Captain Richard W. Burt, Ohio 76th Regiment, Archive Featuring a Sorrowful Letter from His Young Son Over the Death of Lincoln
Collection of 9 Civil War-date letters between Capt. Burt and his family accompanied by 3 addressed envelopes. Burt enlisted as a 2nd lieut. at the age of 39 on October 22, 1861. He rose in ranks as a 1st lieut. in 1863 and capt. in 1864, moving between three companies: G, I, and H. He mustered out of Louisville in 1865. The most interesting letter in this lot, however, is from Burt's young son, Ikey. In the strained hand of a child, Ikey writes:
I have a chance to write now to you. I expect you have heard about Lincolns[sic] death have you and how he got killed. Oh I feel so sorry for him. they say he was to the theater and one of the acters[sic] in it killed him and other dispatches it was not them they knew who it was and men is after him to kill him. I wish it was jeff in place of lincoln mother sayes[sic] johnson must take his place we are a fraid[sic] that there will be more war now because they have killed him father you must hurah[sic] and come home because you might get killed. when we opened one of the boxes yesterday that lincolns picture was in it was broke and the glass has all in about a thousand bots. and Lula pretty much cryed [sic] she sayed[sic] lincolns dead lincolns dead what will I do. and felt so bat and it was not more than an hour or two till we heard he was dead. and she soon forgot that and went on of playing with me and told me to get my marbles...
Four of the letters are written by Capt. Burt's to his wife and his older son. In a letter to his older son, also a soldier, he writes, I received a letter from you yesterday from Louisville, and was rather disappointed, to hear that you did not know where you would be mustered out of service...I think if I was you I would stick it out a little longer until He was ready to give you an honorable discharge... The rest of the letter explains his future business plans when his son returns home.
Two letters are from Burt's wife, Lorna. She teases her husband about his lack of letters. Have you forgot your old woman, she asks, if so, let me know so I can have you advertised. She also informs him about amusing events at home, [Lula] woke the other night, she woke up crying, said Billy shot her over and a pig bit her thumb off her nah nah finger as she always call her thumb, she has them all named...she won't sleep behind any more, and makes Ikey sleep their and calls it the pig pin, and she will lay in the middle so the pigs don't get her.
The letters are in relatively good condition excluding one letter that is completely separated at all of the traditional folds.