Benjamin F. Roberts letter during the civil war while he was sick in Henderson. He states, “This is a very pleasant place and considered very healthy. We occupy a large three-story brick building for our hospital here.”


Henderson, Kentucky

May 22, 1862

Dear Brother,

You will see by this that I have moved my boarding. I left Pittsburg [Landing] the 14th of this month. John was well when I left. I have not heard from him since. It was some eight or ten days before I left that I saw Don & Edw. They was well when I saw them last. Daniel had been quite unwell but had quite recovered. I lay in our regimental hospital one week before they sent me here. I have been quite sick but I have got so I am able to walk around again. My disease is of the lungs. I thought when I was at Clear Creek that I should quit trying to soldier but went back to my regiment feeling pretty well [and] concluded I would stay to see the ball out at Corinth. But my health would not permit it. I would of got my discharge before I left Corinth but we only had about one hour’s notice of leaving & I had no time to attend to it. My physician told me I would get my discharge, go where I might, but they han’t the power to grant discharges here. Our surgeon has offered me my discharge several times but I did not want one as long as there was any hope of my recovering my health.

I have finally come to the conclusion that I will take a discharge as soon as I can get one for from experience I find I can’t stand the service. I expect I will remain here until I can obtain my discharge.

This is a very pleasant place and considered very healthy. We occupy a large three-story brick building for our hospital here. Henderson is the county seat of Henderson county. It is one hundred and fifty miles above Paducah on the [Ohio] river. We have plenty to eat and kind attendance here although I want to get home for I think I would recover my health. I am tired taking medicine for I have taken so much the last year & done so little good that I have no confidence in it. have written home since I came here but it is not time for an answer yet. I shall go home as soon as I get my discharge. I should like first rate to of made vou a visit before I went to Ohio but I would be so much farther & I ain’t able to travel around much. Should I get my health, I will return to Illinois this fall. Then I shall pay you a visit. I am getting tired & must close. Write as soon as you see this.

My love to all, – B. F. Roberts


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