28th Illinois Infantry - Wounded at Jackson, MS - NEW
May 9, 1863
William H. Kinsey
4 pages, original Civil War Union letter written in period ink and war dated.
May 9th 1863
You will, I hope, excuse me when I explain my object in writing this time without awaiting an answer from my last. It is this, I did not know but that your answer had been lost on the mail steamer that was burned above here a day or two ago & if it escaped there it would be probably some time before I would get it. And it will probably be some time before I will have a chance to write again as we have marching orders & will embark onboard transports tomorrow, then for Vicksburg. Hard living & hard fighting for a while to make up for lost time. Such is the life of the soldier. But don’t think that I complain of it for I don’t & hope I never shall – (wait till I call the roll). All right. I have not very much to say this time but hope to write a long letter next time if I am permitted to write again.
We have had all kind of news of the great battle of Fredericksburg: that we were successful; that we were defeated; each report contradicting the other, so we have almost come to the conclusion that there was no fight at all. I can’t write tonight. I have been busy all evening issuing & charging clothing, & somebody bothers me about every three minutes asking about something, as if I knew everything that will happen for a month ahead.
Long before this reaches you, Lieutenant Carithers will be at home.
I expect that I can guess something that will be in your letter when it comes – that is that Miss Matttie Powell & Mr. J. R. Patrick were married some time ago. I expected as much when he started home & soon heard so from one of our regiment (or rather one who did belong to it) writing to one of his friends that such was the case.
It will go rather rough with us for a while to go into active service after being the gay soldier here in Memphis for two months. Mosquitoes are large enough here & I expect to see them almost as large as young chickens down among the swamps & bayous. Let them bite if they want to. It’s as easy a way of shedding ones blood for his country as any.
When you get this, write same as if it were an answer to the one I expect to get. I wrote this to prevent the recurrence of that which happened last fall & winter but I must close for I fear that it is not interesting to you. Hoping to do better next time. Allow me to sign myself your true friend & admirer, - W.H. Kinsey