Jul/Aug 2014 Nonfiction

The Holt Letters, Letter One

Presented by David Ewald

Hartland April 1st 1862

My Dear Son Henry

                          I once more take
the opportunity to write you and
let you know that I am comfortably
well as most of others about here tho
Mr Brown is in a verry bad way with
his face he has ben off to get it doctored but
I think it is no benifit to him
I am afraid it will kill the poor man if
it does not get better soon. The last you
wrote me was the 27th of Feb you then
mentioned about leaveing Annapolis but
did not know for what place or what
purpers but I have learnt by what
you have wrote your mother you
have ben hitching about considerable
since that time. We have the most snow
and hale on the ground here now that
I ever saw at this season of the year. it
leaves verry slow the fences are nearly
buryed in snow now. Its loaded on to the
roof of the half of the Sumner bridge that
was left so much as to break it down into
Hartland—town located in Vermont
the river. So there is but little of the bridge
now left. from the trussel to the bank is all
So goes Mr Sumners property some by fire and
some by water the river is not broken
up yet so the bridge all lais where it fell
you wanted to know what we thought
about the rebellion about here there is
a difference of opinions about it here
the rebels are a long winded set of creatures
I think we shall find before it comes to
a close you see how the thing worked
at Winchester they have to be watched
closely on all sides and in all ways
when we think they are subdued in
one place the Soar breaks out in another
and so on it is difficult to tell what
or Where the end will be. I should be
glad to see the end soon if it could be
so but we cannot know but little about
it in advance. This is the first day of April
There is but little moveing about here
this spring N. Gilron sold his place
last fall moved out about 10 days ago
and became verry home sick and he's now
bought back again which will make
another move for him He moved in
with Holt at the tavern most every
body was sorry he did not leave town
Mr Ferrin moves into John Farrels hous
it is talked that the Sumners are going
to leave at the mill dont know what
place they go to. My work comes in verry
abundantly. I am going to occupy the
upper part of the old red factory for
my springs work and a store house
I am about getting in Sam Farmans
pedler cart body again for varnishing
the traveling here is verry bad and will be
now till the snow leaves. I suppose snow
does not trouble much where you are
I think some times I should be glad to
locate my self in some country where
there is not quite as much snow as here
I have ever ben verry glad to learn that
you have ben well and rugged since
you got over the measles take as good
care of your self as is possible for you
1 saw Mr Cushman yesterday he told
me that Oliver wrote him that he and
a part of your Company had gone over
to Lees Burg Mr Willurd is in the shop now
he is well and all of the rest of the family
he says tell Henry to write him I see
Mr Rumrill frequently they are well
give my respects to those of whom I
became acquainted with at Burlington
and the Hartland Boys especially
write me often as you can and let
me know your welfare and how you
get a long in the great rebellion in
which the Nation is so disturbed keep
a true heart and a Stiff arm and a
determined Spirit to tred on the serpants
head and crush it if possible

This from your affectionate Father

Oliver Holt



Hartland: a town located in Vermont.

Winchester: Oliver is probably referring to an earlier battle in this town, located in the Shenandoah Valley.

Mr. Cushman's son, Oliver, is also fighting in the war alongside Henry.

LeesBurg: a town in Virginia.


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