This letter was written by Peter A. Gadberry (1844-1876), the son of Enos David Gadberry (1819-1898) and Mary Ann Wright (1826-1883) of Wright, Greene county, Indiana. Peter wrote the letter to his 16 year-old sister, Mary Elizabeth Gadberry (b. 1849)
Peter entered 156th Indiana Battalion, Company E, on 21 March 1865. He mustered out of the service six months later on 4 August 1865. The War Department stopped the full organization of this regiment so it was only organized as a battalion of five companies. It never saw any action, its members relegated strictly to guard duty.
Camp near Alexandria, Virginia
May 16, 1865
I thought I would drop you a few lines to inform you that I [am] well and doing well and well satisfied and hope when this comes to hand it may find you all well.
Well sis, I have just come in off of guard and I have just had my dinner. Now sis, I would like to see you the best kind but don’t know how long it will be before I will come home. We are getting news every day [of our] going back to Indianapolis, but I can’t tell anything about it. But there is one thing certain, we will be at home by the 4th of July anyhow. I hope it is so but let it be as it may, I will be contented. But we are looking for marching orders every hour. I don’t know where we will go to yet.
Well Sis, I would like to see all the folks that is back there. You can tell all the girls and boys that I would like to see them all the best kind. I think of us going to our one state. We will come home pretty soon afterward.
Well Sis, you must be a good girl till I come home and we will see a good time together. I want you to write to me as often as you can and tell me how your prospects are for a garden and other things. Write soon and often. From Peter A. Gadberry
To Mary Elizabeth Gadberry
So goodbye for this time. Write a few words to [my brother] Noah. We [smudged paper] a few lines to tell you now that I am well. I would treat you better than you treated me. I was sorry to hear that you wouldn’t write me nary a line. I will write you a few to show you that I can write you a few lines. I am sorry to think that you won’t write more. Try to improve your time. More education. I want you to write now. Now I request you to be a good boy to your parents. From Peter A. Gadberry to N[oah] M. Gadberry