Henry W. Spafford to Clarissa A. Smith

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Gassetts Station Vt May 16th 1864Mrs Smith

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On my arrival home from a short visit to Grafton Vt I find your communication of the 9th inst which I now hasten to answer. I very much regret that I cannot give you much information regarding your son H. A. Smith: I am very sorry to inform you that I was not personally acquainted with your son: I saw him once or twice but do not recollect that I spoke with him: I saw him as I was passing through the aisle or passages between the beds. I did not think he was so near his end if I had I should have formed his acquaintance and if he wished should have brought to you his dying messages: - The sick in Richmond were treated better than some imagine. Our own men were the nurses and consequently many little things were done to comfort the poor sick men: The Rebels did but little good to our comfort aside from giving

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good Medical attendance: The Rebel Physicians who attended our sick gave them, I think, just as good care as they would or could if ours had been their own men: - I think your son died an easy death as most of those who died with that disease did: The men were all in terred within twenty four hours after death and nearly always much sooner: - The coffins were not as nice as some - they were rough un painted boards - made in coffin form: A shirt was the only clothing left upon a prisoner at his burial: No services: I cannot tell you whether he had any one to speak words of comfort to him or not. I do not think he had any things, as prisoners seldom, if ever do. If any one has any thing left him after the Rebel guards get through with him and deliver him at Richmond, it is usually quickly disposed of for something to eat:- I think he died before Genl Kilpatrick’s raid. He died Feb 29th It was my notice in the paper the first you had heard of his death. How it must have shocked you:

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I dreaded to hand the list to the pub- lishers - knowing that it would strike such a sad blow to so many hearts. May God help them all to bear their grief: - After Mr. Smith died I asked the Ward Master for the ad- dress of some of Mr Smiths friends so that I could write them. He answered by saying that "He would write himself" so I supposed you had heard the sad news: - I saw the Ward Master have some letters which Mr. S. left. I think quite probable that he would be able to furnish you some information regarding your sons last hours. He, the Ward Master, was paroled at the same time that I was - where he is now I cannot say: He belongs with the Western Army & I think must be with the Paroled Prisoners of that Army at Camp Chase Ohio his name is Sergt Jacob Saftig Co. G 4th K.Y. Cav. By writing to the Capt of Co G 4th K.Y. cav. you could ascertain Sergt Saftig's address and probably that way obtain a little information regarding your son Gladly embracing the opportunity to do you your son the slightest or greatest favor and sincerely regretting that I could not tell you more of your son -

I remain Yours TrulyH. W. Spafford
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I have this day ford to Mr Kenny an affidavit that will help you to obtain Mr S your sons bounty and Back pay: In the affidavit I cer- tified that I was acquainted with Mr. S which as I have written you my acquaintance was very brief. Should you wish to ask anything more I should be pleased to do everything for you in my Power Please address me freely upon any subject regarding Prisoners in Richmond upon which you wish to be informed.

Yours Truly
H. W. Spafford