Camp Hardee, Mar 11th, 1862
My Dear Hortense,
The last time I wrote to you I was at Camp ________ near Greenville on the St. Francis River, on the old Jeff Tompson camp ground. We left there Sunday for I don't know where. We are now camped on Hardee's old ground, on the black river (sic). Our regt ferried over last night, and to day Bracket's(?) cavalry is fording the river. The 38th Illinois is ahead and Mentor's (?) battery of artilery (sic) also � The 21st Ill and 1st (Indiana) and two other regiments are behind. We are to form a junction with some troops from (R____) , and New Madrid(?) in a day or two, and then go down to Pitman's ferry and clean out some 6 or 7 thousand sesesh if they don't run. We are to be in Gen Steel's brigade instead of Gen Prentiss' as I wrote you last. We had a hard camp at Greenville. (We had) to lay right down on the ground and a (
herd) hard bed it was I tell you. We have been living now for five days on short rations. No sugar, coffee nor bread. We have bacon and flour & salt and some beans and manage to keep from starving. We mix up flour, salt and water in a batter and fry them in grease, and get along very well. As soon as our other trains(?) get along which will be in a day or two we will have enough to eat again. I am also in hope to get some letters for I have not had one since I left Arcadia. Jo Hart(?) is in my tent now. (Frank) arrives with us this noon. Also a friend of Ab Morgans by the of (Morgan), from Missouri. Our pickets were shot at last night and to day we have taken about a dozen prisoners. We have not received our pay yet and will not till we get to the river. I wish you would borrow $20.00 of (sic) Ben or _____ of ________ and as soon as I get my pay I will pay it back. Get Give my love to all, keep up good courage and don't get down hearted for I will be at home in a month or two, see if I aint. Kiss Fanny & Flo for me. I am as ever your affectionate husband.
John M. Follett
We received this last Eve(?) the 20th & I have opened the envelope to tell you that James Greer(?) has just returned from Paducah where he had been for Ian but he was dead when he got there and he could not find out where he was buried but he saw Mell who had just come up to Cairo to bring some of the sick(?) how I wish I could see him but he wrote a few lines saying he should not come home till after the war was over he is still with the Doct(?) but said he should go back to his company if he could get a chance to fight, his regt is at Island #10 he is _____ & ______ _____ ______. I will send you some sesech money