1854: John Ward to Abby Maria (Hall) Ward

ward
John’s older brother, William Green Ward, Jr. (1832-1901)

This letter was written by John Ward (1838-1896), the son of William Greene Ward (1802-1848) and Abby Maria Hall (1802-1887) of New York City. John graduated from Columbia College in 1858 and at the Columbia College Law School in 1860. He also received at Doctor of Medicine degree at University Medical College in 1864. During the American Civil War he served as a captain in the 12th New York Militia in 1861 and 1862. He was taken prisoner at Harper’s Ferry in September 1862 but exchanged in January 1863. After the war he was elected Colonel of the 12th New York Militia — the same regiment commanded by his brother William G. Ward during the war.

John Ward never married but worked as a lawyer in New York City and was a published author and poet.

The letter contains a great description of travels on Lake Michigan during the early 1850’s including Milwaukie and Mackinaw Island.

aachmack1

TRANSCRIPTION
Addressed to Mrs. A. M. Ward, Messrs. Ward & Co., New York
Postmarked Chicago, Illinois

Mackinaw
July 9th 1854
Steamboat Troy

Dear darling precious Mother,

There you are at the Old Grange enjoying the flowers and fruits, and here we are clear away up at Mackinaw, not staying there, but just stopping for a few hours. We left Chicago on Friday evening. The boat was advertised to leave at seven but we did not get away until long after that time. It was a great relief to get out on the beautiful lake after spending several days in hot Chicago. Oh wasn’t it hot!

The cause of our detention I related in my letter to Pressy. ¹ We stopped yesterday at Milwaukee, Sheboygan, Fort Washington, etc. Milwaukie is a very pretty place situated on a bend of the lake forming a sort of bay. A good many of the houses are built of the brick called Milwaukee. It is yellow and prettier than our staring red. The lake heaves in such a manner that they are obliged to build very long piers so that it is quite a little walk to the shore.

We stopped today early in the morning at one of the Manitou Islands. They are two in number and very pretty at a distance though very sandy and barren when you approach them. We also passed Fox and Beaver Islands. Charlie ² made a couple of sketches.

We arrived here about six o’clock and after tea, walked around the island. It is not very pretty of itself, but the views of the lake are lovely. We missed the exact path while returning and had to climb a very high stockade forming a part of the fort. We expect to reach the Sault Ste. Marie tomorrow evening but have not quite decided about seeing Lake Superior or not. I wrote to Pressy from Chicago on Thursday. I have got both series of fern leaves and we are both charmed with it. It seems to be written from the heart without any affectation. Please to write and tell them all to write frightfully long letters to Toronto. I hope to find crowds awaiting our arrival. Love to all. Your own affectionate son, — Johnny

If you do not hear by telegraph from us at Toronto. Dear mother, you are to imagine we have gone on Lake Superior. A telegraph from Toronto ought to reach you as soon as this — or within a day after.


¹ Pressy was presumably John’s younger brother, Prescott Hall Ward (1841-1870).

² John does not state who his traveling companion (“Charley”) was but I presume it was his older brother, Charles Henry Ward (1833-1905).

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Advertisements

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Spared & Shared 19

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Recollections of Army Life

by Charles A. Frey

The Civil War Letters of William Kennedy

Co. B, 91st New York Infantry

The Glorious Dead

Letters from the 23rd Illinois Infantry, the 111th Pennsylvania Infantry, the 64th New York Infantry, and the 14th Pennsylvania Cavalry

Cornelius Van Houten

1st New Jersey Light Artillery

Letters of Charley Howe

36th Massachusetts Volunteers

Sgt. Major Fayette Lacey

Co. B, 37th Illinois Volunteers

"These few lines"

the pocket memorandum of Alexander C. Taggart

The Civil War Letters of Will Dunn

Co. F, 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteers

Henry McGrath Cannon

Co. A, 124th New York Infantry & Co. B, 16th New York Cavalry

Civil War Letters of Frederick Warren Holmes

Co. H, 77th Illinois Volunteers

"Though distant lands between us be"

Civil War Letters of Monroe McCollister, Co. B, 6th OVC

"Tell her to keep good heart"

Civil War Letters of Nelson Statler, 211th PA

"May Heaven Protect You"

14th Connecticut drummer boy's war-time correspondence with his mother

Moreau Forrest

Lt. Commander in the US Navy during the Civil War

Diary of the 29th Massachusetts Infantry

Fighting with the Irish Brigade during the Peninsula Campaign

"Till this unholy rebellion is crushed"

Letters of Dory & Morty Longwood, 7th Indiana

"I Go With Good Courage"

The Civil War Letters of Henry Clay Long, 11th Maine Infantry

"This is a dreadful war"

The Civil War Letters of Jacob Bauer, 16th Connecticut, & his wife Emily

Spared & Shared 16

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Lloyd Willis Manning Letters

3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Co. I

The Yankee Volunteer

A Virtual Archive of Civil War Likenesses collected by Dave Morin

William Henry Jordan

Co. K, 7th Rhode Island Infantry

No Cause to Blush

The Bancroft Collection of Civil War Letters

William A. Bartlett Civil War Letters

Company D, 37th Massachusetts Infantry

The John Hughes Collection

A Virtual Archive of his Letters, 1858-1869

The Civil War Letters of Rufus P. Staniels

Co. H, 13th New Hampshire Volunteers

This is Indeed A Singular War

The Civil War Letters of Henry Scott Murray, 8th New York Light Artillery

The Letters of James A. Durrett

Co. E, 18th Alabama Infantry

Spared & Shared 15

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The Civil War Letters of George Messer

Company F, 107th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Jeff's Prayers are as Effective as Abe's

The Civil War Letters of George S. Youngs, 126th New York Vols

Soldiering is a Very Uncertain Game

The Civil War Letters of Lemuel Glidden, Co. K, 145th Indiana Infantry

Tough as a Pitch Pine Knot

Letters of John Whitcomb Piper, 4th Massachusetts Heavy Artillery

%d bloggers like this: