Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Diary of Private Charles Wright Wills: July 1, 1861

Cairo.  Writing letters is getting to be harder work than drilling, and is more dreaded by the boys. Lots of people are visiting the camp now, many of them ladies, but I tell you that they use their fans more than their spy-glasses after a very few looks.

I was up to Mound City yesterday with nine others of our company on a United States boat that has three cannons on her. Mound City is a beautiful little place, and takes it name from a mound about 30 feet in diameter and 10 feet high, on which grow a dozen spindling locusts. I have been about 12 miles up each river from the point here. At that distance the river banks are, say 25 feet high, and slope down to the point, and run into a broad wide sandbar that ends Illinois.

Fishing is a principal amusement or time-killer now. I have fished about four days and caught nary a “minner.”

There is no outside influence used to induce a man to re-enlist. Officers tell every man to use his own judgment, and each fellow does his own thinking and — another long dash or words to that effect.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 20

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