This letter was written by 17 year-old John Johnson (b. 1847), who was enumerated in the household of James Evans (1808-1887) and Catherine Gardner (1805-1872) of Baughman, Wayne County, Ohio in the 1860 US Census. He was the son of Lewis Johnson (b. 1812) and Delilah Evans (b. 1814). John’s mother and James Evans were probably siblings.
John wrote the letter to his friend from Wayne County, Allen K. Rohrer (1845-1864), the son of Benjamin Rohrer (1821-1909) and Sarah McFarland (1826-1916) who enlisted in Company E, 169th Ohio Infantry in May 1864. Allen died of illness while garrisoned at Fort Ethan Allen, Virginia on 6 August 1864.
Addressed to Mr. A. K. Rohrer, Fort Ethan Allen, via Washington D.C., 169th Regiment, Co. E, Care of __
Thursday, July 14th 1864
Mr. A. K. Rohrer
Yours of 26 come to hand the other day and was glad to hear from you once again and that it was so hot to fry a nigger ass to tender beef. That most of been purty hot. Well it is purty hot here now. I have been working corn all week & potatoes and just got done today.
John ¹ is over at his father-in-law’s or some other laws harvesting this week and left me at home to work corn.
Allen, you wanted to know whether Charley was getting fat or not. Well I have not seen him since that Sunday before you left & so I can’t tell you much about it.
How is the boys getting along and his is Jim? I heard that he was not well.
Well Allen, the paper is all and I have not much to write that is important this time but I will do better the next time. — John Johnson
¹ This was probably John Gardner Evans (1837-1905), the son of James and Catherine (Gardner) Evans, who was married in 1862 to Louvina Miller (1843-1906), the daughter of Abraham and Sarah Miller of Baughman, Ohio.