Civil War letter from N.E. Eells to Martha Ann Eells Chapman
(submitted by Sandi Pope:
This letter was transcribed by Robert Beercase. Martha Ann, Eliza Jane, Amanda, Nathan Eells, Ellectus Eells and Mary Eells Konecne are brothers and sisters. Nathan, Ellectus and Mary are all buried in Taylor Co., IA. Martha, Eliza and Amanda all came out west in c1885 and settled in Glide, Douglas Co., OR. Martha and Eliza are buried in The Wimbly cemtery in Glide and Amanda is buried in Canyonville, OR.

Carrollton, Louisana, May 22/[18]64

Dear Sister [This would be Martha Ann Eells Chapman]

     I have set myself to ancer[answer] yours of Feb[ruary] whitch [which] came to me at Texas while I was there just a shor time. The time roles [rolls] away fast; days and monts [months] and[ a] year has gone by and I have traveled a good deal. On the 8th of April I left New Orleans for Texas, we had a pleasant trip across the gulph [Gulf]. We was out of site [sight] of land for 36 hours. It was tolarble [tolerably] ruff [rough] going over. It made the boys very sick, but didn’t faze me at all. I could stand on [the] horican [hurricane] deck and let the waves roll over the deck till it wold [would] wet everything in there.              I stayed there 2] days. I didn’t like the place at all for we had to youse [use] salt water and travel through the sand over {unknown word} to {unknown word} deep.                                                                                                                             We left there on the 27 of Aprill [April] and landed on the first day on May and here we are. At the preseant [present] time I am well and the boys is in good health general. This day one year ago today will be remembered well by the 22 [He was in the 22nd Iowa Regiment] for it was the day that we charged on the works at Vicksburg and there many of our brave boys lay. I was on the fild [field] about this time when we took the fort on the senter [center] and was we codn’t [couldn’t have help we had to leve [leave] it in the rebels hand for men coldn’t [couldn’t] get to our {word unreadable] and help for deth [death] stard [stared] them in the face. I stayed in the hospital with my bunk mater David Smith for I loved him dearly. He was a good and a brave soldier. If Am1t Martha is there she can tell you about him for thay [they] all now [know] him and his mends. He was no kin of any of the Smith that you now [know]. The sens [scenes] of that campaign nms free in my mind and I think it will for time to come for[the] [scenes] and tryls [trials] that we had to undergo. But I still live in hopes that this war will come to a close this SlUnmer and I penninent [pennanent] believe it for Grant has lick[ed] them at all points around Richmond. They have for the last 8 days that we have the reports of it up to the 14 in [instant?] and ar [are] [in] expectin [expecting] a boat that will bring leter [letters] from him. I hope that ir [ere] this he has gone into Richmond and if he has he will demoralize there [their] hole [whole] army and they have ever [every] man that thay [they] can muster.                                  I have got a letet [letter] from home and thay [they] are all well and in good spirits. They [they] have a vary [very] record spring and wet. It was riten [written] on the 6 of April. Thay [they] haven’t commenced to plant corn yet. I wold [would] have liked to [have] been home this spring to have helped Su {can’t make out the name} to planted com and do other spring work, but still I can’t be there for one year. I expect that you think it to be a long time for John to be away from home.                       Three years is a good long time for a man to soldier. There is lots that has gon [gone] for three years longer. James Cambridge has re-enlisted and has got maried [married] to Miss Hadet Hufman. She is just as fine a girl as there was in Big Grove. Isik [Issac] Layn, James Layn’s son has served his time and has gone for another term. When he first enlisted he was workin [working] for Biny Stiles and he wodent [wouldn’t] pay him and Isik [Isaac] being a minor cdent [couldn’t] collect it and he sed [said] ifhe lived to git [get] home he wold [would] tak it out of his hide and shure [sure] a nuf [enough] he did. Buly [bully] for him! I wold [would] like to now {ive}the opinion of all the your men about it. {That is what he wrote but it doesn’t make sense.} Still runs in my head that thay [they] ar [are] tincerd [tinkered] with colerd [colored?] had ism {can’t decipher it}. But I don’t like to here [hear] of it, even if it is so.  I got a leter [letter] from an Electious Eells that brot [brought] the sad news of our cozen [cousin] Wm McCoy’s deth [death]. He was kiled [killed] in his 38 [th] batal [battle]. His time wold [would] klhave been out now. I am all most afraid to rede [read] the reports from the estern [ eastern] army for there are lots of our friends there in the ranks to meet there [their] enemy.                                                                                                     In the time of an engagement a man fers [fears] not deth [death] and after the first voly [volley] he becomes unconcerned about his life. He will stand in full View and can take deliberate aim as if he was shooting for sport. He becomes unconcern- ed about his life tho it mite [might] be the next minute he won’t think of deth [ death] or of being kiled [killed] or dying.                In March I sent you a leter [letter] with four pictures in it. One a pic for all of you. When this comes to hand I want you to rite [write] and tell me ifthay [they] got there safe. I believe I have riten [write en] all I can think of at the presant [present] time.                                                                                                                                                                                         I rate [wrote] to Liza fame {family?} [Eliza Jane Eells Chapman] last week and will rite [write] to Amanda [Amanda Eells Ball] soon and for the last times to either of them till I here [hear] trom them. You can tell tem to stake there [their] botom [bottom] dollar on that. I can git [get] a leter [letter] trom you as soon as they [they] will go to home [Solon, Iowa] if you will direck [direct] to Co. G., 22 Iowa, 13 army Corps, thay [they—the letters] will come direck [direct] to me. Give my love and best respecks [respects] to all inquiring funds [fuends] and if John [John Henry Chapman who I believe was in Eastern Oregon prospecting] I want you to set rite [right] down and ancer [ answer] this and give me a long leter [letter] and will then try to cepe [keep] you beter [better] posted in our well fare [welfare] than I have done since I have bin [been] in the servis [service]. Please anser [ answer] soon. This trom your Brother and trind [friend] till deth [ death]. N.E.Eells

To John H. and Marthan [Martha Ann] Chapman and funds [triends] This riten [ written] in camp on the banks of the Missippe [Mississippi] river above New Orlens [Orleans] som [some] six miles.



The following is from the Taylor Co., History Book, 1881, by Lyman Evans: page 710 - 711

ESTLE; W. B., farmer and stock-dealer, section twenty-six, post-office Holt, is a native of the Hawkeye state, born in Muscatine county January 14, 1845. ‘ Was reared in that county and educated in her common schools. In the spring of 1875 he came to Taylor county and has since made it his home. October 21, 1875, Miss Kate Richardson, of Keokuk county, became, his wife. She is a lady of estimable qualities and makes theirs a happy home. Mr. E. is located on a fine farm containing 290 acres, has an elegant residence and other improvements to correspond. Holt township has in the person of our subject an excellent citizen.

DUNKIN R. H., (page 710) farmer, stock-raiser and feeder, post-office Holt. Subject was born in Morgan connty, Indiana, February 17,1831. His early early years were spent on a farm, engaged with the plow and hoe. Was educated in the subscription schools of his native connty. In the fall of 1856 he removed to Ringgold county, in this State, remained about three years, and came to Taylor county in 1859. Shortly after his arrival he purchased a tract of land, thirty acres of which had been broken, and at once commenced improving it for his future home. Mr. D. has been twice married; first to Miss Susan McCartney, of Louisville, Kentucky, in March, 1852. Of their children seven are living, John H., Benjamin F., Abram L., Ulysses S. G., Mattie Nora, Lorenzo Dow and Rufus. Seven are deceased. December 29, 1872, Mrs. Dnnkin passed away to join her loved ones who had gone before her. Subject was again married, this time to Amanda Everson, of Champaign county, Illinois. They are the parents of five children; three, Charley, Mary and Freddy K.,are living. Mr. Dnnkin is located on an excellent farm five hundred and sixty acres: mostly in cultivation, and is largely engaged in growing and feeding stock. His sales for 1880 amounted to nearly three thousand dollars. He is an energetic, industrious farmer, of good business qualifications, and is closely identified with the interests of Taylor county.

N.E. EELLS., (page 710) farmer, section nineteen; post-office Holt, born in Columbiana county, Ohio; July 6, 1839. When four years of age his parents moved to Johnson county, Iowa.. There the subject of this sketch experienced the hardships of pioneer life, as he assisted his parents in making a home on the bleak prairies of Iowa in the days of its early settlement. He enlisted August 6, 1862, in the Twenty-second Iowa, company G, and served until the close of the war. Took part in the battles of Fort Gibson, Champion’s Hill, Black River and Jackson, also in the siege of Vicksburg. He had his clothes torn by bullets and was wounded at Cedar Creek.Was discharged at Savannah, Georgia, July 25, 1865 and returned to Johnson county. He came to this county in 1878. Was married May 1, 1875 to Miss Harriet Huss of Johnson county. They have five children; H. M., Effie L., H.E., Lunie O., and John L. He is the fortunate possessor of a fine farm of two hundred acres, excellent improvements and yard adorned with shade and ornamental trees. Mr. and Mrs. Eells are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.