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1863 November 15: “Troops are moving all the time but Gen. Banks only knows where they are going”

November 15, 2013

In November 1863, General Nathaniel P. Banks led between 6,000 and 7,000 soldiers to the mouth of the Rio Grande in Texas to cut off the important smuggling trade between Texas and Mexico.  The Battle of Brownsville took place on November 2-6, 1863.

The original letter is in the Frank D. Harding Papers (River Falls Mss AB), University of Wisconsin-River Falls University Archives & Area Research Center.

New Orleans La  Nov 15th 1863

My Dear Father

                            I have just received your kind letter and you may be assured that I was glad to hear from you once more.  I had began to think that you had forgotten me as I hadn’t received a letter from you for the past two weeks.

I have been for the past week in New Orleans attending a Provost Court but shall return to my Regiment tomorrow.  Everything in this Dept looks “first rate.”  Gen. Banks doesn’t tell what he is about to do, but I think ere you receive this you will find what he has done.  You wanted to know what were my officers’ names.  I will in a few days send you a complete list of them.

I would like very much to see my Charley’s picture, tell Dinah that I have got a very nice album and I will keep the picture safe.  Send it along.  I don’t know of any news to write.  Troops are moving all the time but Gen. Banks only knows where they are going.  Col. [___] in Brownsville recruited 800 men in one day.  They are all Texasans [sic] ready to fight for their homes.

will have no time to write more.  Give my love to Mother and Diantha.  When I get to Brashear City¹ I will write again.

Yours Truly
. . . . . . .Frank Harding

1.  In Louisiana, now called Morgan City. Star Fort or Fort Brashear was the larger of two works erected by the Union Army occupying the city to defend a Federal military depot and the town.

Frank Harding letter of November 15, 1863, from the Frank D. Harding Papers (River Falls Mss AB) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Frank Harding letter of November 15, 1863, from the Frank D. Harding Papers (River Falls Mss AB) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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