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#8. This wonderful collection of letters from Joseph William Sandifer, son of Joseph Sandifer, are a great addition to our site.   These heart rendering letters begin with the eternal optimism of youth, showing Joseph's eagerness to return home to be with family and friends and longing for news of old girl friends. They were written by him as a prisoner of war in Gratiot prison at St. Louis, MO, where he died.  Joseph is buried beside his parents near Monroe City, Missouri.

A. Gratiot Street Prison St. Louis MO January 1863

To Doctor E. C. Davis,

Dear uncle I this evening attempt to drop you a few lines. I have nothing very perticular to write. There are a great many prisoners here now & some rite smart sickness but from what I can learn health is good here to what it has bin. I don't like this place as well as I did Palmyra but sitll I am in good health and doing very well. I want you all to rite to me often. Give my love to all my relations also the girls, as ever yours /s/ A. C. Davidson

Please forward this to Joseph or Robert Sandifer

P.S. excuse bad writing for I have written this in a great hury


B. Dear Father & Mother, It has bin my lot to cast into prison at this place but I am proud to say that I am in good health & spirits and hope this may find you all well in body and mind. Don't be discourieged for we all have our troubles. I have nothing more to say only I want Robert to send me some money and if I never return, I have left property to pay him . Direct to us at Gratiot Street Prison, St. Louis, MO.

With my love to you all I Subscribe, J. W. Sandifer

a half sheet is all we alowed to rite

C. Gratiot Street Prison St. Louis, Mo.

Dear Father & Mother Jan. 21/63

I now attempt to drop you a few lines to let you no that I am well at preasant although I have had some light sickness. Since I have bin here there is considerble sickness here. Severl cases of smallpocks though they git along with it much better than you would sopose. A. C. Davidson is not very well though I think it is only cold thats the matter with him. We have rote 4 or 5 letters to you all and have not got any letter from home yet. Why it is I cannot say for I think you certainly have rote and proberly directed to St. Louis when they should have bin directed to Gratiot Street Prison, St. Louis. Father and Mother you must not greive about me. Keep in good sperits and do the best you can. You shall here from me often by letter. Give my respects to bobs Harres & Johns famleys. Tell them all to write to me. I rote to bob a few days ago. Tell him to rite to me soon. A. C. Davidson sends his respects to you all. I herd from Sam Rhodes & Wm. Day yesterday. They were well. I will now close. Give my love to all my friends.

With much love I remain your obedient son, J. W. Sandifur

P.S. Write Soon & Direct to Gratiot Street Prison, St. Louis, Mo.

D. Gratiot Street Prison St. Louis Mo.

Dear Frend Jan 26/63

Yours of the 23 (just?) come duely to hand and contents noticed. I was truly glad to here from you and to commence a corispondence with you. I shall answer your letters punctly and I hope you will do mine the same. I sopose from your letter you are doing well which is a great satisfaction for I am allways glad to no that my frends are doing well - I would be very glad to be at home not but what I am doing very well here but I think my attention is needed at home. You must say something about my folks when you write. There is but one mail a week to Warren so I cannot here from them as often as I can from you. Also give me all the young folks news. Let me no who has maried and who wants to marry (VC?). I don't have anything more to write. Times are about as they were when I rote before. I will now close by saying myself and all the neighbor boys are well. Hoping this may find you in good health. Give my love to all my frends, the girls in particular. Remember me kindly to your father's familey and beleave me your Frend,

J. W. Sandifor

E. Dear Parents Feb 4th 1863

I again drop you a line to let you no that I am well at preasant Hoping this may reach you all enjoying the same blessings. I have rote two or three letters to you and have not received any answer yet. I got a letter from Alford Vance a few days ago. He said you were all well, I want you to write to me as soon as you git this and give me all the news. Tell bob to write to me. Myself and E. C. Arnold wrote to him a few days ago. Tell Harve & John they must write to me. It would be a pleasure to me to hear from any of you. I have nothing new to write. Helth is tolerble good hear at preasant. A. C. Davidson is well and sends his best respects to you all. John, I want you and Polly to stay with the old folks and do the best you can till I return. I would be very glad to come home although I am doing very well here. Still I no my attention is needed at home and I would like to be there. For the preasants I will close. Give my respects to all (engurming?) frends. Remember me kindly to A. C. Davidson's people and tell them to write to us. Farwell your most Obedient Son

J. W. Sandifer

If you have a comment regarding these letters, I will post it here!

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