March 26, 1862

March 26, 1862


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Camp Hardee, March 26th, 1862

Wednesday afternoon

My Dearest wife Hortense,

I received your kindest and best of letters Monday evening, and I will tell you I was glad to get it. I also got one from you last weel week which you (commenced) at fathers, and that I answered but I suppose the letter did not go out till to day. The one I recd Monday night a was dated March 19th and was written just one week ago to day. It is doing very well to get a letter in so short a time way down here. Our letters will go to the knob in the morning, and this letter will probably go out with the train. I hope so that you may hear from me as soon as possible. We are all well but are very impatient to be moving from here, and are worrying for fear we will never be in a fight. We hear good news about a big fight at Island No. 10. But we can get no particulars. We hear of todays(?) fighting but do not know which side is victorious. You need not send any papers but when you write tell me all important news without telling particulars. Just give the general news of any important battle.

I must tell you about some fun we have just been having. In the first place we have company drill an hour and a half. Skirmish drill dito (sic), in the forenoon, Battalion drill an hour, Sergeants drill half an hour, and squad drill dito (sic) in the afternoon, making four 5 hours of hard work for part of the time we drill in double quick time (on the run) After all that is all through and we have eaten our supper we feel like play and I tell you we get up all sorts of fun. Now while I am writing they are tossing Geo Jacks up in a blanket. About twenty men take hold of a big, strong blanket and a light one gets on it. Then all the men count "one, two, three" and up the fellow goes. They throwed (sic) Geo about twenty feet up, and caught him nicely. It is fun. How would you like it? Another thing is 16 men lock arms, and brace themselves 8 then get on their shoulders and lock hands. 4 then climb up in the center and get on them, and then two boys get on top. That's fun I tell you. We do anything to kill time. Play ball, gool(?) checkers or anything and everything that can be played. Since I wrote you last I and one or two of our company have been out into the south of this county. We had about 100 waggons (sic) and 50 infantry and 50 cavalry along, Capt (Lawton) commanded. We went to Poplar Bluffs for forage. We came acrost (sic) Jeff Tompson's (quartermaster) and took 16 waggon loads of bacon, some flour, meal, and 40 ___ of corn, took 13 prisoners and had lots of fun. A lieutenant of ___ cavalry had his horse shot in the neck, that is all that happened. And that was done by a sneaking rebel who shot and ran. He shot at the Lieu's head as he was stooping down to avoid some brush. The fellow was caught. We feel that we are in the enemies country, much more than we did in (Arcadia). Last night our pickets were fired on twice, but no harm was done. I am going on picket to night, but you need not fear for me, I keep a sharp look out and when I lay down I get under the shade of a tree

day(?) they will owe me $68.00 so I can send you $50.00 at least. I dont want you to ____

for good clothes if you can borrow the money of Ben to buy with. When you write tell me all about Fanny and Flo. Kiss them for me and hug them just as I would if I was at home. We have been on short allowance for about a week. Some two or three days all we had was half a pint of meal per man, and no salt at that. The when we were out of meal, all we had was three crackers per day. Now however we have beef, pork, flour, meal, beans, rice sugar, coffee, hominy(?) and all we want of hard tack. Thats the way it is. Some of the boys

have worn out (their) clothes and cannot get any more & o how ragged they are. (Ab) and (Ike) are out at ____ but knees and elbows. There is no chance of getting shoes nor anything in the line of clothes till we get to the river as our teams are busy (drawing) provisions and hospital stores. Even our ambulances are busy. I have good clothes though I have not had any new ones but a pair of shoes since I drawed(?) the first ones. I have had my shoes (mended) seven times, and I tell you it (costs) in this country. Give my love to all, You must not look for another letter from me for one week for I have only 3 stamps I must make them last as long as I can. Good bye, be cheerful. Good bye my love, John