age 14, born 1866 in Illinois; Minnie Anno, age 6, born 1874 in Illinois; Lizzie Anno, age 4, born 1876 in Illinois; and Dollie Anno. age 6/12 months, born 1880 in Texas. Based on this census record, Sarah, Sherman, Willard, and Lora are from the first marriage to Nancy A. Hopkins. The family moved from Illinois to Texas about 1879.
Levi and Rebecca Anno are listed in the 1900 Federal Census for Hunt County, Texas. Levi is listed as 67 years of age, born in Illinois, and Rebecca was born October 18, 1841 in Indiana. There is no one else living in the home.
Addressed to Mrs. Laura Ann (Bertram) Anno, Manito, Mason county, Illinois
March the 1st 1863
I seat myself to let you know that I am well and hearty and I hope when this reaches your hand that it may find you and the children well and enjoying the blessings of life.
Well, Laura Ann, [your husband] John has been taken to Louisville, Kentucky. I got a letter from him since he went there. He said that he did not feel as well as he did when he left here but he thought it made him feel bad a traveling so far. Well I hope he will soon get his discharge and go home and be with you and the children. Oh how much better John would enjoy himself if he was with you while he is sick. I hope he will soon be with you and the children.
Well, Laura Ann, [your brother] Reuben [W. Bartram] is well. He stays in the same tent that I do. Joseph and Nelson was well the last time I heard from them. Well, the boys are all in good health and full of fun but I hope this troublesome war will soon come to a close so we all could come home and be with our friends once more.
Well, Laura Ann, I will send you a ring in this letter. So I must close for this time hoping to hear from you soon. So goodbye. — Levi S. Anno
Laura Ann, I can do all my own writing. This is some of my scribbling and you must excuse my bad spelling.