Camp “Dick Robinson” Kentucky
April 24th 1863
My dear father and mother,
According to promise, I will now give you a description of our “scout.” Soon after I finished my last letter, it commenced raining “right smart” and continued all night. We started about six o’clock in the drenching rain on the back track until we were about one mile below the village (Bryantsville). Here we struck off from the pike and followed a path (to call it a road would be doing injustice to our northern cart paths) and here we began to notice a considerable quantity of mud. However, we plodded along till we came to another pike which was at about ten o’clock when it ceased raining. You can judge whether we were in light marching order then or not. Our clothes were completely soaked and I guess that if i could have been weighed at that time, the mud, water, and myself would have pulled a strong two hundred. But we traveled on until four o’clock when we reached the city of “Harrodsburg” which is a regular hot bed of secession.
We “slicked up” as best we could before entering and marched through the principal streets in good order. Then we went outside the city into a grove, cooked our coffee, and “turned in.” There was but one instance where any enthusiasm was shown and that was by a gray-haired old man who feared not to sheer for the Union and for us though he was surrounded on all sides by traitors.
Well we built fires, cooked our coffee, and were about “turning in” when it commenced to rain in torrents. We had a sweet time of it that night.
The next forenoon we again paraded through the streets and as the people had found out that Yankees were real human beings, considerable enthusiasm was displayed on the part of many. One man who was a little might corned [drunk] sung out, “Just see them men. Why damn it, they’re Yankees. Just look at ’em. Damn my heart but there’s not a regiment in the whole God Damn South that can march through here like that. Bully for you, Yankees. Give the damn butternuts hell.” He was greatly excited and pretty tight, but was Union clean to the backbone.
Col. [Henry] Bowman rode at the head of his regiment. He had on a pair of private’s pants, a loose sack coat, and old black hat, checkered cotton shirt, and had a revolver stuck in each boot leg. This is the style he dresses save when he is on parade, inspection, or something of that sort.
After leaving Harrodsburg, we struck in to a splendid pike and after marching ten miles, reached Danville—a very pretty place [with] about three thousand inhabitants. It contains a bank, female seminary, orphan asylum, and court house. We marched through the place and we cheered on our way. Seven miles more brought us back to camp, we having been marching as it were round a circle. After lustily cheering our bully Colonel, we broke ranks and went to quarters.
Having bought a pair of shoes, (which I only paid $4.25 for) a short time ago, I found myself the next morning with six pretty little blisters on my feet and one knee considerably swelled. It’s the first time that I’ve been footsore but I never see marching quite equal to that. We made about forty miles, I guess, in all. New shoes, mud, water, hard pikes, &c. &c. was the cause of it. But I am now all right and ready for another one. I think the expedition was for these reasons. Viz: to prove to these rabid secesh that Yankees are human beings and look, act, breathe, hear &c. &c. like other people. And to capture all guerrillas that we found on the road. N. B. We found none.
But it’s getting late and I must close. You don’t write whether you have got that money or not. Enclosed is a receipt which will be valuable if you have any trouble getting it. I am well and hope you are getting on finely at home. Give my love to all enquiring friends. My love to you all. Yours truly, — Charley