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1864 March 21: “We shall start for home in 3 or 10 days, — as soon as paid”

March 21, 2014

A letter from Edwin Levings, on furlough in Madison, Wisconsin, to his parents in Prescott.  Along with the letter Ed sent a newspaper clipping from a Madison newspaper, the Wisconsin State Journal, that will post tomorrow.

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 Randall,  Madison, Wis,
March 21st/’64

My Dear Parents,

                                 To know we are in Madison will surprise and gladden you, and I thought I would drop a few lines to you this evening with that information.  We arrived this morning at 5 o’clock all safe and in fine spirits; took breakfast at the Depot, where every thing that kind & thoughtful hearts could provide was in waiting for us; then marched up to the old Camp [Randall], where we now are, in comfortable & commodious barracks, enjoying ourselves as every body & every thing around us would have us.

We left Vicksburg on the 13th inst. & came up to Cairo on the Continental.  There were aboard also the 11th & 18th Iowa Infry. & 2 Batterries [sic] — in all above 2000 men.  Of course, we were crowded & the wind so cutting that comfort & convenience were not to be found, but Uncle Sam could do no better for us, as many boats were required for the Red River Expedition of which you are doubtless apprised.  We got to Cairo at noon of the 18th & lay there 24 hours for transportation.  Arrived at Chicago last evening at sunset & left at 10 o’clock.  The loyal ladies of Chicago had prepared a splended [sic] supper for us at the Soldiers Rest & we were also entertained with a speech & other demonstrations of greeting.  I have not time now to say much about it, but it was a magnificent affair to us soldiers & thankfully appreciated.  It thrilled us with pleasure & did us good to think we were once more in America.  Long will the loyal ladies of the Soldier’s Home & of the City be in grateful remembrance by the 12th Wis. Reg’t.

The Reg’t. was not paid at Vicksburg owing to the fact of there not being money enough there.  So we came up without a cent, except what, through good luck, we chanced to get from friends, which was sufficient.  We are now waiting to be paid ere being furloughed.  We receive the 2nd installment of bounty which will make our individual pay about $280.  We shall start for home in 3 or 10 days, — as soon as paid.  Whether Lake Pepin will be open in time for us I don’t know.  The papers announce that the reception of the 12th by Gov. Lewis [James T. Lewis] will take place to-morrow.  The 11th has just arrived, & it may be postponed a day longer.  We saw Uncl[e] Edwin & Cousin Charley at Memphis & talked with them an hour or more; both are well & in good spirits.  Uncle gets $600 for enlisting & expects $300 more for furnishing or filling the quota of his town from his own Batterry [sic].  Their address is 7th Wis. Batterry [sic], Memphis, Tenn.  Well, I must go to bed.  I’ll write again soon if we do not start for home shortly, so good night all.

Yours affectionately,
.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   . Edwin.
.

Edwin Levings letter of March 21, 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 21, 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

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