Cape Girardeau, Mo., February 14, 1862.
Sam arrived here to-night and brought me everything I could wish for except my watch. Jem Harper from Company K is home on furlough and we expect him now shortly, also Benton Spencer. If you could manage to send the watch by one of them I would be much obliged. I cannot well get along without one now. You seem to be very happy about my getting away from the Point. Rather more so than I am myself. If I had stayed there I would have been with a fair chance to fight — to fight soldiers. Here there are no forces to fight but a few hundred bushwhackers that will lie by the roadside in the swamp, and I believe they would murder Jesus Christ if they thought he was a Union man. We failed in doing what we wanted to the last trip, but I believe we'll get even with them yet. I'd hate mightily to get killed by such a pack of murderers, but that isn't my business. If U. B. and father have experienced such trips as we have, I'll bet I beat them in one thing — enjoying them. I always feel better out that way than in camp. The 11th Missouri is still with us and the 17th has gone to Tennessee. The colonel, Ross, picked out 50 or 60 of his most worthless men and put them on the gunboats. There are some hopes that our regiment will be ordered to Kentucky soon or to Wheaton, Mo., for there is a regiment of Missourians here forming that will be sufficient to guard this vicinity. This place if not entirely secession is very strongly southernly righteous. I am getting acquainted with the female population slowly, not very, and one family of three girls tell me they are positively the only unconditional Union women in town. But the others show nothing of the cold shoulder to us. They are all very friendly and sociable. Quite a number of beautiful girls here. The aristocracy here are all Catholic. Funny, isn't it? Frenchy.
SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 61-2