Clifton Ohio Feb 12 1865
My Dear husband
I received your letter of the 2nd last eve. I have been reading yesterday’s paper this morn. It states that part of the 6th corps was engaged, but does not state what division of it was in the fight. It gives the names of the officers that were wounded, but there is none from Ohio that is mentioned. It states that the 5th corps suffered very severely. I feel very anxious to hear from you, not knowing whether you was in the fight or not, but I will hope for the best. We are all well today.
Father and Tish was at the Springs yesterday. Tish went over and had a tooth pulled. She took chloroform. She says she hardly knowed when he did pull it. Protzman  pulled it. Tish was at Louisa Hawkin’s. Lou told Tish that it was reported that Peirce was to be married next Tuesday to Lizzy Kirkpatrick. She also says that Peirce is doing very well recruiting. They didn’t hear how many men he had but it was said he had more than any other recruiting officer in the co and it was pretty generally believed that Peirce would be captain of the co. He is going into the 184th Regt. It is a new reg’t. There was eight enlisted Friday. Father didn’t remember the names of any but three of the Shafers. Dan and Jerry and younger brother of the Shafer family. It is said, I don’t know how true, though, that there has been thirty-eight enlisted that belonged to this township within the last three weeks, but they have been credited to other places . It is going to make it come pretty hard on those that are left. But it don’t make much difference, for there is no sound men in this township, or it seems like there isn’t, the way they are exempted. I expect the most of those that have enlisted have gone to be clear of the draft. I have not heard anything more about the draft here or the other call, but I suppose they give it another trial in a day or two.
Lou said they hadn’t heard anything from her brothers since they were captured. It is said there is to be a general exchange of prisoners now and it is to be hoped that they will soon be released. John Hawkins is talking of going as sutler  in the 184th reg’t. Lou is not very willing for him to go and she says if he goes, she is going to go too.
I finished writing a letter to you Friday. I told you it looked like storming, but it cleared that night and was very pleasant and yesterday it thawed so that it has spoilt the sleighing again. It is quite cold and windy today. I am sitting in the room where the rest of the family are and it is hard work to write when there is so many. You will have to excuse this scribbling for I get the cart before the horse sometimes. Ann Werlen is at home. She is very sick with typhoid fever. Well Jack, Sarah has come and I guess I will have to quit for this time.
Monday morn 9 o’clock.
It is clear and cold. I think about as cold a morning as we have had this winter. Ed and Jo have gone to school. They have went there since school commenced except one day. There is but a few weeks more of school. I don’t know exactly how many there is.
Dan said he heard yesterday that Rob’t Stevenson was to be Colonel of the 184th . The new reg’t is all we talk about now. Elder Hutchison got home Saturday. His foot is not yet well. Tish and Dan are invited to a party at Wm Corry’s tonight.
Jack, tomorrow is St Valentines day. Do you remember of their sending any valentines? Somebody about my size (no, not my present size) got a valentine about eleven years ago, and I guess you know who sent it. I will be very well satisfied if I get a letter from you this eve in place of a valentine. You spoke in one of your letters that if you was not paid soon that you would be short of money. If you need money or anything else that I can send you, don’t be afraid to say so. The interest on two hundred and fifty dollars of those bonds is due now, and I suppose I can get it as soon as called for. The interest is paid every six months. What is coming now will be about ten dollars. I don’t know how soon Father or Dan will go to Xenia. They may not go for some time. I am going to send you a couple of Commercials  today. Tish has just finished writing a letter to Will. I expect that Levi’s  will think we done nothing else but write letters yesterday for Tish has got four to send up today, and this one will make five. Well, I will have to quit for the want of something more to write. With love from the children, and a full share from me. Hoping to hear good tidings from you soon, I remain your ever affectionate wife
Previous posts in the Rachel Smith letter series: Introduction Letter #1 Letter #2 Letter #3 Letter #4 Letter #5 Letter #6 Letter #7 Letter #8 Letter #9 Letter #10 Letter #11Letter #12Letter #13 Letter #14 Letter #15 Letter #16 Letter #17 Letter #18 Letter #19 #20 Letter #21 Letter#22. A link to the Monroe murder trial proceedings may be found in this previous post.
 Dr. Henry Protzman of Yellow Springs.
 Men enlisting often would do so in another township if, for example, the other township was offering recruits more bounty money in order to meet their quotas of enlistments without resorting to the draft.
 Keeper of a private store attached to a regiment.
 Robert Stevenson farmed between Yellow Springs and Xenia and had served as the colonel of the 154th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, the Ohio National Guard regiment in which Jack Smith served during the summer of 1864.
 The Cincinnati Commercial newspaper.
 Perhaps the postmaster in Clifton.