1862 November 13: “I am in hopes that another year will not roll around before this war will be over, but the prospect looks very dark”
As you will see from the first line, this is Jerry’s second letter of the day. The original letter is in the Jerry E. Flint Papers (River Falls Mss BN) at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, University Archives and Area Research Center.
Camp Parapet Nov. 13/62
My dear Mother;
I have written to Phineas today and will finish the afternoon by writing to you. I received a letter from Rossie¹ yesterday stating that P. [Phineas] was getting better. I suppose of course that you have heard that he was sick. I am afraid he will not be able to stand the hardships of a soldiers life. Mrs. Knowles² has been very kind to him giving him a home and and [sic] doing all in her power to make him comfortable. I tell you it was worth everything to him to have such a nurse take care of him. If he had been in a Military Hospital, I think it would have gone hard with him.
We have been having a very pleasant fall, not having any rain until today for three six weeks. There has been two or three pretty frosty nights, but as yet there has been no cold to complain of.
There is nothing going on except our regular routine of guard duty and drill. Some of the troops have gone out to Texas and are opening the route to Galveston. It is some expected that our regiment may be called away pretty soon, but I do not think we shall at present.
We received news yesterday of the death of Isaac Nichols.³ He was killed in the battle of Perryville in Kentucky. It will be a heavy blow to his Parents. Henry feels very bad.4 I am in hopes that another year will not roll around before this war will be over, but the prospect looks very dark. Unless we whip the rebels by next spring I don’t believe we ever shall. And yet I cannot bear the thought of giving up until every foe of our glorious Union is driven from the field. Rather than bear the disgrace of being ruled by the men who have brought on this war, in which so many of our noble friends have fallen I would fight forever.
I tell you Mother that I think a great deal of home and friends but I would sooner be separated from them forever than to live in disgrace under a despotic government. And this is what it will be. Unless we conquer the South the South will conquer us.
Why does not Helen write to me I wrote her last. I am anxious to hear how things move in your locality. How do you like Chicago? and do you have plenty of spending money. How does Dean prosper in his trade. Tell Helen I shall expect her to write right straight of and let me know all about affairs.
Is your health as good as when as in Wisconsin. You will not have quite so much cold weather to contend with I guess.
Hoping that I may hear from you soon I remain as ever,
Your affectionate son
2. No doubt Warren P. Knowles’ mother, Betsy, who lived in River Falls.
3. Sergeant Isaac N. Nichols, from River Falls, was in Company F of the 1st Wisconsin Infantry and was killed in action October 8th, 1862, at the Battle of Perryville.
4. This probably refers to William Henry Nichols, who was 1st sergeant with Company G of the 4th Wisconsin Infantry.