Thursday, February 14, 2008

Letter from Adjt. King.

Head Quts. 15th Iowa Vols.
Vicksburg, Miss. Sept. 23d 1863

Mr Caverly:

Forty days absence from the army, enjoying the hospitalities of home and friends, has the effect of making me engage languidly in the generous and somewhat monotonous duties of the camp. Yesterday at 10 o’clock A. M. I arrived at the Regt. Traveling twelve days from home. It was a tedious, but rather pleasant trip. The river is very low, which, with the fog nights and mornings, caused us to make slow progress. The “sights” along the way, were interesting and various, though but few of them can be introduced in this narrative. In St. Louis I saw many friends, among whom was the estimable S. B. Clapp of Oceola [sic], “homeward boned” from Pilot Knob where he has been employed by the Government for some time past as an artificer. He was at the Everett House completely prostrated from information [sic] of the bowels. Leaving St. Louis, on the evening of the 15th, took lodging in the Worsborn House remaining two days from want of transportation. Memphis is a live city, and the theater for the performance of the vilest actions in the power of human sagacity to invent. Every nook and corner of the city is filled to overflowing with assassins, burglars, pick-pockets, scamps and traitors of every description and pretension. Drunken officers, soldiers and citizens were to be found on every corner and avenue while the Hotels seemed perfect denizens of swaggering wisky [sic] tubs.

Here we parted with Mrs. Carter, who was “enroute” for Corinth to visit her husband in the 39th Iowa.

The gallant and glorious 2nd Iowa Caverly [sic] is stationed here and doing “Picket” duty for Memphians. No beter Cavalry in the service than this. Its career thus far has been highly successful and honorable, both to state and nation.

Leaving Memphis on Steamer John Warner, on the evening of the 18th, and making an exceedingly slow trip. I arrived in Vicksburg as above stated on the 22d much rejoiced to be again with my comrades of the old Fifteenth. Sickness abounds in camp. Seventy five cases is about the average number on hand each day, in the Regt. A large number have gone north on sick leave among whom I may mention Wm. Day and John Davenport, of Co. “I.” Surgeon Gibbon is also on his way north to recruit his health.

The expedition to Monroe La. Is prepresented to have been the hardest march ever performed by the 3d Brigade. Hundreds gave out from heat and thrist. Large numbers took sick and some have died.

An attack from Cavalry, has been expected here for a few days. The rebels are said to be active and vigilant beyond Black river and near the right of our position. Everthing is ready and they are at liberty to fight us at Vicksburg whenever it suits their convenience. Large numbers of troops are leaving this point, going northward – perhaps to reinforce Rosecrans. Gen. Smith’s division had reached Halena [sic] on the 15th. Gen. Austerhous’ divison and one other divion are embarking today, and will be off very shortly. The troops from Natchez are expected here in a few days. What disposition will be made of division and corps is the merest conjecture, of course. Rumor has it that Gen. McPherson is ordered to duty with Gen. Rosecrans. Gen. McArthur comands the post of Vicksburg. Col. Chambers of the 16th Iowa, has been made a Brig. Gen’l and commands the 6th Division.

If I were a politician, I would inform you how Stone and Tuttle respectfully would run for Governor of Iowa with the members of this Regt., as I would know all about it, of course. The boys will vote for their candidate without fear or favor, and will do their own thinking and acting, efforts to the contrary notwithstanding. There is but little of interst transpiring in camp, nothing indeed, beyond the ordinary details for fatigue and guard duty, which is quite arduous at present. Cool nights, warm days, and dusty roads is the order of things here just now. With plenty to eat, drink and wear, that is pleasant to the taste and beneficial to the body, we are having good times, in high spirits, and hope soon to be able to report the health of all fully restored and things moving in the good, old way.

Respectfully adieu
E. H. King.

The following, we are permitted to take from a letter of Mr. King’s to Lieut. Sigler writen since the above.

Any sick soldiers you may see at home contemplate obtaining medical certificates of disability, and remaining at home, please tell them it is of no use to do so. The Government requires them, when unable to return to the Regts. to report to the nearest Hospital. This rule is invariable. Those who remain at home on medical certificates will be reported as deserters, and treated accordingly.

Lieut. Kirkpatrick and the boys in Co. “I” are well. All Enjoy excellent spirits.

- Published in The Union Sentinel, Osceola, Iowa, October 10, 1863

See Other Blog Entries:
Ensign H. King
Letter from Lieut. King – March 28, 1863
Letter from E. H. King – June 15, 1863

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