1865 September 27: “There are still stories about that this command is to be mustered out of service”
The original of this 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. .
San Antonia, Texas. .
Sept. 27th 1865
My Dear Mother
I think it is about time that I should write a few lines to you, although I can find but little of interest to note. The greater portion of the Regiment is out on a scout and will not be in until the first of October. I was left in camp as I had just had another visitation from my old friend “Chills and Fever.” The hot weather is now nearly over and I am hoping that with the cool days my usual good health will return.
My main trouble arises from exposure to the hot sun. We have one of the finest camps I ever saw. It is situated in a pleasant grove with a fine stream of clear sparkling water running close by. The good water we have here is one great advantage over Louisiana. There our best water is the muddy Mississippi, while here there are plenty of fine springs where the water gushes out from beneath ledges of solid rock.
Well tomorrow we are ordered to leave this delightful camp and locate ourselves on the top of a bluff near by. There being only three or four men in a company present, it gives us a more work than a few lazy soldiers can appreciate. Therefore we have remonstrated with the Genl and he has fairly promised us that we may stay in our present location until the return of the boys. If he fully consents all right, if he don’t I hope the vilest torments of His Majesty down below will haunt him through endless years.
There are still stories about that this command is to be mustered out of service, but I can tell you nothing reliable about it now. I think we shall know in a few weeks whether we are to remain through the winter or not. Unless we can go home very soon, I believe I would prefer to remain here until spring. I would like to hear from home very much, but our facilities for mail are so very poor now that I presume that is the reason I do not get any letters.
I have not heard from Helen¹ for six months. Tell Phineas¹ to let me know where she is next time he writes. What can I do for living if I get out of the service pretty soon. Is there any work to do? Wont [sic] it be hard though to come right down to the manual labor? It is really dreadful to think of, and then only sixteen or eighteen dollars a month after getting a hundred and fifty. Oh it is awful, awful. I enclose five dollars to get you a pair of fur lined shoes for winter. If it is not enough tell Phin¹ to pay the balance and send the bill to me. If I remember right you are troubled to keep your feet warm in the winter.
Remember me to Grandmother and all other friends. Hoping this may find you well and in the enjoyment of all the blessings of life. I remain as ever
1 . Jerry’s sister, Helen, and his brother, Phineas, or Phin for short.