Well Mary few lines to you. I have nothing strange to write you. I am living wright in the heart of the Tories. At least half of my neighbour is secessionist. Nearly one half of them wear Butternut Breast pins and I was told yesterday a Campbellite preacher preached on Sunday with one on, and it is no uncommon thing to hear them huraugh for Jeff Davis. It is said that in Jasper County they are drilling regular, yet we have some very strong Union men here. I hope you are not infested with such traitors in your country. I hope to see the day they may have to plead for mercy. Enough of this.
The prospect is dull with us for a crop of wheat this season. I have 20 acres in wheat this year and I do not think I will raise half as much to the acre as I did last year and mine is the best I know of anywhere in the neighborhood. I have done but little towards farming yet. It is too wet. We have our oats and flax sowed and our potatoes planted and a little corn ground broke. We have as yet a good prospect for peaches. My apple orchard is too young to bear much yet though there is some trees in bloom now and perhaps there will be a few apples this year. I have as nice a young orchard as ever (?). We will have plenty strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries and currents and perhaps some pears. All well and doing the best we can and that is none the best but in a worldly point of view as well as our neighbors. I will close my scribbling for this time. Direct your letters to Martinsville Clark County Illinois
Samuel Midkiff Mrs. Mary Woodruff
(Butternut pins were worn by "Butternuts" to symbolize their stance on the Civil War. Butternuts and Copperheads opposed the war and wanted it to end with southern states remaining in the Union but still being allowed to make their own laws, including slavery. (See Copperheads.)