April 5, 1863

April 5, 1863

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Milliken's bend, Louisiana Apr 5th, 1863

Sunday Morning

My Dear Parents and Sister,

I wrote you a letter a few days ago and sent it to Galesburg by Erastus which I suppose you have got by this time. When I wrote that I did not expect to write you another before the battle but there is no more prospect of a battle now than there was days ago. I rced(?) (received?) your long and welcome letter of March 21st & 23rd Saturday(?) and I was so glad to hear from home I am going to answer it right away. You say mother, you were in hopes I would stay at Pilot Knob, I was glad to get out of Mo myself. I would rather be where there is more fighting, and less marching. I am glad we are here and I hope we shall soon have the pleasure of taking Vicksburg. It will be honor enough for my life time. You ask who we have new for a capt. As soon as our co. is filled up by conscripts to the maximum (100) number, We will have Geo. Smith for capt. Williams for 1st and Chambers for 2nd Lieutenants and J.M. Follett for orderly. We are now below the minimum (66) and are not entitled to any promotions. You had told me that Fletch was on the Pitsburg before. It passed here a few days ago and I went to Gen Carr to get a pass so that I could go down to Young's Point . 12 miles below here and he gave it to me, also a letter to the comodore (sic) of the Pitsburg so that I could get on board, but our Col would not give me a two days leave of absence, that old cuss, so I did not go down. Our relatives are pretty well scattered about in the army that's a fact, but I guess they are doing their share _____. A.H. Follett, & Loren(?) E. Follett's sons, I am glad to learn that Bill stands it so well, but am sorry to hear that Mell is discouraged. I "went down to stay" when 2 enlisted, and if I have my health I will stay till (sic) we whip the rebels if it takes ten years. We are only 12 miles above Vicksburg and we can hear the cannons boom, boom, boom, day, and night occasionally. Grant is having another canal dug and we have got to go down some day this week and dig our share, Now Mother(?) I will answer your letter. I do like the size of your letters first rate I tell you, I dont know what I should do if you didnt write to me. You say Chess Vail sent you a Peach blossom from Louisiana. Well I will send you an apple blossom from the same state but lower down also a bay leaf (the short one) and a laurel leaf (the long one from the same place, a rose and juniper sprig from Miss. I was over there day before yesterday and also some Louisiana silk which I picked myself. The old fellow who owned this plantation left about a 100 acres unpicked last fall. I sleep on about $25.00 worth which I took out of a bail bale(?). We tore down his cotton gin house and made floors for our tents. He had 600 niggers and they were all gone, his land 10,000 acres is laid waste, and he is ruined. Verily the ways of the transgressor is (not will be) hard "He that doeth wrong shall (he may repent but the punishment comes first, - end is certain) receive for the wrong which he hath done" He is receiving the reward of his disloyalty and I think the south at least will be convinced that there is punishment in this life for wrong doing. Now Miss Ellen, you say you do like to write to your brothers and you are so foolish as to think they like to have you write to them. Well I hope you will always be just so foolish, for I like to read letters from you all. You must remember that any little thing which interests you will interest me and all you have to do is to write it to me. You say you wonder if you will ever be able to write as good letters as Mothers. Mother does write good letters and she is hard to beat and the reason why is because she writes all the little things. If you live as long as she had may be you will write as well. You can keep on writing to me any way for your letters are welcome. Enclosed you will find some moss such as hangs on every tree in the woods in these parts. It is for you. I want all of you to write as often as you can and I will do the same. I am as ever your son and bro.

John M. Follett

Direct to John M. Follett Co. H 33rd regt, Ills, Vols, 1st Brigade, 14th Division, 13th Army Corps, Army of the Miss, Gen Grant Commanding.

Via Memphis.