So this letter is kind of a mess, but there is some interesting information just the same. We have a huge jump in time from the last letter, and I’m not entirely sure what was going on in everyone’s lives at this point. I should probably point out that James’s affectionate name for Katie (which was already an affectionate name for Ezrena) was Rosa. None of those names are at all alike, I know. Also, Jas is short for James. That seemed weird to me at first, but then I remembered that in Peter Pan Captain James Hook goes by Jas Hook and now I find it completely acceptable.

The second part of the letter is from Charlotte Lay to her son. There are a few Lays in my family tree, but I’m not entirely sure where she fits in. I’ll ask my grandmother and update the “Cast” page once I get the details.

Hartford - July 30th, 1862 Envelope CROPPED Hartford - July 30th, 1862 Page OneHartford - July 30th, 1862 Page Two


Wednesday July 30th, 1862

I write a few words to you. I received your good letter to night, was glad to hear from you. You was well and friends. I am well and to work on Prospect street yet. Uncle Hor, Aunt Chas is well. Hope Eddy will be well while he is down to Lyme. We had a heavy thunder storm last night and another to night rains hard. Joey Branch is here to night going to stay all night. Jimie is sick had the [Doctor] last night. [Doctor] said it was [diphtheria]. I went to the boad to meet Harriet but got told [she?] went home in the rain.

I have to wrote all of the news I must draw this to a close. Let Chast fill it out. Chalt & I went to the [Union Church?] Sunday fournoon took a walk in the afternoon I will close.

Please give my love to all, May, Richard, all to Whipperwill your father & mother & Lottie, Eddy, all inquiring friends.

That is all.

Good night,

From you husband to his Rosa


N.B. Josephine sends her respects she had a tooth pulled to day.

Jas to Katie

{the part in pencil}

Thursday morning,

Rosa you must write us soon [I’ll answer?] & come home soon as you can it is lonesome without you. Love to you Rosa, Jas.

{Charlotte’s note}

My dear little son

I received your letter yesterday, was glad to hear from you. You must be a good boy and mind Aunt and Uncle Greenfield. Write soon as you can. I cannot write much for Harriet and I are going down street and I want to put this in the office. I shall come before long. From you Mother.

When I come I will tell you all the news which is not much.

Charlotte T. Lay


We’ve got diphtheria, a dental situation, and a bunch of names I only vaguely recognize. I don’t know about you, but I really want to know who Whipperwill is. I’m not sure what this Chalt and Chast business is. There’s an Aunt Chas, but that’s not who he’s talking about I don’t think. I do, however, know that Lottie is Katie’s sister. I have several pictures of her that I’ll post soon.

The next letter is much more interesting, I promise. It was sent when James and his regiment were camped out near a battlefield.