February 21, 1863

February 21, 1863

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Ironton Feb 21st 1863

Saturday evening

My Dearest Wife,

I wrote you a very short letter to let you know how I got along ect. (sic) I came to town this morning after I wrote to you, and have been here all day. I have had my hair and whiskers trimmed, bought some socks, claimed(?) some shoes, and filled myself with apples, bread and milk and other things too numerous to mention. Geo Goddard, Serg't (sic) Barnes and I are staying with an old friend of ours and will stay all night. It seim (sic) seems curious to sit at a table and eat. Oh how I wish I could be with you once more and enjoy your company again, but it cannot be at present. We shall start in a day or two across the country to St. Geneviene, fifty miles from here and from there will probably go to Vicksburg. You must not worry about me. The same power that has protected me so far will still protect me. As for me I wish to go where there is more fighting, and less marching. I have had enough of the latter. One last march from Van Buren to Stein(?), from Stein(?) back to Van Buren and then back to West Plains, and from there here has been the hardest of the war. It is true I suffered more last summer some days, but I have endured(?) more since I left VB than in all the rest of my life. (Note . perhaps this reflects that Grant was getting his men into marching shape prior to moving south of Vicksburg to start the operation there.) It rained or snowed as often as every third day while we were out and we had to poke along through the mud day after day at the average rate of fifteen miles per day. Since the 14th of Jan we have marched over 400 miles, slept sometimes without tents, and marched some days without rations and at the same time carried 40 lbs on our backs. I have worn out three pairs of shoes in that time and a part of the time my feet have had nothing between them and the rough stones. I do not tell you all this to make you feel bad but to show you what I can (and am willing to) endure for my country. I am glad you feel as I do about my having to come to war as I did. I think it will be an everlasting disgrace to those who have to be conscripted if it has not already. I never enjoyed better health than I have for the last six weeks, and as long as I am well I shall not think of trying to get discharged. You must excuse this very short and uninteresting letter this time for I must yet write to Mary, Jeanette(?) Erastis(?), Bill and Mell, to night With much love I remain your aff husband

John M. Follett

I sent you $10.00 by Express (sic) today.

Direct to Co. H, 33rd regt via Cairo

Hortense