Skip to content

1864 March 5: “I shall fill out the notes I made of the daily occurrences of our march for preservation”

March 5, 2014

Unfortunately, the half of the sheet with pages 3 and 4—where Edwin Levings finally gets to the business of talking about the Meridian Expedition—is missing.  We know this is a letter from Ed, though, because of his handwriting, and because Homer mentioned it two days ago.  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.

Camp at Clear Creek, Miss.
March 5th, 1864

My Dear Parents,

                                The great raid is over; and I am safely back in camp.  I have laid down my gun and am now endeavoring to pen you a pretty good account of what transpired and I shall not enter into details much now.  I find but one letter here from you, that of Jan. 28th in which you mention Mr. Wilcox’s loss of his store.  We have two letters also, from Dwight and Cousin Emma and Louisa.  I shall fill out the notes I made of the daily occurrences of our march for preservation so you can have them for perusal when I get home.

We returned yesterday finding the new recruits & some butter from you brought by George Miles.¹  We think you much & him too, & he shall share with us but am sorry to tell you the rust had worked through injuring the butter somewhat.  Was too long coming to keep well & you would not have sent it had you thought George would not get to us sooned [sic]² than he did, but it is as welcome as if in prime condition & answers well enough.  But that little pail, — I remember it well.  I used to carry my dinner in it to school in old Madrid.  I also recollect a little incident of its history & I feel somewhat ashamed of it.  So you recollect how that big dent was made in it?  How you sent Homer back after the pail because he kicked it & neither of us would carry it?  I was to blame.  Who would have thought that pail, after 9 long years, would appear to rebuke me for my unkindly act to my brother?  God forgive me & may my other sins not rise up likewise to condemn me.  We both had a hearty laugh over the pail, but I could not but remember the incident.

But to the news.  We have made a long hard march & given the rebels a terrible blow.  We have marched nearly 400 miles, traveling every day for 30 days, driven the rebels at every point, cut their communications, destroyed an immense amount of C. S. property, taken many prisoners, lost but few men.  Have been to Jackson, Brandon, Morton, Hillsboro, Decatur, Meridian, Enterprise, & [here is where it ends, the next page having been ripped off along the fold].

1.  George F. Miles was from Prescott and enlisted December 26, 1863.
2.  No doubt Ed meant “sooner.”

Edwin Levings letter of March 5, 1864, 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 March 5, 1864, from the Edwin D. Levings Papers (River Falls Mss BO) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: