Letter No 29
Indianola Texas Jan 16th 1864
My Dearest Wife,
I feel like writing this afternoon so I am going to begin a letter to you and finish it tomorrow. I am in hopes to get a letter from you soon but I try to answer yours from last. I tell you I do like to get such good, long, kind & loving letters. They help me bear up and keep my courage up to the sticking point. I am very glad you have not forgotten the children this Christmas and New Years. I wish I could see them when they look into their stockings. Oh dear it wont be long before I shall see them for the time is wearing away very fast and one of these days you will see me to walk in to stay with you and the dear ones the rest of my life. All the rest of the boys are going into the "veterans" and I am glad of it for it must(?) be a death blow to the Confederacy but I shant (sic) go in. I have to put my foot down very hard and think of you and the children when I say so or I should give way and go in too in spite of Smiths meanness & Lord Rylands(?) overbearing disposition. The latter has given up going into the "Corps de Afrique" and has gone home recruiting for the regt. The boys told him plainly they didnt want him to come back again but he will come for if the regt he will have a com (sic). Some of the boys are not going into the veterans and they told R. that he was the reason. Tom Berman(?), Lorin Hitt*, Fred Ferris*, Swan Miller*, Sam(?) Smith, Dan McHenry* and Corp. (Eli F or Henry C.or James F.) Jackson hate him so much they cant stand it. Any of the boys dont like him but think they can stand it for $400 bounty. Smith is looking for a majority if the regt is mustered in again so I would stand a very good chance for a Lieutenantcy for I am on very good terms with him and "Lord R". Why I dont know for I have treated them rather coolish (sic), but they have changed towards me. They may go to grass. I ask no favors. I have done my duty and I feel that I deserve a commission, as they have cheated me out of it they shall not have the satisfaction of smoothing (sic) the thing by giving me my dues at the expense of three more years away from home. I have an acct to settle with Smith and I long to be free so I can say my say. I am very glad you went to that Lecture and if you dont go to hear Chapin, Agalige(?) and laugh I'll spank you when I get home. I do feel so sorry for you my little(?) chubby(?) to think that you have to wade(?) in the snow and get up in the cold and build the fire. You shant do it next winter any way. Oh I'll keep you so warm. Our Capt paid the express on the shells and I will pay him. I hope you will get them all right. If the boys get mustered into the service again they will all come home on a furlough of thirty days in the state but I shall stay. I shall remain in the Pioneer Corps and you may direct my letters as I told you in my last and tell May to do the same. I wish I could come home with the boys but I cant at such a price (ie reinlistment(sic)) by
they the time they get back I shall be about ready to start home. I dont know as government is going to follow out Grants order or not but I hope so for he says we are entitled to thirty days each year and as we have not had them we are to have them at the end of our time but there is no knowing what Mr. Banks will do. The regt was mustered in on the 5th of Aug so I will go out then any way and I shall hope to go out in May.
Sunday morning Jan 17th 1864 My Dear Hortense It is very warm and pleasant this morning. I wish you you (sic) were here. You speak of taking a plantation somewhere. I am willing to try it if you want to and would be very glad to go in with Dan provided we could agree and I guess we could. You would miss a great many things in the south that you have there. Potatoes and apples do not grow south. I would like to take a plantation in La. from Government (?) and will see in what terms I can get ----- before I come home. I am willing to live anywhere with you. I think you would like the south but I dont like it as well as I do the north however I think we could do well down here. So you went to hear John A. McLernand(sic) did you? I am very glad you saw him. You say he is not a good speaker that depends on his subject. He spoke to us once on the "use of the bayonet" and he spoke well. He is for the bayonet all the time. I will tell you when he is eloquent. When the battle rages, when shot and shell are screaming and bursting all around him and he is begrimed(?) with powder and covered with dust then he is eloquent. He is all action and life in battle. He puts me in mind of Napoleans marshall Nez. Oh Hortense I am glad you didnt say anything against him, for I dont think I could stand it. I almost worship him. I shall always worship four persons(?) in this world. One is Hortense, the other three are Grant, McLernand(sic) and Carr. No one must say a word against these four in my hearing for I would fight. I fairly love such Generals as Grant, McLernand(sic), Osterhaus, A.P. Hovey, John A. Logan, McPherson, Sherman, Washburn and all those fighting Gens but such nin(sic) cum(sic) poops as Mr. Banks, Mr. Franklin, Mr. McLellan(sic) and that stripe I hate, despise, detest, dislike, abhor, abominate, and hold them in abundant contempt. I am glad A.H. saw that battle, he will now have some idea what his boys have gone through. You ask if that money will be safe in N.O. I have sold it in the certificate(?) to Cap and will get the money pay day when that will be I dont know. I now have four months due and that two months pay besides. It will all come in good time any way. I dont need it and I should be afraid to send it home now. Hortense I long to be with you again. I am impatient and can hardly wait. How I would fly to you if I was only free but I am a soldier and must stand at my post till I am "relieved". and then Oh then. Good bye and a thousand kisses for you and my other two kissers. Direct to John M. Follett. Pioneer Corps, 1st Div, 13th A.C. Department of the Gulf. I am as ever your loving and aff husband.
John Meacham Follett