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1862 July 18: “Tell them if they wish to enlist in the best Regt that has left Wis the opportunity is presented”

July 18, 2012

Ed Levings finally gets back—on the 18th—to closing the letter he started on the 15th.  The original letter is in the Edwin D. Levings Papers (River Falls Mss BO), in the University Archives and Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

[Humbolt [sic], Tenn. July 15/’62

Dear Parents:]

18th —— Homer has done well.  The boys have found a great deal of sugar secreted out in the country and have had all they could take take away for some time.  But the officers have at last got wind of the sugar and teams are going out after it, so we shall have to “pitch in” now or be too late.

There I have been interrupted in writing & have not sealed the letter without finishing it.  Capt. Maxon [sic: Orrin T. Maxson] goes home to-day to see his family and to raise recruits for the company in accordance with the Governor’s order.  We have just 86 men including officers and need 18 or 20 more to fill up to the maximum.  The Regt numbers now about 915 men of whom 850 are able to do duty.  Mr. Beardsley [Dr. J. W. Beardsley], the inspector of Hospitals of Wis soldiers, says our Regt is in better condition than the other Wis Regts he has seen. [paragraph break added]

If you know of any stout healthy young men who can be spared and who feel an interest in the crushing of this rebellion and are discussing the subject in their minds about enlisting, tell them if they wish to enlist in the best Regt that has left Wis the opportunity is presented.  Our officers give universal satisfaction — not a word of complaint is heard.  No other Capt than Maxon had  Maxon [sic] has more influence in the Regt than any other Capt. & looks out for his company — the Lieuts are fine men, fine officers & are liked first rate.  But one word I wish to drop — we don’t want any more cripples, nor any more faint-hearted, homesick fellows.  They are of no account.  If there are any who feel willing to suffr [sic] the privations & hardships of a soldier life & can control their appetites, be temperate, vigilant about their health & be contented, tell them they are just the ones wanted.  Try and see the Capt.  Yours in health & love,

Edwin Levings

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