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Letter dated May 21, 1865 from Edward James Doran to parents James and Rebecca Doran

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 Camp Shneman, S.C.
 May 21, 1865

Dear Parents,

 It is useless for me to make excuses for remaining so long from home and not writing to you, but ask for forgiveness for not doing it.  I received a letter from Ella and Aunt last night informing me that you had got home from your visit to the East so I hasten to write to you after so long neglecting to do so.  I did not once forget the happy days that I have spent at home or those that are near and dear to me but have ever hoped and anxiously waited until I could come home as I could wish for I could not bear the thought of going home and commencing to work to recover what I lost in the west with nothing to commence with when I come in from the Rocky Mountains.

 I started for home but the war was just commencing and I enlisted and been in the service nearly four years.  My time will be out in March 1866.  If God spares me until then I will come home for I cannot feel any happiness from my children.  God bless them, they will think they have a cruel father to neglect them so long but I have done what I thought was for the best and I have saved all I could while I have been in the service for them.  It is over five years since I left for the mountains and in all that time I have seldom slept in a house.  I have lived in the open air.  My health has been good nearly all the time.  I got a letter from William a few days ago.  He is well.  I think he will be home this summer.  I will come home next fall if I can get a furlough.

 I have never had one yet since I enlisted.  I have seen some hard times and have often wondered how I escaped with my life when my comrades was falling around me.  On the battlefield I had my horse shot from under me at the battle of Prairie Grove and was taken prisoner.  The rebs had me fifteen days.

 We furnished our own horses in our Regt, the 7th MO. Cav. Vols. 

 I had two shot and more out three while in that Regt.  So I did not make much on horses.  We was allowed $12 per month for our horses.

 Well I will tell you all about myself when I come home.  I have been in nearly every state and territory in the union and Ill. is the state for me.  Forgive me for not writing and write me all the news of your visit.  I hope you enjoyed it and had a pleasant trip.  Give my love to all the folks.  Do not forget Grandmother.

 Tell Frank and Eddie I will come home as soon as I can.  And I will get them a little horse to ride.  O how I would love to see them and my little Ella.  I was in hopes that I was the only one of the boys in the Army for it is a hard place and five years will tell on a man’s constitution being so much exposed.  But for Brother Andrew we will never meet again in this world.

 I sometimes wish I could have taken his place for I have many times went into battle little caring whether I ever came out again or not and often wondered how I escaped.  But I feel happier now since I have heard from home and when my time is out I will settle down in Ill. and try and content myself.  I must close.

 God bless you all.  Remember me and forgive me for past.  Write soon your affectionate but unworthy Son.

E. J. Doran  (Edward)

Written by Michael S. Doran

September 9, 2010 at 12:03 am

Letter dated September 25, 1864 from William Doran to parents James and Rebecca Doran

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FORT SMITH, ARK.
Sept. 25, 1864

Dear Father and Mother

I received you letter of Sept. 4th, yesterday and I was very glad to hear from you all but Andrew is gone.  Dear brother killed by a traitors hand but folks if we go to war we must not all expect to return home but still it is hard for us to reconcile ourselves to the untimely death of a dear brother or friend yet if we look at it right we know that he might have died at home and Father I would rather for every friend and brother I have got in America would die on the battlefield as one to die at home for they are in a good and glorious cause.  My brother died in nobly defending his adopted Country and I honor him for it.

 Still I would like to have seen him once more.  Tell Mother not to fret about me nor to borrow trouble for I do not think that a reb can hit me and I would rather die a dozen times on battlefield as stayed at home like some of them cowardly Copperheads you have there.

 I have killed a few Choctaws and did not tremble much and I think I could have as steady a hand on a Copperhead.  Kick them out of the Country and you will soon have your sons out at home and your daughter will have their husbands and peace again restored to the Country. 

 Since I last wrote to you I have had dreadful time with sore eyes.  I can scarcely see the lines and I cannot write much more.

 As for Edward I know nothing.  Tell Robert when he comes home to stay until he get further orders from me and I will come as soon as I can.

Your unworthy Bill

I will write more soon

Written by Michael S. Doran

September 9, 2010 at 12:00 am

Letter dated July 17, 1864 from Robert Doran to parents James and Rebecca Doran

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 CAIRO
JULY 17, 1864

Dear Father & Mother:

I once more take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well at present and hope these few lines will find you all enjoying the same blessing.  I received your letter dated the tenth on the day before yesterday and I was glad to hear from you.

I heard that Andy was wounded about a week ago, but did not know whether it was so or not till you wrote it.

 Wrote to Henry Grife to know where he has gone and to know whether his wound was dangerous or not and I expect a letter from him in a day or two.

 Well father soldiern agrees with me.  I have gained eight pounds within a week.

 Well there is no news here to write only the boys are well and sends their best respects to all the folks.  When you write again tell me how Frank and Johnny is and whether they go to school now or not.  Time seems short to me down here for when I get up in the morning I hardly have time to turn around before it is night.

From your son
         
R. Doran

to his father and mother.

 Well father the mail has just come since I finished this letter and Newton Tanguary got a letter from his brother that is in the eighty-sixth Reg. and he stated that Andy has his right arm amputated.  If that is the case he will be home as soon as he is able.  I hope it is not so.

Goody bye

 Write soon and tell me what news you get.

Robert Doran

Written by Michael S. Doran

September 8, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Letter dated July 15, 1864 from James and Rebecca Doran to Andrew Doran

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La Prairie
July 15, 1864

Dear Son,
I received your letter dated July 4, informing us that you had your arm amputated.  I had received one a few days before wrote by Thornton Thompson, stating that it was a flesh wound and it was doing well.  It gave us some hopes that you would not lose your arm, but those hopes are all blited.

I received your letter last, and had thoughts of starting to see you this morning, but I did not know where I might find you.  I had wrote to you before to see if I could get you home if I came after you, but I don’t know that you will get the letter.  It was directed to Chattanooga and I don’t know that you will get this, but if you do let me know where you are, and how you are, and how you fare, for time or money will not stop me from going to your assistance.

So I want to know the truth of the matter, for in the midst of life death is on our track and a preparation for the same is necessary every day.  I trust that you have not and is not neglectful in these things, as you have been taught the necessity of the same from your youth up.  May God bless you and preserve your life is our prayer this morning.

Write quick for time will seem long till we get an answer.

No more at present, but we remain your Father and Mother to death.

James and Rebecca Doran

Address:  Mr. Andrew Doran, Co. E
               86 Regiment Illinois
               Vol. General Field Hospital
               Big Shanty, Georgia

Written by Michael S. Doran

September 5, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Letter dated July 10, 1864 from James and Rebecca Doran to Andrew Doran

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July 10, 1864
La Prairie

Dear Son,
I received your letter dated June the 28th wrote by G. T. Thompson stating that you wanted to write to us to let us know that you were wounded in the right arm shoulder.  We thank god that your life is still spared.  I would have been down there as soon as this letter or sooner if I thought that I could get you home or would you be able to come.  I want to know all the particulars about these things as soon as possible and if you will be permitted to come home.  I will go down after you as soon as I receive an answer.  We will feel very uneasy till we hear from you again.  Do not delay to write as soon as this comes to hand.  The worst of it for if there is danger we want to know it and soon if possible.

We send out thanks to G. T. Thompson for his care and attention to you in this your time of pain.

I had a letter from William and one from Robert the same day that I got yours.  They are both well but Will is hard down on that old Traitor Steel and say he tried to sell them every man but the rest of the officers took the management of affairs in their own hands and saved the Herefords not the trains.  He set fire to part of his wagons and burnt them up and sent 5 to 600 mules to Pine Bluffs with just men enough men to drive them and they let him!  Know what he had done so as he could take them.

I believe that such traitors should be made to bite dust by his own men and that just as soon (as one) is found out.  It is too bad that such men should have the lives of so many brave boys entrusted in their care.

We have got all our rye and wheat cut and in shock but I don’t know as our oats will be worth cutting.  I believe the bugs will take them all.  In Lacon they ask $3.00 a day for harvesting but I think they will not get it or at least not from me.

A great deal of wheat will not be cut.  Some is burning up on the ground already.

We all join in sending our love to you.

Write soon.

We remain your Father and Mother to death.

James & Rebecca Doran

Written by Michael S. Doran

September 5, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Letter dated May 9, 1863 from Andrew Doran to parents James and Rebecca Doran

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       Camp Morgan
         May the 9th, 1863

 Dear father and mother I received your kind and affectionate letter yesterday and was glad to hear that you was well.  As this leaves me at the present time we are encamped in one of the prettiest places that I ever saw.  It is in grove of sugar trees.  They are leafed out and make one of the nicest shades that can be made.  We are only 11 miles from Nashville.  We are building a fort hear it will be finished next week.  We have worked on it two days and I guess we will come in for another day on it yet there is more men in the company for duty now than there has been for five months.  We have 40 men now for duty and they are all well and hardy but one or two.  You say the copperheads has got there death blow at the poles I am glad to hear it I would like to have some of them down hear to help fill up our thinned ranks.  I never got an answer for that letter I wrote you when I sent the money but it must have been lost for I don’t get half the letters that is written to me.  I write about three a week and I don’t get more than one and sometimes it is two weeks and I don’t get any letters.  I would like to send you the price of grain but I don’t know what it is.  Potatoes is six dollars per bushel and scarce at that.  Eggs is five cents a piece in Nashville and everything is as high as it can be.  I would like to have seen Milo when he was home.  Tell old Tibbel that I would like to be there and go hunting prairie chickens with him.  I have nothing more to write.  I have sent forty dollars to mother but I wrote about that and so I will close this time.  Give my love to my friends. 
I remain your son,
Andrew Doran
to James Doran

Written by Michael S. Doran

September 5, 2010 at 6:25 pm