Sunday, July 23, 2017

1st Lieutenant Charles Wright Wills: July 19, 1862

July 19, 1862.

I don't know whether I have any business sending such a document as I enclose, but guess its no difference. Two spies came in to-night and report that there are not more than 15,000 or 20,000 of the enemy left at Tupelo and Saltillo. Bragg took a large force with him and went over in the direction of Chattanooga a few days since. A fortnight, nearer a month, since we had quite a large force stationed at Boonville. One of the men started to go back to Rienzi on business, and had not been heard of since until day before yesterday, when his body was found midway between the two places with four bullet holes through it. It lay some distance from the road, and was discovered by a man of the 2d Brigade while looking for water. He was undoubtedly murdered by some citizen. Day before yesterday Mrs. Pierce, wife of a captain in the 36th Illinois, rode out in an ambulance, escorted by a corporal, to get some fruit in the country. A party of guerrillas gobbled the party up while they were inside of our pickets, and took them to Ripley. They sent Mrs. Pierce back yesterday. She was well treated. I guess there are no hopes of a fight there until autumn. I'm getting tired of doing nothing, although I certainly should be satisfied, having easier times than almost any one in the service.

Halleck left here yesterday for Washington. Trains are running down here from Corinth every day now, so we are only three days behind the dates of papers received, which is better than eight or ten, as heretofore. We have had the most splendid rains for a few days, and the weather is very seasonable in temperature. We are living almost wholly on fruit: apples, pears and blackberries, fresh, and peaches and strawberries canned. Don't want for anything, but I still (so unreasonable is man) at times, think that I'm not enjoying myself as well as I used to in the 8th. I know I couldn't stay out of the service while the war continues, but I would like so well to have peace once more, and be civilized awhile. There's a good time coming. Don't it come slowly? I write all the colonel's letters now except those to his wife, and shouldn't wonder if he'd have me do that next. At first he used to read them over very closely, but now he often signs without asking what they are about. To-night he told me was going to make me inspector general for brigade. Making two generals out of one lieutenant isn't fair. I'm too lazy and modest for such a position and think I can coax him to appoint a chap I have my eye upon.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 116-7

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