History of Buchanan County, Iowa 1842 to 1881
Transcribed by Tommy Joe Fulton and Peggy Hoehne
LETTER NO. CV.
CAMP REED, NEAR JACKSON, TENNESSEE, January 21, 1863.
FRIEND RICH: - We are yet in camp here. Since my last, there has been nothing to cheer us; even that "greater light" made to rule the day, has refused its presence in unclouded splendor, but has kept its cheering rays shrouded in deepest gloom. . . . We are doing nothing to expedite the war, as I can observe. The most we do is to guard each other - sometimes a little secesh, and occasionally go on foraging expeditions. We can live here, if we don't die, but I am frank to say I would like to move, and from all I can see, from which it is proper to judge, I think we shall move shortly. The breastworks of cotton, at Jackson, are being torn up and shipped, and soldiers are leaving by almost every train. The opinion prevails in camp, that Jackson is to be evacuated, and that this whole country hereabouts is to be abandoned. There would be many exultant hearts if such should be the case. We want to be, though but a handful of men, in that grand army that shall move irresistably forward to shatter the defences of the Gibralter of the west. We are anxious to be present at the grand battle soon to be fought at Vicksburgh, and, from present indications our wishes may be gratified. The place, which, if taken, would, so says Jeff Davis, sever in twain the Confederacy, and for which they must all fight as the last hope of deliverance, must he torn from rebel clutches. . . . The boys are all as well as could be expected under the circumstances. Captain Miller, of company H, has the rheumatism so badly as to be unfit for duty. Captain Noble, of company C, has been unwell, and Lieutenant Sill is quite unwell now. I hope my next may be written under a brighter sky, and with a better prospect of doing something.
C. H. L.