Transcribed and Submitted by
Great Great Granddaughter of Charles Hennrich, Company D.
March 7, 1864
We have returned to Vicksburg in good shape after months march and again have marching orders for 30 days. As far as we know we will have to spend the 30 days aboard a boat going further down the Mississippi. However, we do not know where we are going.
We left Vicksburg the 4th of March. We had nice weather for the whole of our march.
We left Vicksburg, the 3rd of February. The 4th we crossed Black River on a railroad trestle where, the same evening, the advance guard became engaged. Night ended the shooting and the rebels drew further back during the night. The 5th the fighting started right in again and continued until dark. Although only the pickets were engaged there was a considerable loss in dead and wounded on both sides. Toward evening three cannon and their crews were captured. The cavalry forced their way into town, almost to the courthouse but had to fall back to the infantry again.
The morning of the 6th the riders arrived in Jackson. The rebels had withdrawn over the Pearl River. We chased after them as far as Meridian, Mississippi, a little village where there is a big railroad center.
We lay there several days and tore up the railroad. Our division tore up 20 miles.
The 20th of February we started our return journey and arrived in Vicksburg again the 4th of March.
The country through which our army passed is all laid waste. All is burned down. Many were not left enough provisions so that they could eat in the morning. The towns thru which we passed were almost completely laid waste. Jackson, Hillsborough, and Decatur were burned the worst. That was going. You can easily see what route we took on the map. The first town we passed thru was Jackson, and then Brandon, Hillsborough, Decatur, and Meridian. On the return we came thru the following: Marion, Marion Station, Canton, Lexington, and Brownsville; a march of four hundred miles.
I wanted to send something but if we go by boat we will need it all. If we should happen to march by land I will send my overcoat and dress-coat.
Dear parents, I have sent two letters and received no reply. I would have left writing to you until I had received an answer but since we are leaving again in such a short time I wanted to write you a few lines.
Dear father, in the end I will yet come into the country where you wanted to go a few years ago, namely Texas.
Now I must close and let me greet you many times, answer soon.
NOTES: The march described is known as Sherman's Expedition from Vicksburg to Meridian. His army for this maneuver consisted of Veatch's and A.J. Smith's divisions of the 16th Army Corps; Legget's and Crocker's divisions of the 17th Army Corps; and the 5th and 11th Illinois, 4th Iowa, 10th Missouri regiments of Infantry and Foster's Ohio Battalion of Cavalry.
New Braunfels, Texas was the colonization site of a group of German immigrants. Many of these were friends of Jacob Hennrich. Jacob entertained a notion to move to Texas but never did.