Letters written by John H. Yancy (a Union Soldier at Vicksburg, Miss) to his wife Margaret (Bridgewater) Yancey in Illinois:

Information provided by Paul K. Commean  &  Ellen Ferguson.


(NOTE: All punctuation, capitalization, spelling, etc. are entered exactly as found in the letters.)

John H Yancey and wife Margaret

in frunt Vickburg

July the 1st 1863

Dear wife tok mi pen in hand to inform you that i am not well at present hopin that those few Lines ma find you all well and I hope that thes few Lines may find Little Josephine well dear i hop you ar all wells and doing well dear wife i no you ar in a destitut circumstance But that Ben all through mi Bad managment But i hope that i will come home get to enjoy a few more days with you and the children oh if i could call Back years that i have foold away i would try to do Better But those years ar gone and cant Bee calld Back duch if i can get to came home i am resolved to do Better i will try to served the Lord the Ballanse of mi days i no that i have trifld away years when i ought to have done Better But it-ant worth while to greive after spilt milk dear wif i am not in verry good health now I havunt Been verry well since i came down hear it is verry hot hear in the day and verry cool of a night they are fighting hear all time they are canonading all the time But i am under guard yet i havent had mi trial yet i dont no what they will do with yet they ma send me Back to the redgment and ma send me home with a dishonaralb dicharge and ma send me to alton to serve mi time out in the penitentiary But i trust to kind poridence who has protected me thrg Life duch dont greive nothin about it But rest easey about it duch if you can go to Williamson county if ever i can come home i wont live in perry county any MORE i no that i have got enimies ther that wood do all they coud against me So duch i am under guard now But when i Left mempis i cam doun hear witout any guard But soon as i come the company they sent me to the company kerrell they is a Lot of us her to gether we work som days three or four hours aday so i will Bring me Leter to a close By asigning mi self yore affectionat husband till death

Rit soon as you get this tell Rebecca and Rachel to

Bee good girls to Josephine and george

John H. Yancey to Margaret Yancey

Andy is well i saw Jeff polson this morning excuse Bad ritin

Miss Vickburg

September the 8 1863.

Dear wife i take mi pen in hand to inform you that i am in tolerable health nothin to Brag on i have got the diarhea verry Bad yet and mi Legs and fet swells so that i cant hardly get About dear i am inhops when those few Lines comes to hand they may find you all well i havent nothing particula to rit we ar still at Vickbur(g) and Likly to Stay hear i wish we wod Leave hear for i am getin very tired of this place ther is a talk of us goin to mobile But i dont no wheter we will do or not duch i wod Like to Bee at home the Best kind i am in hops it wont Be Long till i can come home and stay with you and the children i do wish i was at home this morning i wod Bee a heap Better satisfied and i think i wod soon get well But i no i wont get well hear if mi Legs dont get Better i cant Be fit for the servis dear wif i want you to take care of yore self do the Best you can for yore self ther now Let me draw any money the pay day and Because i have not had mi trial yet i tell you duch wont Solder any mor if they dont do Better By me it Looks Blamed hard fore me to stay hear all sumer and then cant draw any money But we have to do the Betst We can so i will Bring mi Letter to a close by assigin mi self yor affectionat husband

John H Yancey to his wife and children

Margaret Yancey Rit

October the 8 the 1863

Viksburg Mississippi

Dear wife it is through the kin mercies of god that he has permited me to rite you a few Lines to Let you no that i am still on the Land of the Living But i am not verry well i have the diarhea yet i get Better of it for four or five days then it comes on me az Bad az ever it weakenz me so that I cant hardly get about But I hope when those few Lines comes to hand they will find you enjoyin of good health for i havent had good health since i have Ben doun hear i am afraid i wont have mi helth az Long az i stay in the Army an the gravel hurts me pretty Bad at times But i still hope an trust in the Lord that he will Spare me to get home so we can Spend a few more days on earth together duch i hope and trust that we ma meet once more on earth But if we showldent meat on earth i am inhops we will meat in heaven wher hurtin is no more oh wont that Be a glorius time for poor mortals that haz to Bee sepperated on earth But if we cant enjoy each other Society on earth Let us try to Enjoy it [HE HAS AN A LONG ARROW HEAD POINTING UPWARD AT THIS POINT] in that celestrial world we ar still at vickburg an Likly to stay hear Logan has the command of the post her an i heard this mornin that wee wod stay hear for eleven months But i am in hops that We wont stay hear eleven days for i dont Like this place especially if we wod go up the river duch you rot that the frost had killed evry thing in perry it hasent frosted a bit hear yet the garden stuff is as green now as it was in June ther is kind of a rose Bushes hear that in Bloom yet for all that I dont Like the sunnny south ther is too manny niggars hear to suit me tha ar gust a stroolin About hear a heape of them half starved a pickin up what tha can find tha Begin to find out how the union men Liks them ther is a heap of them had rather Bee Back with ther masters Som thinkes that peace will Be mad Befor long Lord grant that it ma Bee so i am cookin Beans for supper i had rather Bee at home to eat supper with you you may that Beams is good thing for the diarhea over the Left duch i got that Letter that you sent some of your Hair in bit i had rather seen faces duch i hant mi trial yet But the captian told me the other night that he thought I wod com out all right he said he thought they wod nock off five or six months wages and i wodent have to go to the guard house i think he will do all he can for me duch i want you to rit whether you get Any Letters from pops folks or not for i havent got But one Letter from him Since i have Ben hear so i will Bring mi Letter to a close farwell for this time

from John H Yancey to his wif and children

Margaret Yancey, tell Becca an Rachel an Josphine an Georg to Bee good children

Campe near Visksburg.

Rit soon Margaret and dont foreget it John Yancey

[From the Grolier Encylopedia: ]

The Vicksburg Campaign

In the crucial Vicksburg Campaign (April-July 1863) of the U.S. CIVIL WAR, Union forces under Gen. Ulysses S. GRANT captured Vicksburg, Miss., the Confederacy's stronghold on the Mississippi River. The victory gave the Union control of the river and split the Confederacy in two. Vicksburg's capture, combined with the Union success at Gettysburg (July 1863), shifted the impetus of victory toward the North.

Foiled in several attempts to reduce Vicksburg during the previous fall and winter, Grant launched (April 1863) a combined army-navy operation. Ground forces marched south down the west bank of the Mississippi while gunboats moved past the Vicksburg batteries to transport the troops back to the east bank at Bruinsburg, south of Gen. John C. Pemberton's heavy Vicksburg defenses.

This daring move shifted the campaign to interior Mississippi as Grant, with about 33,000 men, moved inland toward Jackson. By that action, Grant drew Pemberton out of Vicksburg while separating him from Gen. Joseph E. JOHNSTON's approximately 20,000 Confederates in Jackson, whom the Union forces drove north (May 14). Grant then defeated Pemberton at Champion Hill (May 16) and Big Black River (May 17), pushing him back into Vicksburg. A siege of Vicksburg (May 18-July 4) ended when Pemberton, low on food and ammunition, surrendered the city and garrison.