Item description: Letter dated 6 July 1864, from Lieutenant Colonel John C. Bigelow of the 134th Illinois Infantry Regiment to his friend, Hamilton Hunt. This letter was sent from Camp Hancock in Columbus, Ky. and describes camp life, packages received, and the position of the 141st Illinois Regiment. This letter was found in the Andrew Lucas Hunt Papers, 1863 – 1908. Andrew Lucas Hunt (1843-1905) of Chicago, Ill., was a lieutenant with the 134th Illinois Regiment, United States Army, during the Civil War. Item Citation: Letter dated 6 July 1864, in the Andrew Lucas Hunt Papers, #3225, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Columbus, Ky. July 6th, 1864
Yours of June 30th came to hand on the “Fourth.” We had the day before received the boxes + kegs: They came in good order and opened to our satisfaction. We thought best not to propose a common table as some seemed unwilling to divide, but nevertheless quite a dinner was got up which satisfied all the boys. The pickles, Butter and lemons were very acceptable. The thanks of the officers + men of Co’s D + I are due to Mrs. Dickinson [?] Fauntleroy and yourself and I can assure you that your efforts and good intentions are fully appreciated. You speak of riding with Col. McChesney and note his mentioning that I was not pleasant enough to the other officers. It may be that I am not familiar enough with some, but as yet I have not found time to idle away in the company of officers whose rank does not give them wit or intelligence. I find much more entertainment in the study of such books as qualify me for the place I hold, and if these officers that complain of my not spending all my time with them in profitless amusements would study their books they would have less to find fault with and would show less ignorance in the field. I can’t say that Col. McC. is as well posted in Battalion drill as he should be. The “Fourth” was a very cool day and was pleasantly passed by the boys. Some of the companies illuminated their quarters and others built large bonfires. The health of the regiment is good, there bring but a very few in the Hospital and they not sick with anything dangerous. The regiment makes a very fine appearance on parade and has earned an enviable name for good and soldierly conduct. Metlar says you hit him in the right spot when you sent him that camp stool. He will write soon. Luke and all the rest of our boys are well. Give my respects to all the old boys that may enquire about us and remember me to your father’s family.
Jno. C. Bigelow
P.S. The 141st Ill. are incamped about a mile south of us. Frank Gilman and W.S. Watrous old E.Z.’s are both orderly sargeants in that regiment. They pay us frequent visits and I think, feel more at home here than with their own regiment.