Mabel Brown Hibbard Collection
Feb 18th, 1862

Dear Sister, Niece and Nephew

I after a long silence take my pen in hand to write you a few lines to let you know hat we are all alive
and well and hope if ever you get these lines you all may be enjoying the same blessing.  I have
nothing incouraging to write you only from present appearances the war will be Prosecuted more

From this time there appears to be a general moving in nearly every direction and several decissive
battles that has bin won by our gallant soldiers.  Makes the prospect look briter than it has done for
some time past.  I live in a country where there is nearly as many sesesh [secessionists] as there are
Union men but we have some as good Union men here as in any country, and some few Democrats that
is good Union men but they are scarce.  The majority would rather see this Government sink than to
see their party go down.  I hope in your country you have but a few such.  In this Country there is some
bold enough to hollow for Jeff Davis and the southern Confederacy.  Myself and Old Lady were back in
Indiana in November.  There, both parties is Union.  If a man was to hollow for Jeff Davis there his life
would pay the forfeit.  

Mary Jane and Martha are still living there.  Reece, Mary's man, is getting along first rate has a good
farm.  Weakly, Marthias's man, is not doing so well.  He is a good steady sober man but does not
appear to have the faculty of getting along as well as Reece.  Elizabeth and Matilda are here with us.  
Cooper, Elizabeth's man, lives five miles from us is doing well.  Got a farm of own and making a good
living.  Stevens, Matilda's, is living with us but will go on his own next fall.  I have given Matilda and
Marthia 80 acres of land each and expect in a short time to give Mary Jane and Elizabeth the same.  
Marthia has a very prety situation in about a mile of us if she would come on it on a public road.  She
has 5 children, Mary one, Elizabeth two, Matilda three.  

William E. Midkiff has volunteered and is in camp at Camp Dubois, Jonesboro, Illinois.  He has the
appointment of wagon master.  His oldest son, John, volunteered last spring and is in Missouri some
place.  I got a letter from him last week.  He was well then.  His other son was married last Sept.  They
both got I think fine girls for their wives.  They have two girls, one a young woman and the other some
10 or 11 years old, I think now.

If I live till next October if all is well and I can raise money, I will come and see you.  I think I will come to
Springfield to the Grand Loge of the Masons.  I am Master of the Lodge in Martinsville and am the
representative of that Lodge, but if any of you can come to see us sooner it would be very gratifying to
me.  Gideon Stafford lives near us.  Mr. Stafford is confined to his bed with consumption in the last
stage.  His son in law and wife is out to see them and all of our folks in Shelby are well except Uncle
James Robertson.  He fell and broke two of his ribs.  I do not anything of our relatives in Missouri but
think likely they are secesh.  

Samuel Midkiff
Mary Woodruff