1864 December 19: “We had a verry pleasant time, living mostly on the country”
Now it is Edwin Levings’ brother Homer’s turn to write to their parents. As usual, Homer’s spelling leaves a lot to be desired. The original letter is in the Edwin D. Papers (River Falls Mss BO), in the University Archives and Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
Near Sevanna [sic] Ga.
Dec. 19th 1864.
It was with the greatest pleasure that I perused your letters the other day while on picket. I supose [sic] you have heard by this time where Sherman [William T. Sherman] with his army have turned up, but I supose [sic] you are waiting to hear the particulars from us. I have not kept any journal on this march, I will leave Ed to give you an account of it. We had a verry [sic] pleasant time, living mostly on the country. We had no enemy in our front except Wheeler[‘]s cavalry [Joseph Wheeler] but they did not hinder us much. The Infantry did not have much of any fighting to do. We were not ordered to the front til we got within four miles [of] Sevanna [sic]. Our company being on picket that day we skirmished throug[h] a swamp where the troops could not march in line of battle on account of its being so wet. [D]id not meet with any enemy except one rebel who was wounded and was trying [to] get away but the boys stoped [sic] him and made him wade across the canal where our line was formed. The next day we were releived [sic] by the 14th Corps and we moved to the right to our present position. We are 8 miles from Sevanna [sic], our camp is on a large rice plantation. There is a lake betwen [sic] us and the rebs so there can be no attack made at this part of the line. We live principally on rice as we have not drawn any rations yet except ½ ration hard-tack and coffee that we drew this morning.
We expe[c]t to draw more, thoug[h] this evening. Dale¹ is stopping with us most of the time he intends going north in a few days to by [sic] goods to bring here and sell. Ft. McCallister [sic] was taken several days ago this was all the fort the rebs had on the Ogechee [sic] river it is about 6 miles from here. Our supplies come that way. I do not know how large a force they have got in Sevanna [sic] probably about 15000. There are a good many citizens from the country rushed in there to keep out of our way. They will be made to help defend the city. Some of our prisoners have escaped from them, clad in the butternut suit, they say that the rebels gave them a chance to enlist in their ranks or remain in prison, many of them chose to go into their ranks and watch their oportunity [sic] to get away, rather than lay in prison.
Lieut. Higbee² expects to start for home in a few days. I think it would be a good way to invest money, that land of Frak [Frank?] Hart’s. We have about $350 in cupon [sic] bonds which we shall send home the first oportunity [sic]. They are much better to keep than other money because they draw 7 percent int. and are not taxable.
[December] 20th Capt. Price³ of our regt. was shot last night. He was picket officer for our briggade [sic]. He was shot by one of our own men by mistake, while reconnoitering.
As I [have] more letters to write I shall be obliged to stop. With much love for all I reman [sic] your
Lieut. Higby [sic] starts home in a few days. Shall try and send that money by him, or let Dale have it & he will give you an order on Mr. Searle of Hudson for it. He has money belonging to Dale which is ready for him but he wants the money now.
Will you mail me a blank book, size 3 x 5 inches ¼ inch in thickness, for Journal purposes.
1. Wilber P. Dale, from River Falls, newly mustered out of Company A of the 12th Wisconsin when his term expired.
2. Chester G. Higbee, from River Falls, newly promoted to lieutenant in Company A of the 12th Wisconsin.
3. John M. Price, from Barton, was captain of Company D of the 12th Wisconsin. He was wounded at Atlanta, and was promoted to major on November 21, 1864.