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James Maxwell
Company D, 127th Illinois Infantry

"As for my coming home, I never expect to see home again, but if I do, I may have lost a leg or an arm, but I will hope that all will be well. ..." James Maxwell, March 24, 1863


March 24, 1863

Dear Sister Lina—

I will try and answer your letter to the best of my poor ability. I have been writing home to Father and the children. Somehow, I never think to mention his better half, but it’s just as well for it is all in the family. I suppose she thinks as much of her family as anyone. I suppose by what you say about her that there will be a new addition as Eddy says in the family, a little half-breed (Don’t never let father see this letter), quite encouraging I should think, to him. I should have liked to have been home when you was all down there. I think I could appreciate a good time as well as most anyone. Did you have as good time at Kinglsey’s as we had last summer? I don’t believe you did. You wanted I should send you some money. I will when I get some. Father must think you can go without clothes, but you shall have some money if I can get it for you.

As for my coming home, I never expect to see home again, but if I do, I may have lost a leg or an arm, but I will hope that all will be well. I would like to go to school this summer for I can see my ignorance more and more everyday. I will not write anymore at present.

Write soon…From your loving brother, Jimmy to Lina

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Submitter: Sherri Cawley James Maxwell enlisted on August 13, 1862. He mustered into Company “D”, 127th Illinois Infantry. He was mustered out on May 31, 1865

Brian Brown, author of In the Footsteps of the Blue and Gray: A Civil War Research Handbook which can be purchased from ABE Books kindly sends the following information:

James R. Maxwell was born in Milford (?) or Westford (?) (the entry was almost illegible). The state looked like Connecticut in the Illinois service records, but census records indicate birth in Ohio.

On 8/13/62, he joined Company D, 127 Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment at Chicago. He mustered in on 9/5/62, also at Chicago. He was discharged on May 31, 1865 at Washington D.C. At the time of his enlistment, he was single, a farmer, age 20, 5-10, black hair-gray eyes-light complexion and resided in Highland, Grundy County, Illinois. On the 1860 census of Grundy County Illinois, Wauponsia township, page 170, James Maxwell, a 21 year old farmer hand who was born in Ohio, is listed.

In 1890, Maxwell applied for an invalid's pension and received certificate #797043. At the time, he was living in Illinois. In 1930, his widow Emily (who was living in Illinois, applied for a widow's pension and received certificate #A-5-15-30.

Read more letters in the Maxwell Collection: undated | 5 Jan. 1863 | February 15, 1863 | 24 March 1863 | 29 May 1871 | 30 Sept. 1873

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