Found Poem


                                                            December 29, 1863

                                                            Chattanooga, Tenn.


Dear Mother,


What does Father say about

coming after my brother’s body?

If he comes he could bring a metallic coffin

and then if he could not

take Stephen home to Ohio,

he could have him buried here

and then have him taken up

and brought home

after the war was over,

or we could leave him

where he fell at the

Battle of Chickamauga

leading his gallant company

on to victory or death.


If he comes, I want him

to bring me a box of provisions.

Tell Father to get me a pair of boots.

Tell him to get them made.

Tell him that I want tolerable heavy calf skin,

with very heavy soles and heels.

Have the soles 3 or 4 thicknesses.

Tell him to get heel plates on them.


If he comes down here

he can find the Regiment

on a little raise of ground

about two or three hundred yards

south of the Chattanooga Depot.

You can inquire for General Tuschin’s Brigade;

when you find the Brigade,

inquire for the 89th Ohio;

when you find the 89th Ohio,

you can inquire for Company D;

when you find Company D,

inquire for me and any of them

can tell where I am.


                                                            Your son,

                                                            John Walker





Backstory: Found Poem

The poem came from a letter carefully preserved and passed down through the generations on my wife’s side of the family. John Walker was only 18 years old when he wrote his mother asking if his father would come from Ohio to claim the body of his older brother, who had just been killed in the Battle of Chickamauga. My wife is a direct descendant of John Walker.

The original letter was in an envelope addressed to the young man’s mother, Mrs. Margaret Walker, Eagle Mills, Ohio. It was copied from the original on Dec 12, 1942 by Sally Lou Neds, grandniece of John Walker.

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