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104th Illinois Infantry - Medal of Honor

Item LTR-7335
October 18, 1862 Richard J. Gage
Price: $185.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 4 pages, written in period ink. (Received Medal of Honor for action at Elk River, TN, July 2, 1863).

October 18th 1862

Respected Friend,

It is with pleasure that I take this opportunity to answer your looked for and welcome letter. Which I received two or three days ago. You say that it keeps you busy to answer all of your letters. I do not doubt it for there is a great many letters go out of the camp direct to you. But as you say, I will not be discouraged, but will answer as often as you write to me and be satisfied. You said that you had three letters lying about to be answered. I have two or three laid about to be answered at my leisure. You said that you wished that I was there to eat supper with you and not be so far. I think that it would be the best supper that I have had since I left Ottawa. But I expect that it will be some time before I eat a meal in Old Brookfield again. Dinner is ready and I must eat it. I have been to dinner and the mail has come in since. I commenced this letter and I received a letter from Louisa C. Gage. She was well and liked it very much. You said that the ladies of Brookfield were going to form a soldier’s aid society. I cannot tell the object of the society but if it is to help the soldiers. I can tell you that there is nothing that they can do for them for they have more clothes than they can carry. I do not know how it is with the sick ones for I have not been to the hospital yet. But I expect that they are well cared for.

You wished to know if we had any frost here yet. We have not had had any nor have not seen any. The last you heard from us we were on the march. We marched about 50 miles and are now in camp on the banks of the Kentucky River near Frankfort. It is a pleasant country here and we are doing well. When we are on picket duty, we have all the honey and chickens we can eat. You thought that if we were on the march that we would have to do without our tents. You were right. We had to do without them then and we have not had them. But two nights since we left Louisville, which was two weeks and we suffered considerably with the cold. I think that we will have them after this.

You wanted to know if I had played cards any yet. I am sorry to tell you that I have but not to excess. Nor I never will play for money. Nor will I play on Sunday. The reason I commenced playing is this. There is considerable time that we don’t have anything to do and we get lonesome. And there is nothing to read half of the time. And so, we play. But that is a common thing here. The officers play as well as the privates. I stand guard near the Lieutenant Colonel’s tent and they were playing cards until bedtime. But that is no excuse for me playing.

You say that you don’t know what kind of news I like. I like all kinds and I wish you would write and tell me all of the news as soon as you can. I will have to bring my letter to a close for it is drill time. Give my love to all of the Brookfield girls and except a large portion yourself. Tell Mother that I will write her a letter today. If she has not got it, accept and excuse this from your friend. And well wishes.

Richard Gage

May we meet again. Good bye.