Fort Hovey, Feb 15th, 1862
My Dearest Wife,
How do you do to day, and what are you doing? I would just like to step in and see you and Flo to day. It is very warm and pleasant now but has been very cold. I am glad it is warm for we have got to march from here next wednesday for Bloomfield. I suppose you will not like that but I do. There is a general movement south now and I want to do my share. I think Columbus will be attack (sic) soon, and as Gen Grant is below them to cut off the rebels retreat, we will be stationed at Bloomfield so as to be ready
cut off Jeff Thompson. The 21st has gone down. The 38th will go with us and there are some troops at Bloomfield now. We will be near New Madrid(?) so that when our gun boats bombard that place we can surround Jeff. We received news by telegraph last night that Springfield was taken by our troops, and that (Prier) was retreating. Good. I think this war will be ended in two months now McLellans (sic) power(?) is broken, and he no longer has supreme(?) command. Do not worry about me My Dearest Hortense. My fate is in the hands of a higher (power) than my own. Have faith and hope for the best all the time. I could not bear up under this separation(?) if I had not the strongest
faith. I know all will be for the best, let come what will. I sent you a dollar the other day, did you get it? I do not know just when we will draw our pay, but when I get it, I will send it to you immediately and I want you to
you use every cent of it for yourself and the children. Mrs. McKenzie will come home some time next week. She sends respects to you and wishes you were here to go with her.
I intended to have finished this letter yesterday, but I had to go over to Ironton to sell some coffee, soap(?) and grease for the company, and to day we have had to march out seven miles and back with our knapsacks, haversacks, canteens, and cartridge boxes on, so as to get seasoned to marching. We have got to do it every morning till we go.
Pshall Pshaw(?) I can march thirty miles a day like a book. We got our new f'arms(?) to day. They are rifled muskets. We hear good news tonight from Fort Donelson. I hope our boys will clean out the rebels. Well I must stop writing for it is late and I am tired. I shall write to you regularly while I am going south every wednesday and Sunday, but you will not get letters quite as soon as you do now. Do not worry. I shall be glad when I can again kiss my wife and children and I think I will (never) leave them so long again. Good night my dear one. Yours as ever,
John M. Follett