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27th Iowa Top Banner

Transcribed and Submitted by
Teri Button
Great Great Granddaughter of Charles Hennrich, Company D.

Cairo, Illinois
November 28, 1864

Dear Parents:

After waiting over a month without receiving an answer I finally take up my pen again to write a few lines.

We returned to St. Louis the 18 from our long hard march which we started the 2nd of Oct. We might have marched every day without overtaking the rebels and therefore we were obliged, on the 12th of Oct., to break camp at 12 o'clock at night and march. We made camp at 9 o'clock that evening and were ordered to eat. By 12 o'clock the whole army was again on the march. At daybreak we passed through Independence, where our cavalry, under General Pleasanton, had broken the rebel line. The dead and wounded still lay on the battlefield. The rebels had been driven back and were being pursued by our cavalry.

We laid over there that day. First the dead were buried there and then the wounded were taken to Kansas City, a distance of only seven miles.

The rebels suffered severely. They had three times as many killed and wounded as we. Our cavalry practically all have repeaters and the rebels could not stand up to that.

I was in the hospitals where the rebels lay and it looked pretty bad. They had three big frame houses full of wounded. The rebels had left doctors behind to treat them.

The next day we went as far as Harrisonville where the news reached us that General Pleasanton had captured Generals Marmaduke and Gabel along with 2000 men and most of their artillery. We lay there several days and then took up our knapsacks again. Before we left Harrisonville one of Bill Anderson's bushwackers was captured. He was set upon a horse which was driven under a tree, the rope was slipped around his neck and tied to a limb, and then the horse was driven away from under him.

We arrived back in St. Louis again the 18th of Nov. having put back of us a march of almost 800 miles.

The 25th we were again loaded on to boats and shipped to Cairo where we arrived the 28th.

We will probably leave here yet today, where to I do not know. Our regiment has just left. I have not been with the regiment since I returned from furlough. I am a guard at the headquarters of our brigadier-general. When I will go back to the company I do not know. Our colonel is now commanding the brigade.

Now I will close with greetings to all of you. You must excuse my poor penmanship since this was done in a hurry so I could get it away with the mail.

Ch Hennrich

NOTES: In the text of this letter, the date given as Oct. 12th should have been Oct. 21st as the actions mentioned were the battle on the Little Blue River on Oct. 21 and the battle at Independence, Mo. which occurred on Oct. 22nd. Major-General A. J. Smith's Army, of which the 27th Iowa was a part, made the forced march, mentioned in this letter, the night of the 21st and the morning of the 22nd of Oct.