Saturday, July 8, 2017

1st Lieutenant Charles Wright Wills: May 24, 1862

Near Corinth, Miss., May 24, 1862.

I returned last night from a two day's scout. Our orders were to scour the country along the Tennessee river to near Eastport and return through Iuka, Burnsville and Glendale. A Michigan colonel commanded the party and skipped Iuka three miles. There were little bands of Rebels in sight nearly all the time we were in that vicinity, so that I could not gallop off to the place alone, and of course the colonel wouldn't let me have men to go with me.

We rode all day yesterday through a steady rain and over roads that were for miles obstructed by felled trees and bridges burned. We came back through Pope's division yesterday. Think he is as about as well fortified as Beauregard can be. ’Tis astonishing how much ditching he has done within a week. Has also cut down enough trees (to make his left unapproachable) to last all of Illinois ten years for firewood. There's no site for a Bull Run here. Confederate scrip goes among the people here freely. If a man refuses to take it they lynch him. Not the citizens but soldiers do the dirty work. The people here all say that the seceded States will have to go back where they started from.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 91-2

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