Transcribed and Submitted by
Great Great Granddaughter of Charles Hennrich, Company D.
Jefferson Barracks, Missouri
Sept. 29, 1864
I received your letter the 29th and see by it that you are all still well as I, thank God, also am.
We left Memphis thinking that we were going to Atlanta. We were held at Cairo when the news came that Atlanta had been taken.
We lay there several days and then had to board the boat again and went to Jefferson Barracks, ten miles below St. Louis.
We lay there until 10 o'clock the night of the 25th of Sept. when we received orders to prepare ourselves with three days rations and to be ready to march. Our brigade was immediately loaded on a train and away it went, under full steam, to Mineral Point, Missouri, 61 miles from Jefferson Barracks, where we arrived at four o'clock in the afternoon and unloaded.
The rebels, 15,000 strong, under General Price, were moving against Pilot Knob. Six companies from the 14th Iowa Regiment were immediately sent by train from Mineral Point to Pilot Knob, 20 miles away, where they arrived just in time to entrench themselves and the rebels had almost surrounded the town.
Our regiment and the 32nd Iowa had orders to hold Mineral Point until further orders. The morning of the 27th our outposts were attacked and a skirmish between outposts followed which lasted until 10 o'clock when we received orders to retreat to DeSoto, 20 miles back on the Iron mountain R.R., where we arrived on the 28th.
The 29th we left there, by train, for Jefferson Barracks where we arrived at noon the 29th.
The last we have heard from Pilot Knob the rebels have laid siege to the fort. The rebels tried to storm the fort and attacked four times five lines deep but were repulsed each time. The 64 pounders were supposed to have mown them down like hay.
What our retreat signifies we do not know, but we were not driven back. We are laying here now under marching orders and it may be that we will leave for Rolla, Missouri tomorrow.
I must close because I have to go on watch. I had much more to write as to what happened on our trip. I have received the letter from Henry Waterman and I will write him more of the details when I have more time and you can just as well read it there.
Greetings to all of you,
You must not hold this poor penmanship against me as this was done in a hurry.
NOTES: Atlanta was occupied by the 20th Corps Army of the Cumberland, September 2,, 1864. The 27th Iowa left Memphis September 5, 1864 aboard the steamship "Belle of Memphis" and arrived at Cairo, Illinois September 7th. They left Cairo September 14th aboard the "Sioux City" and arrived at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri September 16th.
The withdrawal on September 27th was a protective measure necessitated by almost total loss of three companies of the 39th Missouri Infantry plus a detachment of the 1st Iowa Cavalry at Centralia, Missouri.