This letter was written by Sylvester Tynell Winship (1812-1866) from Avon Creek, McKeen county, Pennsylvania. He wrote the letter to his son, James Wilson Winship who was hospitalized and about to be discharged from Co. I, 3rd Iowa Infantry. He also mentions two others on serving in the war. These were Nehemiah Willard Winship and Wesley Winship. Nehemiah served in Co. K, 86th New York Infantry. Wesley served in the 1st New York Infantry and later in the 161st New York Infantry.
[Note: This letter is from the private collection of Walter Slonopas and is published here by express consent.]
Avon Creek, McKeen county, Pa.
June 27, 1862
My Dear Son,
It is with great thankfulness that I received yours of the 26th and was glad to hear from you but was sorry to hear that you was so unwell. I am in hopes you will improve your health and gain your strength so that you can be about again shortly so that you can pick some of those blackberries. But son, be careful how you eat [and] not eat to many of them at a time.
It has been so long since I have heard from you that I began to think that you were dead. I kept a worrying about you every day. I am so glad to think that you wrote [even] if it was short. It come and [was] received very thankfully. You can’t begin to know how thankful I am to hear from you. I hope the next I shall hear that you are well.
My health isn’t very good at present. It is caused mostly by hard work and shoeing horses. It hurts me so it causes my back to pain me very severely sometimes.
I haven’t hear from Nehemiah and Wesley for five weeks. I want to hear very much. I am in hopes to hear tomorrow when the mail comes in. The post office is right across the road from me.
Our friends are generally well through this country. It has been very wet here the most of this month. Crops is backward. I am a cleaning on my farm this spring some. I am in hopes the war will soon come to a close so I can see you again. I am in hopes you won’t have to fight anymore. Henry Hoodly they say was shot and killed in a battle. Now James, when you get well, be as careful of your health as you can because it is the greatest blessing man can have in this world.
When have you heard from your Uncle Ezra’s folks and Uncle Richard’s folks? I haven’t heard from them in a long time. I have heard from our folks in Steuben [county] on 3 weeks. They were well at that time.
I must close for it is ten o’clock and after. If you were here. I could talk all night with you. I live in hopes of seeing my boys again and all of my children together again once more while I live. Write as soon and as often as you can and I will answer. So goodnight. I am respectfully your father, — S. Winship
To his son James W. Winship. No more at present.