Wednesday, January 11, 2012

May 26 1865

Fort Delaware May 26th 1865

Dear Dear Sarah

Your very kind letter dated 23rd came to hand yesterday I had not received one from you since the 4th which I answered the next day you stated that you had received mine of 10th & 16th I also wrote on the 22nd which no doubt you will get ere this reaches you no doubt you will think that cold and formal pardon me dear Sallie for writing in such a strain but you have no idea situated as I am how I feel when I cannot hear from you and seeing all my messmates receiving letters from Portsmouth daily but I know you will forgive me. I am sorry you could not get the box to me but I can make out very well the tobacco was what I needed most I am glad to know your Pa has returned and also all my relatives have you seen Brother and how is he looking if he had taken my advice he would not now be a cripple but we must cheerfully do the best for him we can his relatives will not help him I am sure although he has lost his leg and they have all comparatively seen an easy time and have never heard a bullet whistle during the war. I suppose you have not heard from John for some time. I expect it will be a long while before you will see him again I learned from John Lewis that Laura’s husband died at Point Lookout is it so it must have been a severe blow to her as no doubt she was looking for him to be at home very soon I hope this is my last letter to you while a prisoner as the news id that the order for our release is at this post how true it is I am not able to say. I think it will not now be long before we will be allowed to return to our homes but you must answer all my letters untill you know we have certainly started for home. If I should pass through Baltimore I will try and see Mary Foster I told you in one of my letters to engage a small house if possible. I do not wish to remain at your Pa’s as the house must be crowded I suppose Johns family are there I think the sooner we go to ourselves the better. I anticipate much pleasure dear Sallie on being with my dear ones once more not to be parted again I trust. I shall appreciate my home more than I ever did and you shall have no cause to say I am home but Sallie I think you will have to drive me away out of house sometimes for I think I shall be a regular home somebody. How are the dear little ones Ida & Lucy. Oh how I long to see them once more kiss them for me and tell them I expect to find them good children my love to all home also to all who inquire of me. I have written you a long letter and must now say good bye you affectionate Husband

Henry A Allen



  1. Let me express my appreciation for this valuable service you have performed for historians, both pros and hobbyists like me. It took courage to complete this because, frankly, most of the letters are dull and repetitious, at least for one who is not connected to Allen in some way. I guess that's typical of historical research these days. Most of the good stuff I've seen lately has involved a lot of slogging.
    I was interested enough to read (or skim) most of these letters because my great grandfather was also a prisoner at Johnson's Island from Gettysburg until early 1865.
    I should add a post from my research on Johnson's Island. He didn't write home as much as Allen, but his letters are more interesting, especially some that he received.

  2. That's obviously OSX automatic correction.