This letter was written by Pvt. Michael Stoops Miller (1846-1899), the son of Joseph Miller (1817-1896) and Jane Stoops (1822-1889) of Ipava, Fulton county, Illinois. Michael enlisted at age 18 in March 1864 with Co. H, 28th Illinois Infantry to serve three years. His enlistment record reveals that he stood 5′ 9″ tall, had black hair, black eyes, and was a farmer by profession.
After the war, Michael married (1867) Nancy Kitchel Beers (1849-1925), the daughter of Samuel Smith Beers (1807-1851) and Pheobe A. Allen (1806-18xx).
Michael wrote this letter to his cousin, Mary Ellen Stoops (1843-1921) of Hickory Grove which was located in the Spoon River watershed of Fulton county, Illinois. She was the daughter of William H. Stoops (1815-1905) and Hannah Lindsey [or Lyndsay] (1819-1852). They shared the same grandfather — Michael Stoops (1796-1874).
August 21, 1864
Miss Mary E. Stoops,
Dear cousin, I take my pen in hand for the first time to drop you a few lines to inform you that I am well and getting along fine and like soldiering very well, and I hope when these few lines reach you, that it will find you all well and getting along fine.
Well, I haven’t much to write now. There ain’t much going on here. Everything [is] still here now. And for the weather, it is very wet here now and warm. I got a letter from grandfather [Michael] Stoops last week and they were all well.
[As] for the war news, it is about like it was a month ago. Our men has took Atlanta and Mobile and I guess that they will have Richmond pretty soon. A great many think that this cruel war will be over against next spring and then we will all get to come home again. But for my part, I ain’t in any hurry to come home for I would druther be down here than up there till I learned a little more about soldiering.
Well, Mary, I guess that I will have to close my letter pretty soon for I guess that I have wrote about all the news. I will give my best respects to you and all the rest of the folks. Write soon — very soon. No more at present.
— Michael S. Miller
to Cousin Mary E. Stoops
Direct your letter to Natchez, Mississippi care of Company A, 28th Regiment Ills. Volunteers