Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Letter from Capt. L. D. Bennett of the 39th

Head Quarters Co. D. 39th Iowa
Parson’s Mill Dec. 18th 1863

Friend Caverly:-

While looking over your paper of the 5th, I noticed a letter from T. R. Oldham, in which he states that Sergt. T. A. Trent had been mustered in the service as 1st Lieut. Of a Colored Company in the 2nd Ala. A.D. I can now state with much pleasure and satisfaction that our friend “Tom” was also mustered in a few days ago as Capt. of Co. E of the same Regiment.

No better selection could have been made that that of T. R. Oldham for that position. He is worthy and well qualified, and merits the place he now holds. As. Sergt. Major of the 39th Iowa, he was ever ready and willing to do his duty, and he had the respect and good will of every officer and man in the Regiment.

As regards Lieut. Trent, he is a brave and meritorious soldier, and will make and excellent officer.

My Company is detached, and we are now guarding and running a mill for the benefit of the troops of our brigade. We have built a fine Stockade with comfortable quarters attached to it, and are now living at our care and in peace, except with poultry and hogs, and as they are not reckoned in with the Commissary supplies, it seems impossible for me to reconcile my boys to let them remain in their presence.

Whether we will remain here this winter or not, I am, at present, unable to say. Gen. Dodge is ambitious and desires to be in front, and I was told yesterday that he had gone to visit Gen. Grant at Nashville with that object in view. Should we be ordered forward, we can have no excuse to complain, for I must say that our lot has rather been one of ease than otherwise, compared to that of the majority of the Iowa Regiments.

Our men are ever ready and willing, and will cheerfully go to any point when the order is given.

The boys of Co. D are in excellent health and spirits: the sanitary condition of the Co. has never been better.

Sergt. Pike is now at Louisville Ky. in the Hospital. He is afflicted with rheumatism.

I will remark, before closing this letter to those persons of Clark Co. who wish to volunteer in some of the old Regiments under the last call, that Co. D lacks some twenty men of having its maximum number, and that we will be glad to receive any who will join us. It will be to the advantage of those who desire to enlist in this way. We are one among the last Regiments that was raised and consequently will remain much longer in the service from this time, and hence, any one joining us will have the satisfaction of knowing that they will not be placed among strange[r]s in a few months by the mustering out of their friends in the old regiments.

And again, should we remain here all winter, there will be a fine opportunity of milling, besides becoming accustomed to camp life before being mustered into more active service.

Your friend;
Capt. L. D. Bennett

- Published in The Union Sentinel, Osceola, Iowa, January 2, 1864

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