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Confederate States Army Chaplain
Two letters from prison camp

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Johnson Island

New Sandusky City, Ohio

July 24, 1862                                           


Mr. E. Bartles:


Dear Cousin,


I received your letter of the 18th instant [?] today.  It was a sense of great satisfaction to me to hear from you.  I should of wrote to you long before this had I not forgot where you lived.


You say that cousin Thomas had received two letters, that is all. I wrote and have never received a line from him.  It would aford me great satisfaction to correspond with all of my friends, more especially since I am a prisner and have been a prisner.  Received one letter from my wife wrote in May.  She had quite a hard time of it getting home.  Father met her at Murphrysbury after which she got a long very well.  Brother Sam was one of my Lut. and was conveslent and directed to take care of the sick at Russellville while moving them to Nashville.  The Federalist over run that country therefore my wife was left alone with his little boy.  She received kind treetment from Mr. Fuqua and Lady and was sent on his way home.


Last information from home all of our friends was well, that is as late as the 28th June.  Father is quite stoute.  He left home and went in the house with my wife.  William has not bin sound long, he went in to Fathers house.  We are farmers two miles south of our old place where we have bin living for the last seven years.  I often think of you as I pace up and down the branch where we played when boys.  You say you want me to come and see you.  I suspose it will be out of my power.  I recon they will continue to march me at the point of the musket untill safely laid in the C.S.  I am in fair spirits and good health; weigh 186 lbs.  It is publiched in all the papers we get here that a general exchange of prisnors was about to be agreed on.  How true it is, I can not say, but rather think it is doutful.  We are comfortable here, plenty of substantial food and the privlig of buying such fruit as the market affords.  I have bin compeled to have none as I was with out available means.  All the money I had was C.S. bonds such as we think is good at home.  I wrote to cousin Thomas to send me some but as well as I recolect, if he ever has, I have not received it.  When I was captured I lost all my close but my uniform which my wife had in her trunk.  [Must mean clothes in her trunk, not uniform.]

I want you to set down and write me a long letter and tell me all about your brothers and sisters, what they do and how they are geting along, also how Uncle William's family is and all the rest of our friends that are in that country.  It will be a great satisfaction to Father & Mother as well as all the rest of your friends that I may have the good luck to see before long.

Give all my love and tell all to unite and if pease is ever restored and I am alive, I intend to see you all.  I remain your affectionate cousin untill death.


J. L. Bottles


P.S. (The old name is Bartles - I like it the best. I have always signed my name Bottles.)



Johnson's Island

August 31st 1862


Dear Cousin,


I write to inform you that I am well and hope this will reach you in due time and find you and family well.


I have bin expecting a letter from you for some days but have not received many except two, both of which I have received some time ago. I have no nuse to write, have not heard from home since the 11 July at which time all of my family and friends was well.


We are all packed up and will leave in the morining for Vixburg to be exchanged.  You may depend it is a gratifying thing to know that we will once more be free men.  I intend to inlist for the war but intend to first visit my friends at home.


Give my love to all of friends, tell them I would love to see them all.  Write to me at home whenever opertunity affors and I will do the same to you.


I remain your friend and cousin,



J. L. Bottles