Tuesday, June 27, 2017

1st Lieutenant Charles Wright Wills: April 12, 1862

Camp New Madrid, Mo., April 12, 1862.

I have the extreme happiness to inform you that there is at last a hope of my dating the next letter from Memphis or vicinity. Our regiment has for several days been alone at Point Pleasant and we enjoyed it very much. When we are under a general of an infantry division we are run to death or thereabouts, for whenever anything is to be done the cavalry is sure to be called on. Yesterday we were ordered to report here immediately to General Granger, commanding cavalry division which numbers full 4,000. There are two brigades in this division; Colonel Kellogg commands the 1st brigade and therefore is now a brigadier general. There have been about 25 steamboats arrived here since 4 p. m. yesterday and the army will probably commence embarking to-day. It will take full 60 boats to hold us all. The rain has been falling in torrents ever since we started from the Point yesterday, and you can imagine the time we had pitching tents in a cornfield, and yet we are comfortable now as we can wish. I have faith to believe that they (or anybody else) can't keep me from being comfortable under any circumstances, if my hands are loose and I can walk. I think that Pope's hurry is caused by his fear that Grant and company will reach Memphis before him. We hardly think that the Rebels will make a stand at Pillow, Randolph or Memphis if the news from Corinth is correct. I'm almost afraid to look over the list of dead that fight was made. Sid. says he is sure Billy Stockdale is killed. We received papers of the 10th last night but are not sure the victory is a complete one yet. I can't think of the point where the enemy will make another stand i they are perfectly whipped at Corinth.

I know as many people here as in Fulton, almost, and I have yet to hear the first insulting speech or word to me; “What are they going to do with Island No. 10 I wonder; I am afraid that Commander Foote and his gunboats are a humbug!” Aren't you ashamed of that speech? Damn the New York Tribune. I do believe in, McClellan and nearly all the rest of our leaders. If those Tribunes, big and little, were where any regiment in this army could get at them they wouldn't stand fifteen minutes. McClellan knows his business and we don't know a thing about it. Now old Pope here is as mean a man as ever lived, curses every man that comes within a hundred yards of him and nobody knows a thing of his designs, but we all have the utmost confidence in him. I've never seen him and wouldn't go in sight of him for a horse, but he's my man for a’ that.

Orders have just arrived for embarking this p. m. Will be under way down the river to-night Wish us a pleasant voyage.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 81-2

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