April 25, 1862

April 25, 1862

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Mrs. Hortense B. Follett

Galesburg, Henry County

Illinois

{Care of B.F. Hill}

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Pitman's ferry, Arkansas

Apr 25th, 1862

My Dear Wife,

I have an hour to spare and hasten to improve it by writing to you. We left Camp Lippincott at Reeve's station last saturday and marched all that day in a pelting rain and stopped at night, wet and cold, but as soon as we could put up our tent and get some hot coffee, bacon and hardtack we felt better. We (stand) ten miles from where we started for two days, and it rains all the time. Our train(?) of provisions consisting of six six mule teams an 200 waggons and 6 mules on each waggon was stopped by the flood, above the St. Francis, so we were put on half rations. That was sunday and we are still on short rations. We have marched this far at the rate of 15 miles per day thruugh the mud, and the rain with no coffee sugar rice and only half enough hard bread, bacon and beans. We waded through twelve creeks and rivers one day coming just 15 miles. Our Quartermaster forced all the citizens along the road to take their teams(?) and help draw our tents provisions ect. (sic) As it is some of our mules are dead and others about gone up. We arrived at this place la yesterday about 1(?) marching 12 miles between 8 & 1 through the mud and had to put up our tent in the mud & while it was raining, but we went out and cut brush and laid under us put our rubber blankets on it and though we were wet to the bone we slept well till morning (sic). To day it is very pleasant and warm so we are dry again. Some of our best men are sick but I am happy to inform you that I and all the boys you know are well. I do not complain of my hardships. A soldier has no business to complain. We are within 20 miles of Pocahontas and have been ferrying across all day and will probably leave here tomorrow. We have loaded one flat boat with things and will send it down this river(?) which empties into the white river just above P. This river is the Current(?) river, so named on account of the swift current. It is about as wide as the Illinois and is very ____. You spop spoke in one of your letters about my sending you a sprig of mistletoe. I wrote you that I did not know what it was, but there is lots of it here. I will send you some in my next I have been out in a cane break to day where the canes grow twelve to fifteen feet high. Enclosed(?) I send you the drawing of the rattlers of a snake killed by one of our boys. It is just the size and number. I have no time to write more. Write as often as you can. I will write again from P. I would like very much to see you and the children. Wont it be a happy day when I get back? Good by my dearest wife, John