This letter was sent from the James and William Nelings’ parents and siblings to the boys somewhere in Minnesota. Both James and William, and their cousin Daniel A. Neelings served in the 27th Iowa Infantry, Company E. The 27th was sent to Minnesota to help during the Sioux Uprising and to help with the disbursement of food to the tribes at Mille Lacs.
National Oct 24 
Jimmys welcome letter was received yesterday. We were anxious to here from you. Sorry to hear you were not quartered in the fort.
I hope you are comfortable. As for your going South, perhaps it is best we cannot tell. All the family except myself are in bed. I must get a pen, we are all well, no news to-night.
Well I went up stairs and got pen and ink and am writing again. You didn’t say whether you were going to a fort or not. Dan Nelings [this is likely Daniel Austin Neelings] wrote to our Dan [Daniel Thompson Nelings] saying you were going to guard a place where they were going to hang 400 Indians, so I believe he wrote so to his Father [this refers to the hanging of 38 Dakota as an aftermath to the Sioux Uprising. See this article. 400 were convicted, Abraham Lincoln commuted the sentences of all but 38.]. In his to Dan he said Will T. Wallace had joined the flying artillary [this is likely William T. Wallace, a Private with Company L Cavalry]. Jim did not say anything about it.
We miss you both very much, in every way. Did you take your comforts—I mean your quilts with you. How much will you have to carry. I am glad you have one religious man in your tent. I don’t think anything of importance has transpired here lately. Mother and I got home last night from a visit up at Turner’s [this is probably Tashus Turner, who lived in Wagner Iowa, west of the Nelings] Dan was up plastering Turner’s house. Dealia Owen is living with Dan’s folks now, perhaps some of your squad knows her and thinks of her often [I’m not sure who this is].
Dore [could be Dove] is in good health, I believe. I have not seen Ella Linton since the fair [could be Eliza Linton, daughter of William Linton of Farmersburg IA]. Perhaps there is two of your squad would like to hear from her.
There is a party at Anson’s to-night. I guess it is rather slim. Mr. J. Havens [?] came down since dark after girls. He wanted Delia NI[?] to go, but I thought it was fiddlers. Manning and a fiddler who gave it. The Record you sent us came. We are much obliged to you for it. I hope in the space for remarks opposite to your names we will not have to write anything bad but something good and honorable about any of you, particularly WH Jr Nelings. It snowed here this morning. It is freezing all day. I hope it is not much colder where you are. 50 letters came to this office yesterday from the 27 Reg.
Lizzie Jack’s sister Becky Ann Haze [?] is at Jim’s. She knows your girl, Jim. She came up, we let her see your daguerrotype. She thinks it is the greatest joke she ever heard of. She is very lively. Henry Clark [?] has joined the Cavalry at McGregor, Jim [?] Jack was telling me to-night. He was Orderly Sarjeant. Don’t you think he will make a good one, I don’t believe it, I told him so.
Saturday morning, Sis is [?] this morning. I thought I would try and finish this before mail time. I guess sis has told you almost everything except that Miney [?] has another daughter. It is about two weeks old it has the most black hair you ever saw and baby Florence is quite well now, she can say a great many words very plain. Dan is away, has been two weeks and will be four more I expect. I must hurry and finish this and take it to the office this morning. When you write tell us all the particualrs, how you fare and everything. Philip wrote to Josh that the bread was very hard. I hope you don’t have to lay out these cold night. You must both write as often as you can. We all join in sending love to you both.
From your affectionate sisters
Mother sends much love to you both and says to be good boys and be kind to one another. We cannot send this today, so I will say a few words more, if I have nothing to tell. Mother is sick with this head ache today. She is not up yet. I don’t know whether she will be able to write any in this or not. Gale [?] is building a house on the south side of us. George Hudson on the north. Don’t you think we have good company. Well I want to tell you of a word or two. You do not spell right, now you must not be mad for I am telling you that you may spell right when writing to strangers. You in spelling write spell it right with the pen the other is right not wrong. If you do not like this let me know. Your [obliterated]
Mother want you to write to George.
Whilst I was writing Florence got a pencil and wrote these scribbling.