St. Louis, March 27, 1862.
EDITOR OF GAZETTE. – The 16th regiment is now about ready for the war, excepting a little more drill. The regiment is now completely equipped with the exception of the single article of canteens – and a very useful one it is, and one perhaps easily to be secured. Yesterday morning our guns and accoutrements were distributed, and this morning our tents. We have the Springfield rifled Musket, the best arms in the hands of any troops in the country, or in the world for that matter. They are a beautiful gun, of long range, fine finish and perfect in every part. Our boys are delighted with them. The 16th was the first regiment from Iowa armed with really good or superior guns. The 15th regiment, now in barracks here, have since received the same arms. It is well they were tied on to our coat-tails in this matter, as but for the activity and success of our Colonel they would have no possible chance of getting anything but the common musket. – All the accoutrements belonging to their arms are of the first class.
The tents are the Sibley tent, a large conical institution, and the best tent in the service – the kind we wanted for which application was made. Yesterday our mules were marched into quarters – one hundred and nine in number – and the wagons are ready. The quadrupeds are quartered in the great ampitheatre of the old Fair Grounds, near which are our barracks. They are a clean looking set of animals, but generally small. Our wagoners and teamsters are now getting their hands in. With the Wagons and mules is complete harness.
The weather has been perfectly delightful the last three days, and roads getting dusty. It is both comfortable and healthy for camp life. We have but comparatively few sick, and none dangerously so. I think, but it is a mere surmise, that we shall be ordered to march to-morrow or the day after. We have had an intimation of an early start, while the speed with which we of the 16th are being fitted out shows “something is up,” so far as we are concerned. The 15th and 16th will doubtless go together. Where is another question – most likely to New Mexico, which is regarded as the choice service although it will comprise a march of two or three months. – But it has the prospect of hard fighting with the best fighters in the rebel army, as a close. The officers and men of the 16th are ready to cheerfully obey orders to go anywhere, but all are anxious to get into the fight and that as soon as possible.
– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Wednesday Morning, April 2, 1862, p. 2