An interesting piece just shared with us at the Appomattox Court House- a J.E.B. Stuart postscript to a 12/31/1863 letter to aide Alexander Robinson Boteler lamenting the loss of a great banjo player.
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P.S. Poor Sweeney the banjoist is no more. He died of the small pox during my absence. His loss is very generally felt throughout our military circle. Do write & tell me how things are. Hurry up legislation for the cavalry & the army if you please, & believe me truly yours - JEBS
That is SO cool!
I think it helps to illustrate just how popular and well known Sweeney was. On the down side it also illustrates how common diseases like smallpox were. Fortunately today we don't have to deal with these diseases, but back then they were fairly common and often deadly.