YOUR CART 0 items - $0.00
Roll over image to enlarge (scroll to zoom)

2nd Kentucky Cavalry

Item LTR-5584
May 28, 1863 William H. Lower
Price: $245.00


4 pages, original Civil War soldier's letter written in period ink and war dated.

Headquarters 20th Army Corps
Murfreesboro [Tennessee]

May 28th 1863

Dear Friend Van,

It is with pleasure that I am again called on to answer one of your kind letters. Yours of May 17th was received on last Friday, the 22nd, but that same day I was sent up to Nashville on business connected with the Army and did not return until yesterday. Consequently, I have not had an opportunity of writing sooner. I was very glad to hear from you, as I always am. I was sorry, however, to hear that your wife had been unwell and earnestly hope when this is received it will find her entirely recovered.

The Captain Clark you spoke of I was not acquainted with. As his regiment has never been in our Department of the Army. In fact, we have no eastern troops in this whole department excepting three Pennsylvania Regiments, the 77th, 78th, and 79th. The regiment you have reference to was probably in Gen. Burnside’s command, which is the “Department of the Ohio.”

You ask me if I have ever heard from Charlie Rowley. I have never heard a word from him but through you since he left Chicago.

You seem rejoiced that I have got a commission. I am glad you take pleasure in hearing of my prosperity and thank you kindly for such expressions. You say you wish I would get more of them. I will say this much, if honest, upright, and faithful attendance to my duties as an officer will procure them, I have every reason to think your wish as well as mine will be gratified.

You ask me when I am coming to Cortland. I will say this much; just as soon as this unholy war is ended I will pay you a visit, providing I am so fortunate as to survive it, which I earnestly hope I will be. I would dearly love to call on you during these beautiful spring months. I already have an idea how Cortland looks and I would like the best in the world to visit you and Cortland to see if my idea is correct.

I am glad to hear that you are so pleasantly situated in Cortland and I assure you I would love now to spend a month or two in the quiet village away from the tumult of war. For I am getting heartily tired of the banging and crashing of Army wagons, the rattling of musketry, and the loud booming of artillery. I would like to while away a few weeks in the quiet village of Cortland, trying that new carriage and those good cigars of yours.

You want to know if there can anything be sent to me from your place by Express. There is a regular express line connecting with other lines through the north and east, and if you have any notions of sending anything that way, please notify me by mail. You tell me to take care of myself. You may rest assured that I will, “Van.” I have had the best health in the Army that I ever had in my life and am in most glorious good health now weighing 156 pounds.

Now that I have commented on most every paragraph in your letter, I will now proceed to give you a few items of news. We are having some very warm and dry weather. The thermometer yesterday stood at 85 degrees. For the past week or two, it has been very disagreeably dirty. But this afternoon we were favored with a most delightful shower which has laid the dust nicely. It has also washed the dirt from the trees and shrubbery and this evening everything looks bright and green. It has not only refreshed vegetable life, but animal life as well.

Well, “Van,” we are still in camp here but last night was the third time the following order has been issued within two weeks. The order reads thus “General, you will have your command to have 5 days’ rations of provisions and forage on hand, and be prepared to move immediately.” But still we remain. It may be, however, before this reaches you the bugle will have sounded, “strike tents” and we will be on the march and I assure you, we won’t move for before we encounter the enemy. As on our front in force. I am getting heartily tired of laying in camp and am anxious to mount my horse and away farther into “Dixie.” I have two splendid horses, by the way, named respectively “Thunder” and “Lightning.” “Lightning” is my favorite and I assure his name is very appropriate. He is a horse of almost unequaled speed. Give me five moments to start and I defy any Rebel in the ranks of the Confederate Army to catch me. “Thunder,” however, is a horse that has more stamina, more endurance, than “Lightning.” In fact, both their names are very appropriate. You may laugh when you hear the names but I assure you they are expressive names. But I must now close.

My kindest regards to your wife, hoping that when this reaches you it will find her in the best of health.

I am, “Van,” as ever your old friend,

William H. Lower

Major Gen. [Alexander McDowell] McCook’s Escort
Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Andrew Van Bergen, Esquire
Courtland Village, NY