4th Tennessee Infantry - Captured at McMinnville, TN - NEW
January 4, 1864
Elijah K. Brown
3 pages, original Civil War Union letter written in period ink and war dated.
Camp 4th Tennessee Volunteer Infantry
8 miles S. W. Dandridge Tenn.
January 4, 1864
So I have just returned from a forage expedition and have corn meal & bacon enough to last me two days and am very tired after a walk of about twenty miles and have no persons to talk with around my smoky fire. I am thinking of my dearest Jennie and what a nice thing it would be to hear from her by tomorrow’s mail. Shall I or not? Well Jennie, I can say nothing to interest you tonight. I could tell you of my troubles and situation but will not as I don’t think it would interest you. I thought it possible we would get back to Knoxville or Loudon but think now the case doubtful. Would not be surprised if we remain in these parts this winter. Hope for the better. You know that’s all poor soldiers can do.
How are you doing and what are you doing for amusement. I fancy I see you tonight, sitting by the fire leaning upon your arm chair with a book in your hands or with Lieutenant Putnam – or probably sparking some nice young gent. Have I guessed right or is it making a new dress at the rate of 2.40 per minute? Well I suppose you are tired of foolishness and will say there is not much trouble or I can’t see the “Blues” with “Brown” and I know it don’t look so. But if you could have seen me before I commenced writing this, you would have thought differently.
Stop, here comes Tom. What the “devil” are you doing Brown? Any man that would sit down by this fire and write a letter upon his knee must be writing to his sweetheart or is that something official? Well I guess you had better ask no questions if you desire a truthful answer.
Well, wouldn’t you like to be at Knoxville at Loudon tonight? If I had any business there I would like to go down soon. What will the chance be Maj? Well, I cannot tell at present. Don’t think you can go for a month off he goes, and I am glad of it.
Well, what is Mag doing? Did she get to see Mike before she left S.C.? Guess she did and if not, tell her to let me know and I will have him dismissed the service for neglect of duty.
Well, Jennie, I don’t know whether I will see you again this winter or not. If I don’t, as you said to me, you will not be deprived of paper and ink. I hope if you know what a pleasure it is to me to hear from you - you would certainly write whilst I am laying in the woods. To hear and feel that I have one kind friend whose kind wishes are about me and I do feel assured that you are ever anxious about me. I know you are the first and only lady that I ever loved and believe me, Jennie, you are as near to me as my own heart. I will close as I have no more to write and as you see, a worn pen and bad ink. But I know you will excuse all that. My respects to all my friends and don’t forget to write soon & often and long letters to one who loves you dearly.
I am as ever, yours,
Lieutenant E. K. Brown