January 6, 1864

January 6, 1864

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Letter #26

Deerans(?) Point Jan 6th 64

Wednesday afternoon

My Dear Wife,

I am heart sick and homesick to day. I dont know what makes me feel so but I cant help it. I have tried not to give way to the feeling but I cant feel cheerful. We are having another Norther and it is very cold and windy outside but I am warm in my little house for we have a good fire, but in spite of comfortable quarters I feel lonely and down hearted. I am sick and tired of soldiering and wish this mean war would end. When I think what I might enjoy if I was at

home with you and the children I feel as though I had done enough for our country especialy (sic) when I take into consideration that we are cheated out of more than half our rations. We are getting nothing now only some hard tack and some pork. No coffee, beans, hominy(?), candles, -nass(?) nor any thing else. As good luck would have it I have more than half a pound of tea left so I manage very well. The soldiers are really starving just through the neglect of those who should see that we have enough good food. Gen Benton has complained to Washburn and Washburn has done the same to Banks and has also sent a statement of affairs to the War department. Such a botched up affair as this whole expedition is I never saw. I wish I was with

Gen Grant for he never let his men starve only when it was impossible to get provisions and then we men willing to suffer for he always accomplished some thing. The agent of the U.S. Sanitary Commission is here with a lot of good things. Do the "poor soldiers" get any of them? Not one particle!!! In fact they are living off of our rations and they said the officers are eating the jellies of fruit and drinking the wine and they have all the flour they can use. It makes me so mad I can almost curse the government that allows such things, but I hold in. As my time draws to a close I grow impatient and I feel as though I could fly to Illinois if I was only free. I will never make a slave of my self again though if we had good men in office I would be contented, but almost every man who holds an office under government (?) in the army is a drunkard. I called an officer a low lived son of a bitch night before last for asking me to reenlist and he was so drunk he could nt (sic) resent it. I will say no more for I will make you down hearted but by the time you get this I shall probably be having a better time and shall be more cheerful. As it is I dont know what I should do if it were not for your sympathy and love and I need it all every bit of it. I love you Hortense all the time and though you know I am not a praying man yet I Thank God for giving me your love. You are the only being in this world that can ever do any thing with me and for your sake I try every day to be a better man. I dont succeed very well for you know I have an awful temper but if I keep trying I will get some better one of these days. Oh how I long to clasp you in my arms again and show you how much I love you. I feel sometimes as though my heart would burst with love for you. If you didnt love me how dark and dreary my life would be. I shall be the happiest mortal alive when I get home. I have not yet got any letters since the regt left Port Esperanza (?) but I am in hopes to in a day or two. A boat here just came in so I am in hopes we will get some rations. Evening I have just had a cup of tea and some parched corn so I feel in better humors(?), but I have nothing to ------ for all I have said is time though I would not write it to every one. It still blows but I shall sleep warm for Pierce(?) went on board of the Weissice(?) and stole some coal so we can keep the fire all night. Oh how I wish I could crawl into your warm nest with you and the cherubs(?). I shall feel fully recovered when I come home for all I have endured if I find you well. It will be so glorious to be with you again. Some of the soldiers made a raid on the sutters today and took over $400.00 worth of eatables. I am glad of it though I did not harm a head in it for they charged $0.75 per lb for butter $0.75 for cheese, two cents a piece for small crackers and so on for everything. I dont help in such scrapes because I dont want to be disgraced on yours and the childrens account and I should be if I was caught but if it was only my self who would suffer I would "go in lemmons lemons. Kiss F& F for me. I love you Hortense night and day, body(?) and soul(?), with all my might mind and strength. Love to all who enquire after your aff but unworthy husband. John M. Follett