Erasmus J. Allton Civil War Letters


View a reading of this letter and commentary by Hannah Holbert, Intern, The Harvey Goldberg Center for Excellence in Teaching in the Ohio State University Department of History below. (Video Transcript)

Larkinsville Ala. Feb 7th 1864

Dear Catherine after so long a time I once more embrace the opportunity of writing you a few lines to inform you that I am as well as usual and that the company is enjoying the same good blessing and I hope that these few lines may find you as well as you were when I last saw you for nothing give[s] me more pleasure than to hear of you enjoying good health and a free and happy life. We have just returned from a twelve day scouting expedition. We left camp on the morning of the 26th of Jan.  and after on[e] hundred miles march through storms and mud, we arrived in camp safe and sound. This is why I have not written sooner. While on the march, I received your kind and affectionate letter which I read with interest and care. I was happy to hear that you were still well, but sorry to hear that your brother was so unwell[.] I hope he will gain his health again for without health we are without happiness. I have not volunteered in the veteran service yet, but I am on a study to know what to do. For you have said, that as long as the war lasts you would not be united to any and for me to be at home, waiting for the war to terminate, would be a dreary life to me  for it is the duty of all who can leave their homes to enlist in the defense of their country and while I have more to take care of until the war is over, it is my duty to be in the army. My father wants me at home but he can get along without me[.] It is indeed a temptation, Catharine to see so many of our brave boys reenlisting and for me to stand back, while I have nothing to hinder me, looks a little like cowardice so much so that, I sometimes am almost tempted to go up and put my name down for three years longer. My brother has reenlisted and is now at home, and nearly one half of our corps are now veterans and there might be such a thing that the next letter you get home will be from a veteran. This is a nice country to soldier in for the climate is so warm but rather wet and mud[d]y. The fields are now quite green and the frogs try to see which can hallow the loudest, indeed everything has the appearance of spring. we saw, on our march, several people preparing to make garden[s]. This sheet is about full and I will have to close for the present. I want you to write as often as you can for I dearly love you and your letters. Direct to me Co. D. 30th Rgt. O.V.I. 2nd Brig. 2nd Divis. 15 A.C. Larkinsville Ala. via Nashville Tenn. This from your faithful lover

E.J. Allton

Catharine Shick

Remember me Remember me

E.J.A.

Catharine,