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Union Soldier from Kentucky Writes to a Young Girlfriend during the Siege of Atlanta
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i think i will come out safe  i still live in hopes if i die in disspare and when this wore is over you may look for me to pay you a viset and i dont think that will be long”

SAMUEL V. FRY. Autograph Letter Signed, to Ruth Jane Sapp, July 31, 1864, Camp near Atlanta, Georgia, 3 pp.

Inventory #21265.16       Price: $200


The U.S. Christian Commission sends this sheet as a

messenger between the soldier and his home. Let it

hasten to those who wait for tidings.

                      July the 31 1864

Camp near Atlanta, Georga

Miss Ruthy Jane Sapp

Dear Miss i again seat my self down this beautiful morning to drop you a few lines in answer to your kind letter which i received a few days a go and i was glad to hear from you  So this leaves me well and i hope when this comes to hand it may find you in the same health  well Jane we are still a fighting the rebs yet  we are in a mile of atlanta and there is a big fight every day at this place  i have been cut mighty close with musket balls since i have been on this campaign <2> but i think i will come out safe  i still live in hopes if i die in disspare and when this wore is over you may look for me to pay you a viset and i dont think that will be long  i hope not any how for i am verry anxious to see you  you must not give me up for lost and take some other gentle man in my place not as i have the least idea you would for i have got to mutch confidence in you for that  you mother wanted to know what had become of dick hine and the rest of the boys  dick and cosin Rash an balce is here and all well <3>

Tell Miss Purdy that i received her few lines with mutch thanks and i want Miss Purdy to consider the compliment returned with Pleasure but i would of liked it a heepe better if they had a been more of it so good by  yours friend S. V. F.

Well Jane I hant got mutch nuse to write at this tim as i am in a hurry i will close by saying i still remain yours friend and lover untill death  write soon  direct to co. K, 16th Ky v. In  1st brg 3rd div 23. A. C. dalton Georga

S. V. Fry to Miss Ruthy Jane Sapp

Historical Background

Organized at Camp Kenton in Kentucky in January 1862, the 16th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry served mostly in Kentucky until August 1863, when in participated in General Ambrose E. Burnside’s campaign over the Cumberland Mountains into East Tennessee, where it participated in the siege of Knoxville in November and December 1863. The regiment reenlisted in December and returned to Kentucky on furlough until April 1864, when it joined General William T. Sherman’s campaign against Atlanta from May to September 1864. During this campaign, the regiment fought at Resaca, Kennesaw Mountain, Peachtree Creek, and Jonesboro. Instead of joining Sherman on his march to the sea, the 16th Kentucky battled Confederate General John Bell Hood in northern Georgia and northern Alabama. It moved to Nashville and participated in the Battles of Franklin and Nashville in November and December 1864. In January 1865, the regiment returned to Washington and then aided in the capture of Wilmington, North Carolina in February 1865 and the occupation of Goldsboro and Raleigh in March and April 1865. Present at the surrender of Joseph Johnston’s army in April 1865, at Greensboro, North Carolina, the 16th Kentucky remained on duty there until July 1865, when it was mustered out of service.

Samuel V. Fry (1840-1903) was born in Lewis County, Kentucky and was a farmer. He enlisted as a private in Company K of the 16th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry in October 1861. He gained promotion to corporal, and he reenlisted as a veteran on January 1, 1864. He was discharged with his regiment in July 1865. He later moved to Missouri. In January 1873, in Warrensburg, Missouri, he married Clarissa J. Brammer (1841-1910), with whom he had three children. By 1880, he was a farmer in Centerview, Missouri, and lived with his wife and three-year-old daughter.

Ruth Jane Sapp (1847-1926) was born in Marion County, Kentucky, to Quentin and Mary Sapp. He was a farm hand. In September 1873 in Marion County, she married James Smothers, with whom she had three children.

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