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Letter From Johnson's Island
The Johnson's Island Autograph Book Of Lt. Samuel Dibble

The following is one of several letters from Samuel Dibble to his relatives in Orangeburg, South Carolina, while he was imprisoned.

Johnson's Island July 26th, 1864

My Dear Mother,

A Dixie Mail has just been distributed, and the only document I received from home was an envelope endorsed with the statement that the letter was "contraband in length." The rule at this prison is rigidly enforced that no letters of over a page of ordinary letter paper shall be written or received by prisoners. 'Tis needless to express disappointment; you can easily imagine what I felt, not having received a line from home for over three months. By this mail, I was fortunate to get one communication from Orangeburg, from Cousin M, dated June 12th, which was very highly prized and duly answered. Letters have come thro' by this Mail as late as July 10 in date, but a fatality of delay seems to attend mine.

We are getting along very well here. I am well, and employ myself principally in playing student again. There is a perfect furor for the study of modern languages here, and I have not been able to keep out of the current. Reading matter is not very scarce here, tho' mostly of a light kind. I have had the opportunity, however, of reading most of the newspapers of this country, as well as late files of the London, Liverpool, and Paris journals, and, now and then the English Reviews. We have a Chess Club here, and that serves to occupy one afternoon each week.

I have heard from Stony Hill a few days ago: all were as usual: Ann was at home. S.L. Jr., I think I wrote you before, was reengaged in his recent position at a slightly advanced salary.

I am looking anxiously for news from home. Please write often, and don't exceed a page. My love to all. Did Father get my letter? My kind regards to all friends. How is young Theodore? I hope Theo. K. has quite recovered. His position is enviable. Would I could have been there. In closing, accept, Dear Mother, the love of

Your Affectionate Son

/S. Dibble