I believe this letter was written by Lilla Eliza Young, the first wife of Dillard Marion Young (1826-1900). In 1868, Dillard married his second wife, Harriet Burt.
Mrs. Young wrote the letter from Union-occupied Marietta, Georgia, and send the letter to a “dear friend” who appears to have been the wife of Mr. Hathaway—a former resident of Marietta, now living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
September 24th 1864
My Own Dear Friend,
Learning through the Colonel commanding Marietta ¹ that he had received a letter from you, I decided to write you at once. Did you receive my letter sent by flag-of-truce? & Mrs. Tracey [Lacey?] —I wrote to her at the same time.
I had intended writing again lone ere this but during the first few days after the Federal Army came in here, I was in a constant state of excitement & since then I have been quite sick, but am now able to attend to my family. I do sincerely wish that yourself & Mr. Hathaway would come to Marietta & make us a visit. It would give us great pleasure to receive you at our house & we would earnestly endeavor to render your stay as pleasant as possible.
Marietta is in a deplorable condition now, but a sight of your old home will at least serve to awaken pleasant memories of “the days that are no more.” Your dear Mother & children—how are they all? It would afford me real joy to receive a letter from you as I have never heard anything from Milwaukee since Mr. Hathaway’s visit in 1861. I hope the dear, good man’s health is improved & that we shall see you all this winter.
Mr. [Dix] Fletcher’s family are all well except Mr. [Henry Greene] Cole. When he was last heard from, was very unwell. He has been confined in the Charleston Barracks for the last five months on account of having been suspected of giving information to the Federals. Georgia—his poor wife—is almost heart-broken. ² Eliza [Fletcher] is staying with me. Miss Hastings has gone North.
Among your friends that were in Marietta, only a few remain—nearly all gone south. Mrs. Harrison & Mrs. [Andrew J.] Hansell are still here. Mr. Williams & his family. The Greens are living in Griffin, Ga. I suppose you knew long ere this that Mr. Green died shortly after Mr. Hathaway left here.
I have a list of the furniture Mr. Hathaway left here for sale, but you probably know that it was all confiscated so the Colonel commanding has asked for a list that he may sell the property of families left here to replace yours. The Colonel told Mr. Young that he should call on me today. I hope you will be amply repaid for all your property here. Mr. Young will point out all belonging to Mr. Hathaway. Give much love to all my friends in Milwaukee. I have, however, written to Mrs. __aling & Miss Louise Wilcox & also ask Mrs. Tracy if she received my letter by flag of truce & believe me, very truly yours, — L. E. Young
¹ It’s not clear who this “colonel” was as Brigadier General William Vandever was the commander at Marietta in September 1864. Perhaps this is whom she meant.
² Henry Green Cole (1815-1875) was married to Georgia Caroline Fletcher (1838-1932) sometime prior to 1860. Henry was born and raised in Chenango county, New York. Georgia’s father, Dix Fletcher (1803-1886) operated the hotel in Marietta. Dix was a native of Massachusetts.