“Savannah, Jan. 4, 1864 – Our regiment has been very noisy on account of the men being drunk. They forged orders on the commissary for whisky and had a jolly time. One man got so disorderly that his captain had to tie and gag him. This is done by tying a bayonet in his mouth and putting him flat on his back. This man came near choking to death, from vomiting and bleeding from the mouth. He could not spit for the bayonet. I ordered it removed and the captain got mad and made some threats about me, but he soon dried up and apologized. General Sherman ordered all places of amusement in the city closed as the soldiers got so disorderly. — I do not know why you do not get my letters. Perhaps they will all come in a rush. Some of them contain my record of Interesting Events, which, if not received would be a great loss to posterity! Do you not think so? It was three years yesterday since I left home to enter the service. How much I have seen! And how much I have learned!”
“Jan. 18, 1865 – We have orders to leave Savannah and start north into South Carolina. I would like you to send me a suit of clothes. It need not be of Army blue, any good black cloth will do, and is cheaper, also a wide brim, low crowned felt hat, of dirty white or drab. Will want them when we finish the next campaign, probably about six weeks. I don’t think you need fear the small-pox. We are having some here in the Army. They were joking me at the Hospital, saying that I was to be detailed and left in charge, but fortunately they can not do it, as I am now the only doctor in our regiment. Kiss the babies from Papa. Good bye, my dear wife. Your affectionate husband.”
“Savannah, Jan. 18, ‘65 – We move out in the morning. It is said we go up on this side of the river to a point opposite Poctaligia, near Beaufort, S. Carolina. The good news has just come that we have taken Fort Fisher and we will soon have Wilmington. This leaves only two ports for them to run the blockade from. We expect soon to have them shut in entirely. Everyone of these ports makes us a grand point to get supplies from and in case of a defeat, to fall back on. The news from all the divisions is good and is cheering to us.”
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© 1961 by Harriott Benedict Wickham Barton. All rights reserved.