In addition to the letters from her brother, Harrison, Anne DeWaters also kept letters from other young local soldiers. James D. Abbott was from Oshtemo and he mentions other soldiers who are mutual acquaintances, including David O. Coleman and Edwin E. Hill. They, too, were from Oshtemo but Anne may have been most excited to learn that Abbot had heard from her brother Harrison, that they fondly referred to as Tip.
When he wrote this letter, Abbott had been separated from his regiment, the 25th Michigan Infantry, and was stationed at a large hospital in Knoxville. The 25th Michigan was then engaged in the siege of Atlanta, which he mentions when he says he has heard from Ed Hill. Abbott apparently had some health issue because the doctors feel he can do more at the hospital than on the front lines. He tells Anna that David Coleman has had a rough time with a leg wound that developed gangrene but which now seems to be healing. Coleman survived and was mustered out of the service the following summer.
James Abbott also survived and returned to Oshtemo where he was a small tenant farmer for the rest of the century. By 1905, he had managed to buy a small 40-acre farm in the township.
Miss Anna Dewaters
Knoxville, East Tenn
July the 24th dd /64
I reseived your letter of the 29 of June this morning it found me in prety good helth for me and I hope that theas[these] fiew lines will finde you the same you dont no how glad i was to get a letter from Old Oshtemo for it has bin Sum time sence i haf hurd from there my being at the Hospital and letters going to the Reg they get lost Well Anna the boys that ar hear from the old 25 ar all doing well the boys that haf bin woonded haf had a prety hard time of it David Colman woond got a most well and he took What th Doctors call the Hospital Gang Green and it ate it all ant a gain worse than ever but he is a geting Better now and that has been the way with a good meny of them We haf a large Hospital hear We haf over 18,000 paciants [patients] and you know that it takes a good meny to take care of them I haf bin on duty hear all Summer the Doctor sais that I can do more good hear than I can at the front as my helth is not vary good I had a letter from Tip the other day he said that they wer all well and having a good time they wer incamped on Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga and I also got a letter from Ed. Hill they wer with in 6 miles of Atlanta when he wrote the boys wer all well when he wrote he said that they wer preparing to atact[attack] the hole rebels line and try and take the Sitty[city] and we haf hurd sence that they did and wer sucsesful and drove the rebels way be yond Atlanta killing and Captuering a good meny of them The War news is good as far as I can lurn from all parts Thare is nothing much going on hear evry thing is all quiet What fien crops thare Was put in hear looks good We haf had a furst trate season hear Except sum prety bad days which ar frequent in this contry Well Anna I donte no as i haf much more to Write at presant They ar a furlowing a good meny now and the Doctor has promist me one the midle of next month but I Donte now how it will be a fellow cant make eny colenlations on eny sech thing untill you get it I haf bin out to a Sitisons[citizen’s] house and Spoke for my supper and I am a going to haf sum young potatoes and warm wrolze[rolls] And butter which is a prety good meal for this Cuntry but the whasher Women cant cook to suit me as well as the northan Woman Wal Anna as to Day is Sunday and we ar going to have meeting i shal haf to bring my letter to a close BY sending you my love Give my best respects to all in quireing friends
I remain your old friend
To Miss Anna Dewaters
Direct to Gen Hospital No 1
Ward 3 Dindy Knoxville E. Tenn
Pleas write as soon as you get this
Please excuse all mistakes and oblige me P.D.A.