Letter from
Guilford Sartain
to his sister-in-law
Martha Sartain
August 15, 1862



Richmond Virginia                                                                    August the 15th., 1862

To Martha Sartain

Dear sister it is nothing but the mercy of God alone that has spaired us to live this long.  It is very painfull for me to have to write the awfull concequince to you but take it the best you can Martha, your husband is deed [dead], he tooke the measeles about the first of August we give him tees and he brook out as good as I ever saw and thay staid brook out three days or longer and he commence mending and was doing finley and order come and we had leave and me and Vandver went with the Redgiment and left Bill Beard with Lewis and Thomas [Scarborough] and bill said he was doing well and on thoe 8 of Augt. he was sent to the Bragde [Brigade] Hospitel againce his will.  He dident wont to go to the Hospitel and moving him was jest what cosed his death to my a piomian [opinion] Martha while I was with Lewis I took good ceare of him and tended to him brought him leaves to ly on and done every thing I could.  I done every thing he wanted to do.  It was moving him what caused his death.  It is all most more then I can do to write to you his death but O that had the tung of a Angle to write something to you that would satisfy you but O there is no satisfaction for you when you here this letter reed [read].  I had ben at worke and never got home tell 10 o clock in the nite and I was powerfull hungree before I got to camp but when I got to camp I went to commence eating my supper I tooke one bite of Breed [bread] and Perry Thompson spoak and said that Lewis was deed.   I was struck so sevear I couldn’t hardly speak nor eate a bit.  I never seed much more trouble in my life as I have sence last nite and aske god to have special mercy on you and the children.  I went home and went to bed but I could not sleep much but dreamt I saw Lewis as well as ever he was but, he said to me Guilford now you can git to go home and he coughson [cautioned] me of something but for my life I cant recollect what it was.  Martha if it was in our power we would send him home but it out of our power.  I couldn’t git to go to see him nor tend to his things, Thomas Scarborough went to the Hospitel with Lewis.  He has got Lewis s money and Tom will be at Redgiment before long.  I will send his money to you.  I will sen his close and things to you as soon as I can and I will git the captain to fin and draw his bounty as son as he can and I will send it to you.  Martha I would willingly give one hundred dollars to have him sent home but I cant git the chance to do nothing her.  I don’t know where he was beared at, but Tom dos and if Tom wont him taken home and Alford or some body will come after him I will help pay for carring him home, but it wouldn’t do any good but it would be a satisfaction to you but there is one concelation.  I no he is much better off then we are.  I am satisfied that he is in heaven this morning relizing the blessings of God with his elder brother.  O that we was all as hapy ass thay are to day.  Martha I wont you and your children to meet him in heaven.

Martha I have jest ben asking God to have mercy on you and bless you and I am prayin for you every hour I live and I wont you to pray for yourself and children and not greave about after him for he is so much better off then we ar.

I was so sorry he died here.  I don’t know want to do but I could no help it.   I wont us all to meet him and Larking in heaven.  We have all got to dy and my pray to god is that we all may meet a bove.  Amen

Martha write to me again

So Fair well Martha and Children

Guilford Sartain         Martha Sartain


Guilford, Lewis, Alford and Larkin Sartain were sons of Elisha Sartain and Frances Bond.  Thomas Scarborough was the husband of their sister, Patsy Sartain.   Larkin Sartain, Guilford's older brother, had died earlier in the war.

Lewis Sartain married Martha Beard on 21 Sept 1854 in Madison County.  She was the daughter of Samuel F. Beard and Elizabeth McEver.  Lewis and Martha had three children; Amanda "Mandy" (named after Martha's sister), John and Henry. 


Transcribed and contributed by Charlotte Collins Bond