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1864 August 14: “We came down to Baton Rouge several days ago and are attached to a Cavalry Division that is supposed to be fitting out for an expedition”

August 14, 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.

Baton Rouge La.  14 / 64

Dear Brother :

                          I have an all fired poor opportunity for writing to night, but think I will write a little if it aint so nice.

Officers high in command have been playing eternal smash with all comfortable arrangements and we are reduced to what is termed “light marching orders.”  The boys have one shelter tent for every two and company officers are allowed only one apiece.  Now these tents you must remember only consist of two pieces of light canvass, about six feet square, which are made to button together and stretch over a pole, in such a manner that a man may crawle [sic] under out of the rain.  They can be rolled into a very small compass and strapped on to the saddle.

It is one of these that I am sitting under now, with my Post folder on my knee trying to write.  To day I have felt good, as well as ever but yesterday I thought I would have to give the Hospital a visit.

Went on a scout day before yesterday, started at two oclock [sic] in the morning and and [sic] rode a distance of 60 miles before dark, when we reached camp.

In the afternoon I was taken with a fever and came very near not being able to ride in.  But I am all right now.  If I was not do you think I would be letting you [know?] about it.

We came down to Baton Rouge several days ago and are attached to a Cavalry Division that is supposed to be fitting out for an expedition.  I don’t pretend to know anything about it.  There is a Cavalry force of 3000 at the post now.  The First Wis. Battery is attached to our Division.  A better Battery is seldom found.

We are commanded by Brig. Genl. Lee [Albert L. Lee], and have something less than fifty Genl. Inspections daily.  Of course you have heard of Farrigut’s [sic: David G. Farragut] success at Mobile ere this, as we had it over a week ago.  I think the war will last about three years or during the war, if it don’t close before, don’t you?  Say, the Mosquitoes are just pitching right into me so that I can hardly write.

The weather is Hotter than seven furies and we get a thunder shower about two hours every day.  None of your little loose thunder claps, but regular old seven year old thunder.

Our men here in the Hospital are doing very well, and I think as soon as the hot weather is over, will be able for duty again.

Carleton [Lyman H. Carlton] is looking a hundred per cent better.  He is all right because he has got the grit.  Charly [Charles G. Knowles] is tough and hearty, and does any amount of scouting and picket duty.

Rossie [Roswell V. Pratt] is well, and can do his regular amount of Blowing.  He is a fine Bugler, a noble boy is he, and truly one of the salt of the earth.  Takes everything [cool?] and seems happy and contented.

Whitefield is doing duty all the time and is as tough as any one.  Has been fixing himself up since we came down here, and looks very well.  I think he is trying now, to do well.

I suppose about now you are going nite harvesting.  Well go ahead, I think on mature deliberation that I prefer to ride my little “Harry” yet.  By the way I have one of the prettiest five year old colts you ever saw.  In running he never wants to stop until everything else is left behind, and then he will jump a ditch so neat.  It is like sitting in a cradle.  If the little fool don’t get killed I am going to bring him home with me when the war is over, and show you how a cavalryman’s horse can handle himself.  I suppose Deck and Winchester [William H. Winchester] are there by this time.  If you see them tell them that [Ham?] Niles¹ of Co “D” is dead.  He was one of the “originals.”  Tell Deck to write.  My respects to all our folks individually and severally.  Tell Mother not to despair, I will write to her sometime when I am good natured.

Tell Sarah I intend to answer her letter when I get ready, and expect to get ready very soon.  I sent two catalouges of the Regt. by Dave Lovell.  Have you sent one to yours.  Let you know how the Good People feel about five hundred thousand more.  Send some of the River Falls drafted down here.  I would esteem it a pleasure to command them.  I’m tired and I guess you are so, good night.

“Jerrie” Flint signature from letter of August 14, 1864, from the Jerry E. Flint Papers (River Falls Mss BN) at the UW-River Falls ARC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.  Amasa P. Niles, from Quincy, died August 13, 1864, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, from “disease.”

Jerry Flint letter of August 14, 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 August 14, 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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