Cairo. The refreshments and drygoods from home arrived Saturday. We were at Paducah then and they were taken care of by two or three of the lame and halt, that were not in traveling order and were left behind. We returned this morning and after acknowledging the excellence, profusion, variety, gorgeousness, and confiscarity of your benevolent appropriation to our temporal wants, I will particularize by saying that you needn't worry about your picture, as it is in my possession; that the cakes are both numerous and excellent, that the pickles are prodigious in quantity, beautiful in quality and remarkably acceptable. That the butter and cheese are non ad com valorum. The tobacco and Hostetter, the boys say, are very fine. To Mrs. Dewey and Mrs. Heald we all return thanks and send our kind respects and love. We have sent a share of the eatables to the Canton boys of the 17th, which is again encamped near us; this time on the Kentucky shore. They are hard at work to-day cutting down trees, clearing away for a camp ground. I have seen none of them yet. We had the nicest little trip to Paducah, that ever soldiers had. We have just received orders to get ready to start in five minutes.
Time extended a little. We had 1,500 troops in Paducah, Ky., and received information that they would be attacked Saturday, so Friday night 350 of us were sent up as an advance.—Now we go.
SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 27-8