Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Letter of the Day: March 17 (1 of 3)

Vicksburg, Miss

March 17th 1869

Dear Col:

I shall forward to you tomorrow a box of specimens from a mound near Jackson Miss and a few articles from the great Seltsentown [spelling?] mound. As soon as I hear from you I will also forward in the manner you shall direct the specimens of skulls with their retained earth in the condition of the two I have already sent to you, or I will clean and varnish them.

The matter will soon be sufficiently settled for me to renew explorations and to this end I desire again to call your attention to the rich fields unexplored in this and the adjoining states all around me. Prof. I. Jones has recently given me some very valuable information in regard to mounds in Tennessee and near Hickman, KY which contain skeletons implements etc. entombed in a kind of rude sarcophagi constructed of large flat stones. These, or but few of them have been ever disturbed. Should some one else be interested with this duty I will cheerfully furnish you all the information afforded me by Dr. Jones. I fully concur with him in the urgent necessity for these explorations. As the specimens are protected by stones the work of exhuming will be easy as well as rapid.

Some specimens of value await me at Shieldsborough and at a point above, or north, of Yazoo city.

Respectfully yours etc

Ebn Swift

Surg etc U.S.A.

To Bvt. Lt. Col. Otis

Curator Army Med. Museum

Washington D.C.

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