Erasmus J. Allton Civil War Letters

East Point, Ga.

September 17th --64        While the air is yet cool, while the balmy breezes blow softly around us, and while all is yet quiet and still, I thought I would write you a few lines in answer to your kind and affectionate letter, of the 4th of September, which came to hand on the 15th.  How glad I was to hear from you again and to hear that you were well and able to write so kind a letter, which was welcome, and received with pleasure.  Your letter was carefully read as all your letters are, and as you sent me this sheet and envelope, I will write on this and send it back to you again. 

Your kind letter, Catharine, found me as you hoped it would do, that is well and unharmed, which I am truly thankful for.  For a person would think, that, to pass through the dangers which many of us have done since I last saw you, it would be impossible for us not to be killed or wounded, but it is not strange at all, when we remember who it is that has shielded us, and not forgotten us for a moment during the campaign.  The great wonder is that we, being sinful, are spared while so many of our brave commanders have fallen and so many are now suffering from wounds received in action, the same in which we are now engaged, but we remember that all power is in his hands and he doeth all things well.  And still notwithstanding all his mercies and goodness toward us how neglectful we are of him[.] daily we are sinning against him and grieve him by a thousand falls and why is it that he has spared us God himself only knows.  We know that we are still living and it is his will that we are still alive and we will trust in him, that he will permit us to meet again and that to part no more while living. 

How pleasant this morning is.  The breezes are gently blowing through the groves and forests and the branches of the lofty trees are swaying to and fro by the gentle pressure of the air.  The sky is clear and the sun shines brightly giving all nature a beautiful appearance, and the little birds are flitting about from branch to branch and from tree to tree, seeming as if they knew nothing of trouble or sorrow.  They remember me of little children running about with limbs so light and free, knowing no sorrow and perfectly ignorant of their future days.  Our camp is in a grove of lofty oaks and on the summit of a small hill.  The streets run parallel and at right angles with each other and each company has their tents in a perfect line.  We have good shelter, now, from all but weather and the night air.  We are now at rest with nothing much to do, only to keep our camp and clothing clean and do a little picket duty.  We have enough to eat and to wear.  We will now rest for a short time and then we expect to go ahead again.  During our last campaign the 15th Corps killed, wounded and prisoners more men of the rebel army than there is men in the corps which is about 10,000 and we have marched over 400 miles and dug 10 or 12 entrenchments.  So, that, by this you see that we need rest.  Gen. Howard now commands our army (Tenn) since McPherson’s death[.] Gen. Logan commands our corps and Gen. Hargen (Harger?) commands the Divis. and Col. Jones (our Col) commands the Brig. and Col. Hilt commands our Regt.  Our non veterans have been discharged and are on their way home[,] a happy set of fellows indeed, and I hope we will all be at home in a few months.  I want you to write soon as possible and let me know how you are getting along.  Direct as before and remember me as yours only.  E. J. A.

P. S. I will send you a copy of Gen. Howards address to the army of Tennessee and you will see what he thinks of us.  There are three corps in this army, 15th , 16th, and 17th, three in the Cumberland 14th,  4th, and 20th.  There is one in the army of Ohio, the 23rd corps, all commanded by Gen. Sherman.  The army of the Tenn is the army that captured Vicksburgh and its army.   Yours truly, E. J. A.

P. C. S.

Lincoln and Johnson