Wednesday, December 1, 2010

April 2nd, 1862

"Thus Sherman’s caution, which should have been awake but was sound asleep, ran across Beauregard’s, which should have been justified but was not." Catton.

Camp Shiloh, Tennessee April 2nd 1862

Dear Mary,
I arrived here last night, but remained aboard a boat till this morning. I left Cairo last Sunday on the Imperial and had a very pleasant ride, but hard fare as the officers of the boat would not allow us time to draw our rations before leaving Cairo. We stopped at Paducah and bought some bread and with the butter you sent, we got along very well so far as eating was concerned. We had to sleep on deck and as we had no blankets, sometimes we were rather cold.
The rest of the men overtook us at Cairo, and we came the rest of the way together. We found our company here without too much trouble. There is a mighty army here, variously estimated at from 150,000 to 225,000 men. The encampment extends 7 miles one way and 10 miles to the other. It is a very peasant place for an encampment, it is in the woods with very little underbrush, the surface of the ground is welling with plenty of good spring water. The weather is rather warm for comfort, trees are leaving out, Daisies and Sweet Williams are in full bloom and the spring birds are out singing gaily.
Since writing the above, we have been out on drill. We went some two miles into the country and drilled in an old cotton field beside a large peach orchard that was in full bloom.
This certainly would be a great country were it not for the accursed institution of slavery, the abomination and blight of our otherwise glorious government. As it is agriculture is carried on to a very limited extent and farming and other improvements denote slovenliness and indolence, there are thousands and thousands of acres of the richest of lands along the Tennessee River, one of the best boating streams in America, yet a perfect wilderness. Let not Bailey or any other proslavery man tell me that slavery is a divine institution for I know it is false. Its effect on the morals and intelligence of the communities where it exists gives the lie to the assertion. The very soil dies from its withering, polluting touch.
I find the boys as a general thing well and in good spirits, there are several of them however, in the hospital, the river water on the trip giving them diarrhea. There is but little war news going in camp, I reported that the gunboats went up the river yesterday and took two forts, one of them was not garrisoned. The other had a few troops in it, who left at the approach of the boats. It is also reported this evening that Island no. 10 is in possession of our troops. It is now dark and I must quit. Goodnight, Mollie.
Ten o’clock p.m. Well wife as I am set to watching guards tonight, I have a chance to write a little more. O how I would like to know how you were all getting along at home and if the war was over I would like to go home and stay with my family, I cannot help feeling uneasy about your welfare. When you write let me know all about how you get along and whether you get any money from any source or not, whether you get any sugar from your (pile?) and whether Tooley has done that fencing. I would like to know whether Wilbur has bought Mr. Games out or not, in short, tell me all that is going on. Has Lize got a cold? Do you hear from Ernie and the rest of the Darby folks? Now dear Mary I want you to be of good cheer.
I do think that the war cannot last a great while longer. If our troops have the victory at Island no. 10 and whip them out at Richmond or this place, it will tell the story, it will be the end of the rebellion and we soldiers can return to our (restive?) families and friends and have the satisfaction of knowing that we had a hand in putting down this unhallowed rebellion, and restoring our now distracted country to its wanted quietude and prosperity.

Remember me to all our friends and acquaintances,

Faithfully yours, C. M. Adams

Direct your letters to C.M. Adams care Capt. Myres, 13th Ohio Battery
Pittsburgh Landing, Tennessee

(I send you some contraband cotton)

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