Headquarters 7th Illinois Cavalry,
Cape Girardeau, Mo., February 19, 1862.
Aren't things working right now? Do you notice the accounts of the old 8th, and will you say again that I got out of her ranks at the right time? I knew that the 8th would never make her colonel (God bless him!) to blush, or dishonor her friends or herself. I have seen only the St. Louis papers of 18th with very meager dispatches, but enough to know that she had the “post of honor” and plenty of fighting. Two hundred of them with Major Post are prisoners. I'll bet my life Company E is not among them. If the Rebels will keep the major and exchange the men the regiment will gain. If I was in the 8th yet and knew what I do now I wouldn't leave her for any commission there is in this post. I've got a good easy place here and have the good will of everybody around me, but my soul and sympathies are with the 8th, and it makes me sick to think what a fool I was to leave her. I'll be shot if I don't love that regiment more than I do the whole world beside. I never thought of it so much untill I got away. I expect some of our boys of my old mess are killed, but its all right, “military necessity,” somebody has to go under. Eight or nine boatloads of prisoners have passed here to-day. They look a little better than our Missouri prisoners but are not uniformed, although comfortably dressed.
SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 62-3