Camp in Sweedins Cove East Tennessee
Aug 20th 1863
My Dear Wife
I rote to you last night But I did not
write a very long letter and we are laying over
here to day so I thougth I should write you another
short letter this morning and you could count them
Both as one letter although the other one started out
this morning and this will start in the morning
this is certainly the prettyst place I Ever saw I tried to
describe it to you in my letter last night but I could not
Tell you half the Beauties it is just like a Basin Scooped
out for we o cannot see the passage out on Either side it
looks like we were surrounded with mountains that <are?>
several Hundred feet above us and the sides of the mountain
is coverd with timber of various kinds principaly cedar
and pitch pine this valley is very thickly setteled with
people that were wealthy before this war but there was
a good many union men lived here and the Rebels
took their property and the union soldiers took from
the cecesh citizens so between the too armys the inhabitants
of this Beautiful vally are left nearly destitute of
the necessarys of life this valley or cove is very rich land
they can raise all kinds of grain and they have splendid
orchards of choice fruit and springs in abundance
of Excellent water it is a perfect paradise on Earth
if this war was over and I owned this valley and had
you and the Babys here and a few more of our dear
[page 2]
I would like to spend the rest of my days here
I know that you would think it a perfect heaven on
l Earth and our little ones would grow up here
where they could learn to love the works of nature and
I think a person would live longer here than any other
place But those that live here now think that they have
passed through the flint mill a great many of ther
men that were union men had to leave their homes
and when the Rebels came in here and seek a shelter
in the mountain gorges untill our troop came in and
now they are coming in to their familys again there they
laid in caves in sight of their homes and could
not go home although they could see the Rebels soldiers
carrieng off their property and insulting their wives and
daughters it is awful Frant I could tell you of circumstances
of that kind that you would think was to horrible to be
true the rebels have treated these people of East Tennessee
worse then savages would but Enough on that I hope
that the time is not far distant when those southern
devils will get their due and they never will get their
just deserts untill they are in that awful place where
the devil lives and I think that he will take them by
the hair of the head and shake them over the fire <until?>
the hair slips off their topnot and then kick them as
they fall. So Enough on that. I Expect you think that is
rough but it is not half as Bad as I think the Boys here
carried their knapsacks and pup tents since we started
up the mountain it was 9 miles from the foot to the
[page 3]
the Boys think that it is no use to have any pack
mules they say that they think that they are the next
things to a mule I have not had to carry my knapsack
yet the Colonel said if the sergeants would draw a Extra
Blouse and pair of pants that they should have there
knapsacks hawled I carried my tent and ruber Blanket
and rations but they say when we start again in the morning
that we will have to carry Everthing that we have that will
make us wiggle this hot weather but we are good for it
my health is Excellent the climate of Tennessee agrees
with me I will send you some flowers that grow in
this Beautiful vally I do not know the kname of the
small ones we are steering for chattanooga and then
we Expect a Bloody Battle if the rebels stands but
we will clean them out I must close for I must
write a few lines to mandy in this and I have
written all that I can think of that will interest you
we have not had but one mail for four days we
will get a mail tomorrow I must close hoping that
I will get a letter from you soon think of me though
far away and tell the little ones of their pa that is
in dixie and kiss them often for me be kind to them
Frant and take great pains with amy and dont allow
her to talk any thing but what is nice and and dont say
anything before her that you would not like to hear her
say I would hate to hear her talk ugly like I have herd some
little ones I must close so good By my Dear wife Fanny
from your Whit
[page 4]
Dear sister Mandy I will write you a few lines
in answer to your kind letter that I got a day or
too before we started on this march I was very
glad to get your kind letter although it was a
good while a coming But I know your chance for writing
so I Excuse you knowing that you would write if you
had a chance I am still as hearty as Ever and hope
that this will find you all Enjoying as good health
you said that the Boys were wearing copper on
their hats I would like to come home and find one on
some of their hats I would see how nigh that I could
come shooting it off you said that Mrs <Loch?> was
going to make all of her family wear them if I was
the men there I would put one on her other
end if she wants to wear them so Bad they ought
to send the old soft headed shee devil down here
a while where uncle sams Boys could talk to her a
while I think that they could make the old rip shed
some crockodile tears
I say pitch in to all such
she devils and if they want to wear something Extra
give them a suit of tar and feathers and set them a
stradle of a sharp rail and swing on thier feet
this sheet is about full so I must close hoping to hear
from you again soon give my love to mother and
the rest of the family and keep a good portion
for yourself hoping that this will find you all
well I will close subscribing
myself your Brother untill
death Whit

August 20, 1863


87th Indiana Infantry (Co. A)
Private (later First Sergeant)
Residence (County): 
Jasper County, IN


Residence (County): 
Jasper County, IN


From State: 
From Municipality: 
From County: 


To State: 
To Municipality: 
To County: 

Transcription/Proofing Info

Jennifer Felder
Transcription Date: 
February, 2015
M. Ellis
Proof Date: 
March, 2015

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