From the Green River Valley Museum archives


Libby Prison, Richmond, VA

Dec. 13, 1863

Serg. G.D. Sullivan

Co. E. 2nd Reg. O.V.I.

Dear Friend,

Presuming you have escaped unhurt at the battle of the 20 & 21st of Sept. last I address you at the Regt. (Regiment). You may thank your stars you were sent off in charge of that squad when you were, else you, like myself, would date your letters at “Libby.” Perhaps you think it strange that all of the Regiment was not captured that is easily explained, and rest assured it will be when we return to the Regiment for the present enough.

George, I am the same mind in regard to that arrangement we talked of as I was before, and you can go on and do all you may. I think Chickamauga will help us on, what think you? Would to God I could be with the old 2nd now, but it’s out of the question yet.

I am glad that the Colonel is with you. Is Anderson back yet? Give some news when you write. Write me soon as convenient. Give my respects to my friends.

Respectfully yours,

John W. Thomas

A moment in time would make all the difference in the separation of these two friends in the midst of the Battle of Chickamauga in Georgia. John W. Thomas was captured and sent to the Confederate Libby Prison in Richmond. The squalid conditions of the prison took a toll on him and he did not live to see his 26th birthday. George Dutro Sullivan survived the war and his descendants call the Green River Valley their home. Ora Sullivan was the second wife of Otto Leifer, one of the first ranchers near Big Piney. This letter is courtesy of the Green River Valley Museum Research Center and was donated by George Sullivan’s great-granddaughter, Suzanne Gallemore, a teacher in Sublette County. 

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