Stevens, Aaron D. (1831-1860) to his sister
High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.
A high-resolution version of this object is available for registered users. LOG IN
Describes time at Fort Massachusetts in the New Mexico Territory. Tells of joining the dragoons and their confrontations with Native Americans, including Navajos ("Navhoes") and the Utah nation.
Forte Massachusett June 30th
It is with pleasure that I site down to write you a few lines, to let you know that I am injoyin good health, hoping, that this will find you the same. I did note intend to let my friends now [strikeout] [strikeout] what I was doing but as they have requested it I will comply to there wishes, when I left New York I inlisted in the Draggoons think I should go to Calafornia, but insted of going there I went to New Mexico, and I'v been hear ever cince, and expect to stay hear untill my time is out. I'm a buglar in F. Company 1st Draggoons, we been to fight the Navhoes and we had a hard tramp of it, there was three Companys of Draggoons two Companys of Infentry and one of Artillry, we lost nearly 200 horses besids about 75 mulles and we hade one man wonded but we [inserted: all] got, [inserted: strikeout] back with our scalps on, and we'v been to fight the patches and we hade our guide wonded there, but they had not spunk a nuff to come out and fight us so we hade to leave them, and last summer we hade to go into the Utah nation and bild a forte whitch is cald Forte Massachussett and we are still here I have verry good times now I have nothing to do but stand orderly twice a week, and that not verry hard for all I have to do is to blow the calls, there is 47 calls in all, field calls and garson calls, my pay is $13 a month, and I have my board and cloes, and I expect that is as good as I should of done if I hade stade at home, for you know I might of got entangled, and you know the old woman was verry good  an giving her advis on this point, but success to her I hope she will live longe and well,
I had a lettor from Father and Henry, and they told me that you hade another child, that is a doing verry well gott while your yonger case when you get old you cant. Henry gave me some pritty good advice about getting religon but a person might as well try to [insert: turn] the sea into land as get religon in this country. Lemuel made quite a voiage that was doing verry well for the first time, I don't think he make another trip right off, he has got to be quit a man, well I hope that he will do well and all the rest of my friends, If nothing happens I expect to see you all in a bout two years and nine months, the railroad from the Misscippia to the Pacivic is goin to run closte to whare I am, and if it does I may get a good chance on it, if I should I think that I shall come home first and then return for I never expect to stay long in the New england states becas it is no place for a yong man, but I hope we may all live to see one another once more give my love to Joseps and all inquirin friends, tell Lucy I'm the same child yet. I should like to see her verry much, and as I have nothing more to say I must close.
I am your most aff brother,
A D Stevens Aaron D. Stevens
Forte Massachusetts, (when you write direct your lettors
New Mexico in this way,)
The copyright law of the United States (title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.