Thursday, December 2, 2010

August 23rd, 1862

10th Ohio Battery, 6th division, Corinth Mississippi
August 23rd 1862

Dear Mary,
It is Saturday night after dark and as I have about two inches of candle and it is cool and pleasant, I will begin a letter to you. I was made glad yesterday by the receipt of a letter from you and Edgar, and was gratified to learn that you are well, I am in very good health and spirits, the news from our armies is more favorable than it was a few days ago. I presume you are yet taking the Marysville Tribune, although you have never made mention of it, if you rather take some other paper. Just mention it to me in your next letter to me and I will have Ammon settle up for the Tribune and get you some other paper. I think the Cincinnati Commercial would be a very good paper, but if you prefer the Tribune you can continue to take it. I guess I will have to quit, there are so many around the light reading and gassing I can’t write.

Edgar, I shall write to you soon,

Sunday Morning, August 24th 1862

Beloved Wife, while you no doubt are preparing for Sabbath School or church, I take my pen, ink, and paper to hold a little converse with you, though we separated by several hundred miles. Oh what an invention is the art of writing and how fortunate that we were born in a land where all rich and good enjoy the privilege of acquiring the knowledge of this useful art. How jealous ought we be of our rights and with what real energy and self sacrifice should we maintain the institutions which guarantee to us those rights and privileges. (I feel like doing all I can to uphold and sustain our republican government for if it goes down, our rights and liberties go down with it. What sacrifices we do make dear Mary, let us make them with cheerfulness looking forward with hope to happier days.)
I am going to try to go home to see you after awhile, when the new troops get into the field. I think there may be a chance for those who have been in the service sometime to get furloughs. As it is now it requires the service of all the troops, they are scattered about. It is said that thirty thousand fresh troops are coming to Corinth and will relieve the old troops a good deal. Negroes are also coming into the army in great numbers, who will take off the drudgery from the soldier who came to fight, not to cut timber, build bridges, throw up breastworks, build forts, drive teams, cook and wash. It is estimated that the Negroes, by doing the drudgery of the army in the west alone will add to the effective force in the field 40,000 men. Another good work is being done here, a great many Sutlers and hangers on of the army, who have been peddling and selling goods to the troops at starvation prices and extorting from the poor soldier his hard earned money, have now to suspend their operations, shoulder their muskets and take to the field. This causes great rejoicing among the soldiers.
Since writing the above , I have stood two hours guard and I resume my pen to write some more. I will relate a little incident, a very respectable looking colored woman came here this morning and inquired the way to Gen. Grants headquarters, she had been a slave and had come within our lines and was consequently a free woman, and had engaged to work in the hospital. But, she has two small children still with her master, who is a rank rebel and she is anxious to have them bought to her. We directed her to Gen. Grant’s quarters and she went up there, in a short time she came back
And I asked her what success she had, she said she didn’t see the Gen as he was not there, but one of his under officers told her that he would do nothing for her, and advised her to go back to her master and stay with her children, and told her further that all the negroes were to be sent back when the War was over. If these are the principles of Gen. Grant and they become generally known, he will need a stronger body guard than he has at present to insure his safety in this army, for he is none too popular now with the troops, and if he is for returning fugitives to their masters, he will be still more so.
Charles Rice, our orderly sergeant, leaves for Ohio tomorrow morning, he has the appointment of a Lieutenant in the 14th Ohio battery, now being raised there and I shall probably send this letter by him, well if I write anymore I’ll have to get more paper, but if I don’t get to write anymore,



  1. May 22, 1862
    Charles S. Rice, Orderly Sergeant and Acting 2nd Lieutenant, 10th Independent Battery, Ohio Volunteer Light Artillery, Camp, 6th Division, Army of the Tennessee. To Captain H[amilton] B. White, 10th Independent Battery, Ohio Volunteer Light Artillery. Letter stating that by the resignation of Lieutenant [Ambrose A.] Blount of the 10th Independent Battery, Ohio Volunteer Light Artillery, the battery was left with but three commissioned officers (one Captain and two Lieutenants), whereas it was entitled to one Captain and three Lieutenants, that he had served in the battery in the capacity of Orderly Sergeant for nearly six months to the best of his ability and, he hoped, faithfully, and that if patient and diligent service in a capacity like his would entitle him to a claim on a commissioned office when a vacancy occurred, he begged to submit for White's approval whether or not he had merited the position made vacant by the resignation of Blount. Bears a note from White stating that he had always found Rice a faithful and diligent officer and considered him qualified to fill the position of Lieutenant in his battery, that it would give him pleasure to see Rice in said position, and that he considered Rice deserving of it. Also bears the approval of A[ndrew] Hickenlooper, Captain, and Chief of Artillery, 6th Division.
    2 pp. [Series 147-39: 35]

  2. He may have meant the Cincinnati Daily Commercial which posted letters from General Stanton, critical of Grant and his actions at Shiloh. They were bad enough that Sherman wrote the paper in his defense.

  3. The picture came from HERE a great source of Civil War illustrations.