The following is from one of many letters written by Matthia Wilson, a Union soldier during the Civil War, to his wife, Ruth Mosher Wilson, in West Liberty, Iowa.
Camp Near Black River Oct. 4, 1863
My dear wife,
This is a beautiful Sabbath day and I thought I would spend part of it writing to thee. I received thy letter of the eighteenth last evening. I think one of thy letters has been miscarried. The last one that I received before last evening was written on the sixth. That was a long time to me without hearing from thee, my own loving companion.
How heavily the time passes when we are expecting to get a letter from the loved one and are disappointed. Days appear almost as long as weeks did when we were living so happily together. I often think of those days and wonder if we will live to see as happy days again.
I expect we will have to move again soon. I expect we will be moving back toward Vicksburg. The guerrillas are getting bold. They shot a Lieutenant of our Division last Thursday night while on picket, and Joseph Alger came very near being taken prisoner yesterday. He was about one mile and a half from camp and four Rebels came very near catching him.
I am enjoying pretty good health now. I was very glad to hear that thee and our little ones was well. Please excuse this short letter as I have a piece of poetry that I want to copy and send to thee that I think is much better than anything I could write.
I am perfectly satisfied with the way thee is managing our affairs. I am very near out of pocket handkerchiefs.
As ever, Thy loving husband Matt Wilson
Lena Ruth Hampton