Periodical Fever

Civil War envelope art

In this short letter in mid-January 1862, James writes to his father about his health. He has apparently had an extended period of poor health. His complaints include diarrhea, jaundice, ague [malaria] and fever. He’s happy to hear that his brother Charles is in good health.


Georgetown Pettis County
Mo January 16th 1862

 Dear Father

            Your letter of the 9th came to hand in due time also one from Mary of Dec 31st Mary wrote that she expected to start for home in two or three weeks, and as I did not get her letter until yesterday, I believe that I will not write to her again until I hear that she has got home, for I dont think a letter would have time to reach her before she left. I am glad to hear that Charles has joined his Regt and is in such good health. I wish I could say the same. Shortly after leaving Springfield I was taken with the Chronic Diarhea. I had it for about three weeks when I got it checked up. I was then taken with the Jaundice  but not very bad and soon got it cured and was pretty well for about a week, when I was taken with the Diarhea again and about four days ago I was taken with what the Dr calls­ Periodical Fever it is something similar to Fever and Ague. I am not able to do anything and cannot set up all day, But I am taking medicine that is helping me and I hope that I shall be around again in a week or two. We are having pretty snug winter weather last night snow fell about six inches  I am not able to write any more now, I commenced this letter on the wrong page.

                                                                        James Edward

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