On August 12, 1862, James Lynch enlisted and joined the Company G of the Illinois Volunteer 74th Infantry on the side of the north in the Civil War. It is likely that many of the boys named in this letter joined about the same time. Some of the battles they fought in were: Cableorchard (the first one), Peachtree Creek, Murfreesboro, Chattanooga, Chickamauga, Francisville, Liberty Gap, and Perryville. James was never wounded, but a bullet hit his canteen and he lost all of his drinking water. He and his comrades were hungry many times. They were sent out to forage from the farms around them. Once he and another soldier tried to robe a bee tree, with many stings and little honey. After the war, he was discharged at Nashville, Tennessee on June 10, 1865. The veterans probably scattered to various places after that. I doubt the Reunion he suggested ever took place. James was blind and not in good health when this letter arrived. But I imagine he really enjoyed hearing from his old friend.
Now James, I think this is enough for this time. It may be that Kind Providence will permit us to meet again, henceforth. I hope so, anyway. I only live 50 miles north west of Des Moines, Iowa, and Remember that the G.A.R. National Encampment meets there next fall. I hope you will be able to come and see me then.
I want you to answer this and tell me how and when, if you and Prescott and Jess and myself will be able to get to Des moines next fall. We will make arrangements to have a genuine old Reunion at Yale in the State of Iowa.
You see that I am getting (anxious/nervous?) that you cannot read it, if I should write more, so I must close.
Hoping that this may find you and Yours all Well.
I am as ever, Your Old Comrad,
J. E. Francis
Say, Jim: I still love honey. But I don't think it is a good plan to try to carry it off in the hive--bees and all. How is it with you?
That was no laughing matter at the time. But I have had many a laugh all by myself since that time.
Introduction to Lynch Clan
My Lynch ancestors from Ireland came to America in 1848. The group included my Grandfather James Lynch and his five siblings, ages 10 to 18, who sailed without their parents to New York City. Soon they were living in a tenement house in Massachusetts working in a textile mill. From there they gradually migrated west. This blog will contain information gathered by my mother, Hazel Lynch Skonberg from her father, giving details of the trip over and life in America. There is also a diary written by his son, Will Lynch, who was with the American Consular Service of the State Department, and was taken hostage on Dec. 8, 1941, by the Japanese Army who had captured Shanghai that day. I hope you enjoy this blog about the James Lynch family in America.
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