Again, this letter is written by Hugh Wood to his sister, Isabella. It appears that Isabella’s friend, Ell, is Hugh Wood’s sweetheart. It is a heartbreakingly sweet letter. I don’t know who Ell is…yet. Still searching for her in letters and census reports.
May 19th 1858
I pen these few lines as a token that you are still remember by your brother. I hope it is the same with you. May the distance that separates us never alienate our affections for each other. I wrote to Ell last __________________ with deepest regret that I think of that time and distance that separates us. Perhaps forever. Who is here that will tell you of my fate should I die? I would be forgotten as soon as the earth closed over me. Such is the way when the influences of civilization is beyond our reach. I have had two or three men what I thought were my friends till circumstances served their selfish ends. Now I place my confidence in no man but rely on my own judgement for whatever I may require but it is wrong for me to anticipate for we may spend many happy days together but it is no wonder that I have last all spirit and can’t enjoy myself. There is no on here that can understand my feelings. They would only expose and ridicule them confidence that is placed in them. Dear Sister, you can conceive the situation that I am placed in thousands of miles from home. Therefore, you will my case with Ell and say to her all that I leave unsaid. Neither do I wish to make enemies of you. Although your brother loves her well. He loves to increase not to destroy her prospects of happiness in this world. Therefore, if at any time, a greater degree of happiness awaits her than what your brother would be able to bestow, you will council her to seize the golden opportunity though it would be a death blow to all my future hopes. You will conceal the affection of your brother from every prying eye any person that wishes to interfere with other peoples. The worst you can wish of them is to be in Utah territory where they will be happy if they can take care of themselves. It may be sometime before I can write to you again. If we march from this place, you will remember me to all my friends to father and mother, Mr. & Mrs. Davis, Mr. & Mrs. Frazier, John and sister Janet. Tell them I long for the time I shall meet them again. Tell them how we hauled wood through the deep snow and lived in tents all winter. Now when it is summer, we are likely to live on mule or horseback for some time as the provisions for 3000 men is very small now. I could write a good deal that would interest you but I expect you can read a great deal about the expedition in the newspaper but they are making up the mail today and General Johnson reviews the Volunteer Battalion this evening so that I must close my letter. If you have not wrote a letter before this reaches you, it will scarcely be worthwhile to write as I expect to leave the army as soon as we are discharged which will be in July. My love to Elvira. May she be the happiest of the happiest is my sincere wish. My best respects to Frank McMurlan and Tom Mayfield. If they have returned, which I hope they have, and Frank Weatherby. May God be with you and may all the happiness which you so well deserve be yours is the sincere wish of your affectionate brother,
Company D. Volunteer Battalion Utah Army, U.T.
<<<<<envelope information below>>>>>
Miss Isabella Wood
Hill Co. Texas