June 13th 1863
My dear father,
Having a few moments, I will write you a few lines hoping they will find you well and entirely rid of that “cussed ague.” I am many a mile from the place where I last wrote you. I will give you a synopsis of my travels. Leaving Lebanon the day after I wrote we took the cars for Louisville, arriving there at night. Her we were paid off. Next day crossed the Ohio river into Indiana at Jeffersonville. From there we took cars on Ohio and Mississippi Railroad and reached Washington, Illinois, the next day. Here we shifted cars to the Illinois Central track and late at night arrived at Cairo. At daybreak we took a boat and steamed into the Mississippi. We passed Columbus, Island No. 10, Forts Randolph and Pillow and in the course of time arrived at Memphis.
June 17th, 1863
We are now within a few hours sail of Vicksburg and cannonading of the heaviest kind can be distinctly heard. We have been attacked by guerrillas three times since yesterday morning but they did us no damage of any account. We peppered at them for some time and finally the gunboats came up and cleaned them out.
But I must pack up my thing preparatory to leaving the boat and consequently must close. Will write again as soon as possible. I am feeling bully.
Yours truly, — Charley
June 15th 1863
My dear mother,
Yesterday we left Memphis and steamed down the river until midnight when we stopped for the night. The river is very low and further progress in the night might have proved dangerous. This morning early we again started and now 3 o’clock P. M. we are hauled up near the mouth of the White river. This is a navy picket post and there are here two gunboats, one of which is to accompany us the rest of the trip. Guerrillas are very thick at some points on the river and I expect less than a few bullets whizzing over our heads ‘ere we reach our destination—Vicksburg, Port Hudson, or whatever it may be.
I have been ashore just for the novelty of the thing. There is nothing around here but trees and thick foliage yet I have really been in the State of Arkansas. Did you think a year ago that I should be visiting such a deuced hot part of the country as this? I guess not. I am sure I never did. Let me see. I have been in Mass., R. I., Conn, New York, N. J., Del., Maryland, Virginia, Penn., Ohio, Ken., Tenn., and Arkansas, Indiana and Illinois. I have sailed in Boston harbor, Mass. Bay, Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake bay, Potomac, Patapsco, Ohio, and Mississippi rivers—all within two years. And the deuce only knows where I shall turn up next. Mississippi I guess.
Well, if I get through with the crape all right, I shall never regret coming. I shall have traveled over a “right smart” of country and shall feel satisfied that in all my travels, I have never seen a place equal to the Old Bay State and “home sweet home.”
I shall know enough to mind my business and let others alone. And that is a great deal more than most people know, is it not? I must now “dry up” for I can think of nothing more to say except that it is so awful hot here that my shirt is wringing wet all the time. Don’t know what I shall do when I get farther south.
I am well and as fat as the Government law allows. Wishing these lines will find you enjoying good health. I remain with much love for all. Affectionately yours, — Charley
We do not get any mails now for we are nowhere in particular.