1864 Jan 14

 

Thunderbolt Battery
January 14, 1864

My dear companion,

I seat myself to drop you a line to let you know that I am well at this time and hope that you are, too, and all the rest of the family and friends.

I just came off the island yesterday.  Last night three of our companies left here to meet the Yanks at White Bluff, or somewhere below here.  They are said to be landing.

We also received orders to hold ourselves in readiness, and this morning we got new orders to cook three days rations.  We expect to march tonight, but to what point is not known.  Our company is very much excited.  I will write you as often as I can.

We lost one man on Whitmarsh.  The Yanks came up with a gunboat and took him.  His name is McLode.

I will send you some more clothes the first chance I get, and I want you to send me something to eat, a gallon of syrup, the first chance you get, after this excitement is over.  I will write you again about it.

We do not get anything but flour and rice and salt.  We want some corn meal and meat.  We done fine on oysters while we stayed on Whitmarsh.

I received a letter from you just now, and was glad to hear from you.

I am very sorry that the old men and boys has to go to the army.  The thing is nearly played out.  I reckon the war will close before always.

I understand that the State Troops is going to take charge of our batteries here.  If so, we may expect to be moved from here.

I understand that we will have to march tonight, I cannot tell.

You all must work hard to keep from perishing.  I don’t see no other chance.  Some will have to suffer, and Hell’s darkest cavern is too good for the devils who brought this war on.

I am mad because we got no meal and no cornbread.  I am most willing to fight, and I believe we will have it soon.

Lieutenant Johnson says we will have to leave in a few hours.  It is now about 3 o’clock.  I cannot tell what will be the result, but the truth is I do believe we will have to fight and I don’t like it, but if I must, I must.

There is so much confusion here that I can hardly write.

I can’t think of anything to write – I will close.

Give my love to all the family and friends, etc.

Yours, etc.

W. H. Harden