Transcribed and Submitted by
Great Great Granddaughter of Charles Hennrich, Company D.
February 8, 1865
Your letter of the 23rd of last month I received the 7th of February and see that you are all well, as I, thank God, also am, and I hope that these few lines will find you in good health.
Dear parents, our winter quarters have played out again. Again we have marching orders. Our army corps has been relieved by the 4th Corps and General Hatch's cavalry division. We are going down the Tennessee River again by boat. On the 5th there were over seventy steamboats here. The boarding has lasted over six days now. The First Division went off down the river the 6th. They say that we are going down the Mississippi and that we are to land fifteen miles above New Orleans. Where we go from there I do not know. That is merely the talk here. If it is true I do not know. We will find out whether we go down the Mississippi or not when we get to Cairo.
I think that lying still has played out for the rest of our service. We had built ourselves good winter quarters but we did not get to use them long. The 3rd Division went onto the boats yesterday and I think that our division, the second, will probably go on in the morning. Our division is the last to leave.
Fritz has written that a Negro has already given him a slap on the ear. That is something to hear about! I would stick such a black tiger to death and, if necessary, stick him alive again before I would take anything like that. I think I will see him when we go down the river.
Henry says that no one asks about him. That is because everybody forgets about him. Henry, if the twins send their picture to Fritz then you send your picture to me. It is a wonder that Ernst let himself be heard from too.
Several days ago a great catastrophe happened here. The 9th Indiana Battery, half of the mens' time being up, was loaded onto a steamboat, as the other half of the men were to do garrison duty with the cannon some place down the river. There were also many soldiers aboard leaving on furlough. Two days later word came that the boat had blown up and that 68 of the 75 had been killed, wounded, or drowned. Later we heard that not that many had been lost. Even if not, many perished there who had served three years and were on their way home.
I must close, with many greetings to all of you.