1863: Francis Marion Hopkins to Sarah (Bates) Hopkins

This letter was written by Francis “Marion” Hopkins (1844-1928) who enlisted at age 18 in Co. B, 32nd Ohio Infantry in August 1861 to serve three years. He was appointed corporal in July 1864 and sergeant in June 1865. He mustered out with his company in July 1865. Marion’s obituary states that he died on 13 September 1928 at the age of 84, having been a “former sheriff of Union county, Ohio, and three times mayor of Marysville.”

Marion wrote the letter to his mother, Sarah (Bates) Hopkins (1820-1866), the widow of George R. Hopkins (1822-1857). Other younger siblings of the family mentioned included Asa George Hopkins (1846-1934), Lewis Hopkins (1849-1872), Mary Hopkins (b. 1851), and Lillian (“Lilly”) M. Hopkins (1856-1936).

The year of the letter is not given but from a history of the 32nd OVI we know that the regiment was still occupying Vicksburg until February 1864. The envelope is attested to be a “soldier’s letter” by Major. Abraham M. Crumbecker, 32nd OVI, which enabled it to be forwarded home with a postage due marking.

See also — 1863-4: Francis Marion Hopkins to Sarah (Bates) Hopkins


Addressed to Mrs. Hopkins, Irwin, Union county, Ohio
Soldier Letter — A[braham] M. Crumbecker, 32nd OVI

Vicksburg [Mississippi]
September 28 [1863]

Dear mother,

I will now take my pen in hand to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well as common and I hope that these few lines may find you all the same. I got a letter from you yesterday. Mother, I want you to send me a pair of boots the first chance you get. Tell Asa to go to the burg and get them of John [   ]. I want middling heavy calf skin or [   ] number eights — not too heavy — and if I get the chance, I will send you the money. It is not safe to send it by mail. They will cost about five dollars. I want a pair, let them cost what they will. Try and see if you can send them by [the] captain. Mark them plain if you send them.

And I would like to have a vest but you need not go to an trouble about getting one for I can do without one. If you send one, send a black one or dark one. Did you send a bottle of pain killer by Ben[jamin] Lock[e]? If you did, he did not fetch it through. He says he Asa did not give him any. And if you have time, I wish that you would make me a wallet to carry thread and needles in and send it full. If you don’t have time, get someone else to make it. I don’t want one too large.

I don’t think that I will come home this winter. I am as well contented here as I would be at home — that is, while the war lasts. You wrote to me and wanted to know if I had gone into the cavalry. I have not but some of the boys talk of going. But I don’t think that I will go. It is for three years longer.

Elias [Hathaway] is well as common. No rain here yet. Mother, I have wrote all the news that I can think of this time and I guess that when it came to read it over, that there ain’t much news after all. Tell Asa that I would like to hear from him and Mary and Lewis. And tell Lilly to write.  Tell Lilly when I come home that I will fetch her something if she wants it and so I close. Write soon and do not forget the boots.

[no signature; in a different hand — “from Marion”]




Griff View All →

My passion is studying American history leading up to & including the Civil War. I particularly enjoy reading, transcribing & researching primary sources such as letters and diaries.

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