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1863 July 31: “We have only about 30 men really able for duty”

July 31, 2013

A short letter for Ed Levings, who usually has more news.  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.

Vicksburg, July 31st, 1863.

Dear Parents,

There is no great change in affairs here since my last writing.  3 days ago we moved inside the rebel Sibley tentworks and are now encamped in a large ravine, occupying the old rebel camp ground, having cleaned it of rubbish & filth, — not a pretty job but necessary for a place to stay in & necessary for our health.  We have got things fixed up in fine style.  Our mess, consisting of Roberts, Crippen, Kelsey,¹ & ourselves, have a Bell² tent and our cane bunks are tip top.  I think we are soon going down the river.  All furloughs granted were revoked to day.  We are doing no garrison duty & very likely we shall go to Mobile or somewhere in Ark. or La.  We were paid off yesterday, & to day we express you, as heretofor [sic] some money, $40.00 to the Prescott Bank.  This makes $200. each don’t it?  We have only about 30 men really able for duty.  Some more will probably be discharged soon.  The weather is hot.  If any thing turns up I will notify you.  We are both well as ever.  You ask if we have lost faith in Homeopathy.  Not yet, but we do not know how to use it in every case, therefore use pills &c.  The instructions in the books are not sufficient for a thourough [sic] acquaintance [sic] with the use of the medicine.

Yours affectionately,

Edwin Levings
Co, A. 12th
Regt Wis Vol.
3rd B.  4h Div.

August 2nd 1863

P.S.  Kelsey is now Orderly Sergt. promoted over Libby.  The boys are getting furloughs after all.  The boys in our Co who go home are Harvey Law of Richmond, St [Croix] Co. & Miles Hawley of River Falls, starting to-day.³  Hawley lives 3 miles from town on the Diamond Bluff road, — says he will call on you.  You must see him any way — he is a fine fellow.  The Capt & 1st Lieut4 will probably go home on furlough in a short time.

Yours &c, Edwin

1.  Samuel C. Roberts, from New Richmond; John F. Crippen, from Prescott; Wallace Kelsey, officially from Owatonna (Minn.).
2.  Bell is another name for a Sibley tent.
3.  Harvey Law, Jr., from New Richmond and Miles L. Hawley, from River Falls.
4.  Orrin Maxson, from Prescott, is the captain at this point, and Charles Reynolds, from Madison, is the 1st lieutenant.

Edwin Levings letter of July 31, 1863, from the Edwin D. Levings Papers (River Falls Mss BO) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Edwin Levings letter of July 31, 1863, from the Edwin D. Levings Papers (River Falls Mss BO) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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