This letter was written by Capt. James Harvey Greene (1833-1890), the son of Eli Green (1799-1852) and Mary Fox (1798-1887). James was married to Jane Rachel Hervey (1836-1892) in 1857 and the couple were living in Prairie du Chien, Crawford county, Wisconsin when the Civil War started. In August 1861, James was commissioned Captain of Co. F, 8th Wisconsin Infantry. He remained with the regiment until February 1865 when he mustered out.
Probably about 1864, James addressed this letter to his two youngest daughters, Nellie (b. 1859) and Cassie (b. 1862).
In the letter, James draws a sketch of the regiment’s mascot, “Old Abe”—an eagle that they carried into battle with them.
My dear little daughter Nelly and my dear little daughter Cassy,
Papa is afraid his little girls are tired of waiting for an answer to their pretty little letter to him, but he has been oh so very, very hard at work until this minute. You must take this letter to your dear mamma and be real good girls while she reads it to you and then you must write another letter to papa and tell him all about that little black and tan dog that Uncle Henry got for you, and which was a naughty dog to run away. I wonder if Nelly remembers that big white dog that we call Frank which she played with at Germantown? Here is a picture of him. [Sketch]
And here is a picture of our eagle. [Sketch] Don’t you think it is nice?
And you remember that little nigger girl who thought you was such a fine young lady. Well, my little girls, here is a picture of her. [Sketch]
There, papa must bid his Nelly and Cassy goodbye for this time. Mamma will give you a good kiss for me.
From your dear papa.