Thursday, December 2, 2010

May 11th, 1862

Camp Shiloh Tenn. May 11th, 1862

I take my pen this beautiful Sabbath day to write a few lines to let you know where I am and how I am getting along. I am in the southern part of Tennessee, one mile from the Mississippi line and about 6 miles from Corinth. If you can get hold of a map that has Corinth marked on it, you can tell what county it is here, but I can’t tell.
I have been quite unwell for sometime, I have had diarrhea and I am pretty weak, but I am getting considerably better than I was.
There is but little reliable news in circulation in camp. We expect a great battle here this week. We shall probably attack the enemy tomorrow if we are not attacked today. There was cannonading east of us, apparently near Pittsburgh (Landing) this morning, but we have not heard the cause yet.
The weather here is pretty hot in the daytime but the nights are cool. There has been a good deal rainy weather and the troops who have no tents have suffered a good deal, but as we have good tents we pass the time very comfortably, only when we are on guard or morning. We have penetrated some 20 or 25 miles in to the country back from Pittsburgh as far as I have been able to discover.
There is a great want of enterprise in Tennessee, there are but few farms through this region and they are very poorly cultivated. A great many old farms have been turned out to the commons and have grown up to brush, principally sassafras. I have a poor opinion of the sunny South as a grazing or grain growing country. I have seen but little corn, and no grass, a little wheat and rye was sown last fall, but it makes a very poor show now, more especially where our Army passes through. An army is very devastating, it destroys everything in its path. The people complain bitterly of heavy taxation and it is hard truly, but I think they ought to be thankful the War was carried south instead of north, the south will not recover from the effects of this war in a generation. Timber rails and even houses such as they are, are destroyed.
I have spilled my ink and have to finish with a pencil. I am not yet entirely reconciled to the change from the 13th to the 10th Ohio battery. Our Capt. White appears to be a very good man and a much better drilled man than Capt. Myres and Lieut. Bardwell commands the respect of the company, but the other lieutenants and a good many of the men are not so agreeable. There are some pretty hard cases in the company, most of them use profane language and a large proportion of the are addicted to gambling. Then the idea of being transferred from one company to another without my consent goes rather against the grain. But I suffice as I have enlisted to fight for the Government. I don’t know but it is all right. (indiscernible?) but I feel a little uneasy about the folks. I worry that I have not heard a word from Ernest since I left him, and have had but two letters from home. I wish some of the folks or Darby could go up there and if they are suffering would take them down there and let them stay until I get home. Which I do think will not be a great while as I think if we are successful in the battle pending here. A great many of us will be sent home.
I think the hard fighting by that time will be about done. Tell Ernest to be a good boy.

Direct your letters to this address.
Camp Shiloh Tenn. Care of Capt. White 10th Ohio Battery, 6th Division.
C.M. Adams

After he switches to pencil, particularly at the end it becomes extremely difficult to read and he starts to ramble on a bit. It could be a short pencil or anxiety over the prospect of battle. The penmanship early on is terrific and horrible by the end.

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