Hilton Head, South Carolina
January 29th 1862
Dear Sister Lydia,
I now seat myself to pen you a few lines in answer to your very kind and welcome letter which came safe to my hand last night. Yours found me well and as rugged as usual and I hope that this will not fail to find you the same. I was glad to hear from you and especially to hear that you all are well. You spoke about what I said in my letter about your paying Millet that dollar. I believe that you said that you had paid him that dollar that I gave you but what hurt my feelings the most was what you wrote about Millet’s thinking hard of what I wrote about my money. I can assure you that I was glad when I received your letter last night and learned that you and Millet did not think hard of me for I did not mean either of you any harm.
My dear sister, I do not hold hardness against you for I couldn’t if I wanted to, for it seems to me that I love you as I do myself. And Millet, as for him, he is all the brother that I have got and I think as much of him as I could an own brother. Perhaps you think that I do not care anything for any one of you but I know that I do. Lydia, I am trying to bear my cross daily after my Savior. We are having good prayer meetings out here and I hear that you are up there. Lydia, I hope that you will not neglect to serve your heavenly Father. Let us meet in heaven if not on earth.
I am glad that Mother draws that money from town and I am glad that she has paid Elder for I felt worried. I was afraid that he would think strange of me. I guess that I will write to Millet now. So goodbye for this time. Write often to your own brother. To my loving little sister Lydia, — Stephen F. Downs
Port Royal, S. C.
January 29, 1862
Dear Brother Millet,
It is with great pleasure that I now seat myself to answer your few lines which was received with great joy. I am well and rugged as you ever saw me. I am very glad that you had such good luck on the dam. You said that you was pegging shoes for Alonzo. I am glad that you are so smart. Now Millet, you will want some tools to work with. Now then I have got a good set of tools either at home or over to Howard Huntress’s. You can tell Howard that I sent you and he will give them to you. You can have them as well as not.
Now Millet, I want you to write a few lines in every letter that Lydia writes for I feel that you own me for a brother when I get a good letter from you. Goodbye for the present. This is from your brother. Yours in haste, with respects, — Stephen Downs
Bully for old Miss Whitehouse