Headquarters 2nd Division
4th Army Corps Oct 18th 1863

My Friend,

Your letter came to hand two days ago. I am very much surprised that you had not heard from me up to the time you wrote.

As soon after the occupation of Chattanooga as circumstances would admit I wrote you a short account of your bereavement accompanied by a statement of Lieut Moody's affairs here. I think you have received that letter.

I read your letter with a heart full of thankfulness. I am grateful to you for wishes which you expressed. I have treasured up your words in my heart and shall not I assure soon forget them.

Captain Brown was but partly correct in the statement he made regarding my being present in the hospital with Otis. I was there and did assist him to take such positions as wished. Still it was not in my arms that he passed away. Tired, worn out with exertion incident to such terrible times at 11 oclock at night when he was resting easier than usual I gave him in care of the hospital steward of the 51st Ills Mr. Parsons and lay down by the fire bidding him to wake me up if needed.

A little after one oclock he waked me up. I knew what the cause was. Otis was resting in the arms of Parsons. One glance sufficed to tell me that all would soon be over. From that time on I stood beside the cot assisting whenever needed. I watched beside him until life's fickle flame went out. Until the spirit left its frail tenement and sped out on its voyage to the land of the blest.

As to expenses accruing to anything I may do, I hope you will say nothing about it. Whatever I do is but an offering which I willingly make to the memory of a cherished friend. I simply do what he would have done for me.

Please let me hear from you again.
Your Friend
Lewis Hanback

To Mrs Moody

Sources and Notes:
Copy of letter with accompanying hand-drawn map (also copy) in Fifty-First Illinois file, Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park, Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. The word "graves" is written diagonally on the map toward center bottom.
Parsons was the chief hospital steward of the regiment, Jacob B. Parsons, who was tending Moody, Colonel Bradley, and other men of the Fifty-First who were taken to a small cabin on the battlefield; the cabin served as a field hospital. It was overrun by Confederates on Setpember 20. By that time Otis Moody was dead and had been buried nearby and Bradley had been carried away to escape capture. Others who were too badly wounded to be moved fell too into the hands of the enemy.
Brown was Captain Theodore F. Brown of Company D. Brown was wounded in the head at Chickamauga and was given leave to travel to Chicago while he recovered. Apparently, in Chicago, he met with Otis Moody's mother and expressed condolences.