November 23, 1863

November 23, 1863

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No 18

Algiers La Tuesday Nov 23rd 1863

My Dearly beloved but long neglected Wife

I should have written to you last Wednesday but we crossed the Atchafulaya(?) river to Brashier City last Thursday and that day we heard that the guerrillas were coming in above bayou boueff(?) to tear up the RR between us and New Orleans. There were but few soldiers in town so volunteers were called from the pioneer corps to go along. I went. We marched up to Bayou La France(?) and found a squad and drove them away just as they were getting ready to burn the bridge. We only fired once on them and they run leaving three dead and 11 wounded and 24 prisoners who gave themselves up. We had 3 wounded and none killed. When we got back I found there had been another battle on the ____ near New Iberia in which our boys were victorious 112 prisoners were brought in the day I got there. I do not know the loss on either side. Sunday we were ordered to get ready to come here but did not take the cars till (sic) 12 at night. I got on top of a freight car and went to sleep and slept all the way here 70 miles. What do you think of that? We were so busy yesterday I did not have time to write to you and now I am so tired and worn out I can barely hold my pencil. I have not had a letter from you since the Regt left. The last was Oct 25th almost one month ago. I shall probably get some as soon as we get up with the regt. They left here for Texas on steam ships one week ago. I saw Capt Smith here yesterday. He has been in Carrolton sick ever since our first days march from Ber___ Ok. He looks pale yet. When we will go from here I cant say. We are waiting for ships. I will write to you again Sunday if we do not leave here. Our Orderly has at last got his commission in a Negro regt, but has not yet left the co as his com(?) had to be sent to Washington to be approved. Chambers ordered me back to the co to take the Orderlys place when I was at Berwick(?) but I told him I would rather wait till Smith came to the Co. he might have some favorite he wished to promote. I guess he hasn't though as his last favorite G. L. Chapman has deserted. I expect by the time I reach Texas I shall go back to the Co. You ask me if we are not going to have something better than shelter tents, yes, as soon as wedge tents can be sent to Texas we will have them. It is very warm here yet. Flowers are still in full bloom, we can(?) bag(?) all sorts of garden ____ such as radishes Lettuce ect and we still have mosquitoes. I know it is cold north more for the river water is at least ten degrees colder than it was in Sept when we left here. Ab Morgan is still in the M____ Hospital but Capt Smith has made out his discharge so I suppose he will go home soon. I have got two months pay and have tried since I commenced this letter to send it to you. I went over to NO and went into an express office to send it but they would not unless I would run all the risks my self as there are so many boats fired into now I didn't feel like doing it. I took it to the soldiers saving bank and deposited $25.00 for which I have a certificate and I will send it to you as soon as any boy I know is going up. I lent Wm Henry $5.00 he will send it to his father & he will give it to you. You need not ask for it as I don't know when Wm will get his pay. I have $27.00 by me which I shall keep for I dont want to get out of money while I am in the service. I have a twenty dollar bill and 7 dollars in change. The seven I shall probably spend before pay day, but the $20 I will keep by me. The 25 over in NO & the 5. Wm will send you will make $20. You can use the money you have till you get this. I will send it the first chance, but I dont want to risk it now. A boat came in to day that was fired into by the rebs near the mouth of red river, her pilot house was shot away and two balls were shot clean through her. Our third brig has gone up to drive them away. For the want of a letter from you to day I have been reading over some of your old letters which I cary (sic) now as I have my knapsack drawed (sic). I can never feel as thankful as I should Hortense for all your love, I will try to love you all I might to (sic). It does me proud to read your letters so full of love for me, and I c shall consider my self well paid for all I have suffered if I come home well and find you and my dear ones alive and well. Wont it be a glorious day? Oh how I long for it to come. You need not be afraid of my leaving you again for as much as I hate this rebellion my hatred is not as strong as my love for you. I will stay with you as long as I live. Take good care of your health and the children for my sake. I wish I could come in and see you to night but I cant. Oh dear, Give my love to all to Ben(?) & Clara & Mother in particular for I am going to try to love every body I am going to try to stop hating who do not do just as I want them to. Good bye and good night., happy dreams I am my dear wife your loving(?) husband

John M. Follett