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1864 June 19: “Flint was considered a very reckless fellow” by some in “that one horse town” of River Falls

June 19, 2014

The original letter is in the Jerry E. Flint Papers (River Falls Mss BN) at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, University Archives and Area Research Center.

Camp, 4th Wis. Cavalry
Baton Rouge, La.   June 19th /864

My Dear Mother,

                                Another Sunday has come around, and I am going to improve the extra time by writing a few letters.

You know that Helen¹ thinks this is all wrong, but I can’t see it.  At any rate, I think I had better do this than something worse, which I would be sure to do if there was nothing especial for me to do.

I might attend church but the weather is very hot and it would be sure to ruin me to sit two or three long hours in one place.

A letter from River Falls was shown me wherein the writer stated that Flint was considered a very reckless fellow.  Poor Fools!  If they would once get out of the narrow precints [sic] of that one horse town I believe they would know better than to call a man reckless who is lively and likes a little fun, in this dreary world of ours.  But take it as they may I believe I have never disgraced myself as a soldier.

My commission came about two weeks ago.  I do not know as I am capable of filling that position, but will try and do the best that I can.  That is all that can be expected I am sure.

I am beginning to wish that the war would close, not that I am tired of the service, but I ought to be doing something for myself.  So far I have nothing ahead and to lay up much money in the service is impossible.  By accepting a commission I lose the four hundred dollars bounty, and although I get pay now amounting to one hundred and ten dollars per month, my expenses are necessarily much greater than before, which renders it hardly possible for me to save more than I did at seventeen dollars.  Then everything was furnished, now I must furnish everything.  In this place a common officer’s dress coat costs fifty five dollars and pants from twenty to thirty.

I believe if I was in the north now I could make money.  Wages are very high and articles which a laboring man need buy are comparatively cheap.  It makes me indignant to think of the able bodied men who stay at home taking the advantage of these things, while us poor wretches are here doing the work for them which is giving them the advantage.  When I think of this I sometimes wish I had not stayed in the army, and yet I know that I should always have felt mean if I had left and come home.

Whitefield I do not think is quite as well as he has been.  I am sorry he even enlisted here.  He says he is troubled again about sleeping.  He has no horse now and consequently he has not much to do.  When we get horses so that he can go on a few scouts he will probably be tired enough to sleep.  A ride of fifty miles in twelve hours, weather this hot will force a man to accept a little rest, even though some one is whistling outside the tent.  [paragraph break added]

Tell Phin² that if he will go to Bunker’s³ in Hudson and get me a half dozen Photographs and forward them here by mail, I will send the money to pay for them when I am paid off again.  Bunker has my negative.  I wish them taken the same as the others.  I want them to swap with the boys and they are much cheaper there than here, where they cost six dollars per dozen.

Remember me to Grandmother and all the good people.  You need not show this letter for in writing about myself it is better that every one does not see it.  I have received two letters since my return but none from Phin yet.  I should have one pretty soon.

Hoping this may find you well I remain as ever your Reckless boy,
.                                                    .                                         .                       .Jerrie

1.  Helen was Jerry’s sister.
2.  Phin is Phineas, Jerry’s brother.
3.  Bunker’s was a photographer’s studio in nearby Hudson, Wisconsin.

Jerry Flint letter of June 19, 1864, from the Jerry E. Flint Papers (River Falls Mss BN) at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls University Archives & Area Research Center

Jerry Flint letter of June 19, 1864, from the Jerry E. Flint Papers (River Falls Mss BN) at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls University Archives & Area Research Center

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