Letter from Scott, James

Soldier: Scott, James
Allegiance: Union
Unit/Service Branch: 23rd Infantry
Home State: Wisconsin
Date Written: Sunday, March 15th, 1863
Location: Wyota
Correspondence Type: Letter
Subjects: Family, Friends, Home
[Letter written to James from sister]

Dear Brother,

With pleasure I take my pen in hand to let you know that we are all well at present, but Father is not very well. He has the sore throat for the last week very bad. He was for four days that he could not eat anything nor even take a drink. He is a little better this morning but not able to go out any yet. It makes it pretty hard for us to have Father sick. His health was so good all winter and to be taken down now when the spring work is coming on with no one to do anything about the place makes things look rather discouraging for there is poor prospects of hiring anyone, for anyone that is to hire out wants 18 and 19 dollars a month now. No farmer can give such wages and live in such times as is now. Father did talk of hiring before he knew they wanted such high wages. It begins to look quite spring like. I walked into Wyota yesterday and I thought it pretty warm. Today is warm and nice, but it is the time of year to look for pleasant weather. I received your letter of 28th Feb. yesterday and we are all very sorry to hear that you don't get any better for it must be a hard thing to be sick and not even have a bed to lie down on and no victuals that a sick person ought to have. As for Robert we have given up all hopes of ever hearing from any more. He don't write but I suppose he is not able to, but he might get someone to write for him. Nancy had a letter from Frank Wednesday. He spoke of you being at supper together, but he gave no satisfaction about Bob. He appeared to have no room for anything but to thank Mrs. West for her butter which must have been something extra, but of course anything in that direction is all right, that box did not look very tempting after all but still it was a satisfaction to get it. Frank stated in his letter that Taylor was dead. A soldier's life was too hard a life for one so young. There is a great deal of sickness about Vicksburg. Your Co. has lost several since you were away. There is nothing more to hear anymore but someone's death. I suppose Mag told you about David Welty's death. In your last letter you wanted to know if we sold anything or if we had enough for ourself. Well I guess we will. We sold nothing but some oats that was sold in the fore part of the winter when they were selling for 35 and 37 cts per bushel. He would sell a little more now if he were able to take them to market. The markets now are as follows: wheat $1 to $1.15 per bushel, oats 52 and 53 cts per bu[shel], corn 40 cts per bu[shel], potatoes 75 cts per bu[shel], pork sells at 5.00 dol. per hundred, sheating is 50 cts per yard. You will have to give 40 and 45 cts for the poorest kind of muslin, calico 25 and 30 cts per yard, coffee is 37 1/2 cts per pound, tea $1.50 and 60 cts per pound, sugar 4 pounds for one dol. So you see it is pretty hard now.

Isabell Scott

March 16th, Monday evening

As I did not send my letter off yet I thought I would write a little more to let you know how Father is. He is rather worse this morning so we sent for the Doctor. He said most that is the matter with him is the bronchitus. He is coming again tomorrow. He thinks he will be better in a short time. If he don't it will be rather bad for us spring coming on and no ploughing done , no one to do any. It always seems that we must have the Doctors coming, but I hope he won't have to come long this time. Jeff Van Matre bought that big harrow. Father let him have it for that note Frank Campbell had on you. The principal was 10 dollars, with the interest it was about 15 dols., so Father thought he might as well let him have the harrow as not for it was rather heavy for him and one harrow is all he can use anyway. No more this time. We will write soon again to let you know how Father gets along.