A letter from a soldier at the 3rd Alabama Hosptial to his cousin informing her of his effort to ship home the remains of her husband. J. B. Henderson to “Sarah.

A letter from a soldier at the 3rd Alabama Hosptial to his cousin informing her of his effort to ship home the remains of her husband

Richmond, Virginia: February 12, 1862. Unbound.

In this three-page letter, Henderson explains to his cousin that, as she requested, he had disinterred her husband’s remains and another cousin, a Confederate Lieutenant, would be escorting them to her.

"A metallic Case would have cost 180 dollars, a zinc Case $150, but I had his remains disinfected for $25, paid $10 for a new Box $5 for disinterring $5 for Hearse & $5 for other incidental expenses amounting in all to $50. I have done for you as I would have done for myself I hope you will be satisfied. The check which you sent . . . will pay all actual expenses. I had his grave beautifully turfed over two weeks since not knowing that you would have him removed. I only paid $2.00 for it but that & all my trouble I cheerfully willingly & gladly give for the comfort of my Dear disconsolate Cousin & would that I could do ten times as much. I have not as yet been able to get his account or claims audited, from the fact that I, notwithstanding all my efforts, have been unable to obtain any information in regard to John’s last payment &c. I will persevere until I have it all right. I send John’s sword by Cousin Wade."

In closing, he cautions:

“You must not think of such a thing as opening Johns Coffin as it will not do. Very good. Item #009327

It is unclear where Sarah resided, and the full name and unit of her husband John is not disclosed, however, the dateline of Henderson’s letter indicates he was either assigned to or a patient in the 3rd Alabama Hospital, and its content relates that he had taken care of John’s burial and personal effects.

At the time this letter was written, the 3rd Alabama Hospital was located in Richmond at the W. R. Robinson tobacco factory where it had been providing care for Confederate casualties since the Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run), where three Alabama regiments had fought.

An unusual letter summarizing the costs of preparing remains for transport to kin folk at home.

Price: $150.00

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