15 March 1864: “I should have received “more’n a hundred bushels” of letters from the young ladies”

Item Description: Letter, 15th March 1864, from Edward W. Allen to his parents, James and Emily Allen. Edward W. Allen of Eau Claire, Wis., was a sergeant and then second lieutenant in Company H of the 16th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers, during the Civil War. He had several siblings, including James F. (Fred) Allen who served in Company K, 36th Regiment of Wisconsin Volunteers.

[Item transcription available below images]

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Item Citation: From folder 1 of the Edward W. Allen Papers #3737-zSouthern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Camp of 16th Regt of Wis Inf Volunteers
Vicksburg, Miss. March 15th 1864

Dear Parents

Wonder what’s the trouble with the mails no mail yet! I cant think that you have not written It cant be that because if it was nothing more than that (as Lt Tinker would say) I should have received “more’n a hundred bushels” of letters from the young ladies

But ours “not to question why”

Yester the wife of ex Gov Harvey was over to see us about the man that died I was introduced & had a short talk with her I spoke of Grand Ma. she remembered her well she is a nice woman & is doing a great deal of good for the soldiers. She told Capt Whipper if any of his men were homesick to let them go down & spend a day or two with her. I am not home sick but I’de like to take up with her offer for a few days

Yester day Lt Tinker was taken down with the summer … & had rather a severe night of it but is better today I’ve not been troubled with it at all yet, though there are lots of the boys that are

Last night was a very cold night & to day it is windy & cold though such a day in wis at this time of the year would be called warm peach trees are in full blossom There is a rumor current that the 3 Co’s here must furnish 50 men for Picket every day which means that 50 men must sling knapsacks take 1 days ration, shoulder arms & march a few miles at a time to the rear of vicksburg & watch for Rebs for … his Officers (except st sergts) included

The order has come Lt Tinker a corporal & 7 men from our Co go out an picket Last night I recd a letter from Eliza Potter she wrote a good interesting letter it seems good to get a letter from Eau Claire no matter who tis from but this evening I recd another from Miss Roworth she wrote me an excellint letter says she has heard that Fred had enlisted with Father’s consent I am sorry if he has as it will leave you with out help no one to wash dishes. If he has enlisted for Co H 16th it may be 40 years before he gets with us

Papers say that the 17th army Corps (go to Richmond) that means us Grant wants us & we are ready. Last night the railroad depot burned. A Large building Some Govt stores were destroyed

Lt Tinker is well again as you may judge of his being detailed for picket duty

This after noon we had another officer drill at last. I mean non commissioned officers drill. I am getting quite Profficient. today I had the camp out drilling for nearly 2 hours. In the forenoon one man ran off to get Rid of drill & another got mad about some part of the drill I was showing him. So after I dismissed them I took them out in an awkward squad & drilled them till I was glad to quit that is the way we serve men who shirk duty in the army. If a man is absent from Roll call 2 or 3 times make him sweet the camp street dig holes & shovel the dirt in them again or something of the like. We have a good deal of sick ness 4 or 5 go up for medicine every morning we have 25 men in the Hospital now

Miss Roworth wrote that my photographs were not good neither are they but the best I could do at madison Have you recd yours yet? Enclosed is $5 in Reb Currency for which I paid 5 cents please … to my credit Capts wife writes that Ed Wilkins had enlisted also that men were enlisting fast

Please write a good long letter & tell me all the news. If Fred has enlisted he can get in with the old 16th & come down with them I am waiting for a letter from [Joe?] & Charley. Tell the meat man to add a P.S. to it. Emma & Cord Pond also my Love to Levis folks also Williams tell them to write I musnt forget grandma how is she getting on. Tell may … not to hurry with that money as I do not want it now you may have it mother if you can get it also that of Chas Moshier, why does not Charly & Sue write? How are things at home Father must set out some more trees & shrubbery & have the place looking nice against I come home which wont be long now as grant is Lt [Gin?]

Capt Sherman was in last night in a big spree with capt Deforrest had 5 or 6000 dollars in greenbacks. 

Please write soon & long letters too

Direct to Co H 16th Regt Wis Inf Vols. We are in the (1st Brigade 1st Division 17th Army Corp) do not put this on

Vicksburg Miss

Your affection-ate
son Edward

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