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1863 September 28: “It would not do to take troops away from [Natchez] until the fortifications are completed”

September 28, 2013

A somewhat rare letter from Homer Levings with the 12th Wisconsin Infantry in Natchez, Mississippi,  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.

   Natchez Miss, Sept 28th, 1[8]63.

Dear Father & Mother,

                                        Your welcome letters came to hand last evening, and we were very glad to hear from you again for we were getting lonesome by not hearing anything from home for so long.  You complain about my not writing oftener.  I confess in fault in not writing more but I will try and do better in future but you know it was always verry [sic] hard work for me to write, so you must excuse me if I do not always come up to the required point.  [paragraph break added]

I understand that the rebels are fortifying on the Black river at Trinity where we crossed the river when we went to Harrissons Burg [sic].  If that is the case I presume we shall have to go back there again before long and drive them out of there.  But it would not do to take troops away from this place until the fortifications are completed for if the rebels troops were taken away from here, the rebels would pitch in here and take the place.  The rebels made a dash into Vidalia,¹ which is oposite [sic] this place, a short time ago and captured 80 mules belonging to the pontoon train.  We had no troops over there to amount to anything, and it was suposed [sic] by some that was meerly [sic] a faint [sic] to get our troops over there from this place and then the rebels on this side of the river would come in and destroy our camps before we could get back.  [paragraph break added]

I hear that Leo May Powel [sic]² was drafted, in the District of Columbia, but I did not learn whether he has $300 to pay or not, I hope not though, for I should like to see such a fellow as him, and a good many others that I know, shoulder there [sic] muskets.  Ed had a letter last night form Mr Buyington last night.  He said that he and Mrs. Buyington been up to the Falls [River Falls] on a visit.  It is time for the mail to close so I shall have to stop.

From your Affectionate son,
Homer.

1.  Vadalia is in Louisiana.
2.  George May Powell, originally from Vermont, had been living in River Falls in 1860.

Homer Levings letter of September 28, 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

Homer Levings letter of September 28, 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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