Item description: In this letter, Union soldier Emmett Cole writes to his brother Edgar, who is at home in Barry County, Michigan. Emmett discusses his feelings about death, saying that “I am resolved whereever I may be to go without a murmur,” and describes his further experiences in the continued military actions in the Union campaign off the coast of South Carolina with the 8th Michigan Infantry, Company F. This letter never reached its intended recipient, because on same day Emmett wrote and mailed this letter to his brother, Edgar died of an unknown illness.
[Transcription available below images.]
Item citation: From folder 2 of the Emmett Cole Letters #5002-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Beaufort Feb 5th 1862
haveing received a letter from you today and not haveing sent you a letter in some time. I resolved to answer your letter first. I was sorry to learn by your letter and Celestia that some of the family were sick. still we must expect to meet with sickness adversity & death. whereever we may be on this wide earth I have mad up my mind that it is about as apt to visit us in one place as another and I have further resolved that when death calls for me to take a journey with him from this [?]some world in to some other which I hope is more peacefull. I say I am resolved whereever I may be to go without a murmur. for I have a previous understanding, that I must inevitably follow in the wake of the Millions that have lived before me. I wrote before that I had been unwell, & was better. I still keep gaining strength and am almost myself again the sickness in the Reg. seems to be growing less and less, the longer we stay on this Island. I wrote last week that Ft Pulaski was too mutch for our little gun boats. but they did not leave there they went to work as though nothing had happened to pull out a stoccade the Rebels had put in the river so that if our boats passed they would have to pass directly under the fire of the Forts, but they dont propose to take that road. they had mutch rather make one of their own. and if they succeed in pulling up enough of the stoccade to let the old Wabash crawl through, you may bet your boots that old Pulaski’s Bomb proof Parapets will shake like a Michigander with the ague. today there has been heavy fireing in the direction of Savannah. the trouble is our boats have got several Rebel Steamers in the river above them and they cant get out. and they feel somewhat weary so they keep pecking away at our boats while they are at work pulling out the stakes. our Briggade with part of Shermans battery and a detachment of Cavalry are all that are on this Island now. but we have no fears of an attack as their attention is too mutch taken up in the direction of Savannah they threatened it like the mischief when we first came on here. but since we squared up with them New Year the dont seem inclined to make any more contracts with us. it was fun that day when we first landed before we started for the Ft. to see some of their Cavalry every little while bolt out i[n]to the field as courageous as bears and after gauping at us a minute or two cut back into the woods again. they made up their minds that things looked rather too bilious out of the wilderness. there is some talk of our going to Savannah by land. and if we do I have an Idea we will hear some whizzing around our sculps. for I shund not be surprised if there was 20 sand and masked batteries between the Ferry and Savannah. but we will try and have a mouthfull while they are haveing a meal by hoky. you said that Father had sold the oxen for $65.00 now I think that was rather a small price what was the matter with them I thought they were orderly as need be. when you write tell me if you or Father will be going to Battle Creek in four or five weeks. I want to send some money and I think it will be the safeest plan to Express it ot Battlcreek, unless there is an Express Agent in Hastings you said Estheran wanted me to finish that letter tell her I said I would if I got time. and I guess I will whether I get time or not. there is something in the wind for there has four or five big boats come up here today no one knows what they are here for. but I mistrust we are going to leave these diggins. but that is a mere guess. I sent you a paper and will send you more when I get them.