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Letter of 5 December 1861

Letter of 11 December 1861

Letter of 11 January 1862

Letter of 5 February 1862

Letter of 15 March 1862

Letter from Aquilla Crow

William Henry Harrison & Rebecca Keys, about 1850.

Benjamin F. Harrison, son of William Harrison and Rebecca Keys, was born 15 July 1840, at Marion, Hancock county, Ohio. In 1851, the family removed to Jones county, Iowa, settling first in Jackson township, and before 1854, in Rome township. William Harrison was a farmer and Benjamin still lived with his family on the farm at the time of the 1860 census.
Benjamin enlisted in the Iowa 9th Infantry, Company B, as a Musician on 12 August 1861.
He died 30 April 1862, of typhoid pneumonia at Forsythe, Tanney county, Missouri. The list of his possessions included: "1 Forage cap & cover, 1 Great Coat, 1 Uniform Coat, 1 Trowers (sic), 1 Flannel Shirt, 1 Shoes, pair, 1 Socks, pairs, 3 Blankets, 1 pr. Wristbelts, 1 Pocket Mirror, 1 Knife & Belt, 1 drumhead and stickholder, 1 Port Folio, 1 Port Monnau*, $,25**."
*The writer likely meant either "port manteau"—a kind
of duffle bag popular at the time—or "porte monnaie"
—a coin pursre or wallet.
**There is a comma which could be a smeared decimal
point in front of the 25, so he had either 25 dollars
or 25 cents.
If anyone has additional information they can
add to this biography, please send it to Richard Harrison

We are deeply indebted to the following family members for saving these missives and additional memorabilia from the Harrison/Crow families: the original recipients, Wm. Henry & Rebecca (Keys) Harrison, Aquila Belt & Mary Susanna (Harrison) Crow, Ida Eldora (Crow) Washburne, Ben Harrison & Mary (Litchgy) Crow, Mary Ethel (Crow) Belangee, and Esther Lorraine (Crow) Spray.
Using an atlas you can follow the places Benjamin writes about. In his last letter home he speaks of Rolla, the Gasconade River and Lebanon, Missouri.
Please note that he mentions family members in these letters, among them are the following: His father's brother, Benjamin & spouse, Jane (Jeffries) Harrison ("unchel benn") & ("Jane"), as well as their eldest child, Louisa Ellen ("elen"); his father's sister, Nancy (Harrison) Egbert ("ant nancy egbert); and their daughter, Eurrita J. (Egbert) Brown ("urita brown"); his father's sister, Susannah (Harrison) Roller's husband ("unchel gorge roler"). The two aunts and the uncle were the four surviving children of Henry & Susannah Marie (Tallman) Harrison. He also mentioned "belt Crow" who became Ben's brother-in-law as he married Ben's sister, Mary Susannah Harrison.
—Marjorie Ann (Smith) Nemitz & DarLynn Sherri Nemitz

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Last updated on Friday, 16-Apr-2021 16:54:30 MST