6 January 1862 Letter

Erasmus J. Allton Civil War Letters

Camp Union Fayetteville Western VA 1862
January 6th Monday 1862
My dear and beloved one, I expect that before these few lines reaches you, that, we will be in a fight, or else the rebels or we run. We are now preparing to leave this place for a short time probably 2 weeks. We are ordered to march tomorrow morning at half past four o'clock and every man in the regiment is ordered to go that is able to march which will be about 500. that is of the 30th Regt. and the 23rd Regt. is going along with about the same number, leaving the 26th Regt. here to hold this post until we return. We do not know where we are going only that we are told that we are on a forced march and that it is a secret expedition and that we are a going to fight and to prepare for it. We are ordered to take 40 rounds of ammunition. Our company is very small now, for we left 6 men at Sutton unfit for duty and we have been here now 2 weeks, and when we came here there was not a sick man in our company but now there are 21 unfit for duty and we have 8 men on furlough so that you see by adding these umbers together and subtracting it from the number that came from Columbus which was 91 that our company is reduced very much. But what there is of us is very good soldiers I expect. but we will know in the courses of a few days, whether we can stand the fire or not. These few lines I am writing in haste and my dear Catharine I want to write a few lines to my father and mother before we leave here for I cannot tell when I will get the chance to write again whether ever or not. But I hope that I shall write to you again in the course of a week or ten days. My dear I am almost discouraged for since I last saw you I have only received three letters from you and it may be that I will never read any more of your beautiful and lovely letters and it may be that I shall have the good privilege of both reading your letters and seeing you before many weeks. I will if I am living. I throw myself in the care of a higher power than my own and I trust that I shall be preserved from all dangers which daily surround me. But if I am cut off by the enemy or disease it is his will and I submit to his will. Some of the boys are now wishing that they had some whiskey to drink before they go into the fight. But for my part if I am permitted to be in an action I shall go as sober as I can. I want no whiskey ambition. I shall depend upon the ambition that nature has given me. I shall try, during this war, not to do anything that will disgrace you an[d] my parents or our army but how I shall succeed I cannot tell. I am, my dearest, enjoying very good health and I hope these few lines will find you in good spirits and in good health my dear friend and love my love for you is true to you and ever shall be as long as I shall live and I hope that my life shall be spared so that I shall enjoy your company in peace and happiness. But my fear is now that we will if we live have to go to Mexico to fight the combined forces of England France and Spain if so, we will have to stay our three years. But we will try to get home to see you all before we go, I hope the thing will be settled before they come in contact for we have trouble enough at home. i have no doubt but this war at home will be settled before many months and everything will become quiet and business become as flush as ever. I must now bring my letter to a close for the present. Hoping these few lines will give you no trouble of mind. I wish you to write as soon as you conveniently can and direct it to E.J. Allton in care of Capt. Fowler Co. D. 30th Regt. O.V.U.S.A. This from your affectionate love.
E.J. Allton
Miss Catharine Shick