Franklin, Luther – April 13, 1863

Michigan Civil War Collection Rare and Notable

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Regiment: 5th Michigan Infantry Battles Mentioned: Historical Figures: Abraham Lincoln, Daniel E. Sickles, Joseph Hooker, Mary Todd Lincoln Camp Fairbanks, Va. Apr. 13th, 1863 I believe I can write a pretty long letter today or between this & the time I sent it. In the first place we expect to be paid in a few days as the pay master is in the Brigade and will commence paying today. We have had a visit from the President his wife & son. On the 8th inst. we were reviewed by the President Gen. Hooker & Gen. Sickles the Grand Division formerly commanded by Gen. Hooker was reviewed on that day. Mr. Lincoln looks a great deal older than he did last summer his hair is greyer. He must had a great deal on his mind as he would not grow old so fast. He has no whiskers now. I suppose is one thing that makes him look worse he is the homeliest man I ever saw. I have heard folks say that all things were possible but now I deny it. I saw that the Almighty would not make Lincolns mouth any larger without setting his ears back. On the 10th he (Lincoln) started for home, this Corps. was drawn up on the “corduroy” road to cheer him. This road is about twenty feet wide. We were drawn up without arms and opened rank about faced, so we all faced inward & about 20 feet apart Mr. Lincoln & his wife rode in an open carriage. Their coming was noticed by the cheers from the head of the column cheering, as he went through this regt. the Maj. rode along a head of the carriage & gave the following orders, three cheers for the President, three for Gen Hooker, three for Mrs. Lincoln, & three for the boy, they were given with a will. Mrs. Lincoln is a very good looking woman, she is quite a large woman, she is I should think as large as Mother is. The boy was about as large as Elisha was when I left home, he is a smart looking boy, he was on horseback. Elbridge has seen Gen. Hooker & he can tell you something how he looks if you want to know. Gen. Sickles (the commander of this Corp) is a large man, he is a kind of a surly looking chap & I could judge by his looks he could kill a man with a good heart as he did Keyes a few years ago. We have got our new camp ground fixed up pretty wise. If we get paid I shall not send my money until I get some stamps either from home or else when I chance to run across some which occurs once in a great while as an accident. They are now paying the 17th Maine. I guess I will not write any more now but will wait. Apr. 14th, 1863 I will finish this letter this morning. We have got orders to be ready to march at 4 o’clock this P.M. We are to have three days rations in our haversacks & five in our knapsacks including salt. We are to carry 1 blanket and shelter tent, the rest of our clothing we are to turn in to the Q.M. No more, good bye Yours in haste, Luther Franklin P.S. Rec’d your letter of the 1st on the 10th -L.F.