Wednesday, December 1, 2010

March 29th,1862

(Click the Pic)
Cairo, Illinois March 29th 1862

My beloved wife and children,
I take my pen this morning to let you know where I am and that I am quite well. I went to Camp Dennison last Monday and laid at the fort hospital two days, but for one of our company, Dr. Skidmore came with me.
Tuesday the two deserters came to camp and said that the rest would be there on Wednesday evening. The next day the Dr. and myself were sent to St. Louis en route for our company where we arrived on Thursday afternoon, we reported ourselves at headquarters and were ordered to this place. We took passage on the Platte Valley Thursday evening and arrived here without accident here on Friday evening. We reported at headquarters and inquired for our company , but could hear nothing from them. So here we are living on Uncle Sam’s grub and expect to stay here till we find out where our company is, which may be several days.
Cairo is a considerable town situated in the forks of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, it is very advantagesly situated for trade, but the town site is most miserable. It is very low and flat, much lower than the water in the river at their flood stages. Two engines are constantly running to pump the water out of town. Many of the houses are surrounded by water, some of the inhabitants have plank walks from their homes to dry land. They have skiffs to convey them to and from terra firma, I would not live for the whole town. There was quite a fire this morning in camp, several sets barracks and stables were entirely destroyed. Some other buildings were only saved by the watering and persevering efforts of the fire company.
I like to have forgotten to tell you that we got right into business as soon as we got here, and had got our supplies. We were detailed to stand guard over some cannons that were lying at the wharf. It went pretty hard for the Dr. as he had never done any camp duty yet, as for myself I got along well enough, I only had to stand four hours, but I have my doubts about their having any right to put us on duty of that kind. I don’t know that I can think of anything more to write that would interest you, I expect you have had as well not write to me anymore till you hear from me again, as I might not get your letters. I shall write to you again as soon as I can after finding out where our company is. Meanwhile be of good cheer and get along the best you can, and if we ever meet again our joy will be the greater for our present separation and the trials we endure for our glorious country’s cause. Hoping this may find you all well I remain forever your affectionate husband and father. C.M. Adams

1 comment:

  1. From the St. Louis Republican in 1860 on the hazzards of riverboat travel near Cairo, Mississippi. "Sunday morning, December 9, the Sunshine was seen from the steamer Augustus McDowell near Underhill’s having gotten past the Taylor and resumed her impeded voyage. When the McDowell came upon the Taylor still aground at Sheep Island she was hailed and picked up part of the Taylor’s crew bringing them "up to Chester to take the ferry boat down to assist in lightening her." Before noon the Lebanon was passed, now "aground at Tower island." The "river was never known to be lower at this season of the year" it was reported, as there was "four feet in the channel out to Cairo, and no more water." By afternoon the Sunshine met the steamer Platte Valley passing up and might have learned that below there was three and a half feet of water at a series of sand bars known as Crawford’s and a little below that, the Devils Tea Table. The Platte Valley "found it impossible to get up with all her freight" having to lighten off most of it and then "was eighteen hours getting over Tea Table"