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Full text of "The Civil War letters written by James Monroe Stookey to his brother Daniel Stookey, 1861-1865"

THE CIVIL WAR LETTERS 

/ 

written by ' 

JAMES MONROE STOOKEY 

to his brother 

DANIEL STOOKEY 

1861-1865 



PREPARED FROM THE ORIGINAL LETTERS BY 
MARY ELIZABETH STOOKEY OWEN 



b' 



THE CIVIL WAR LETTERS 



I. 

St. Louis Arsenal 
Aug. 4th 1861 
Dear Brother and Family 

T am now soldering or acting soldier. I came in the ar- 
senal on last Friday I was never in any kind business I 
liked so much as T like this. . but perhaps I may not like 
it so well after while but I think I had my mind fully made 
up before T undertook the soldier to like it all hazzards. 
T have not quite a full company yet but I think we will 
have it full within a week if you think we can get any up 
in your City T vnW give my orderly the privelige of come- 
ing up and Recruiting in your City my orderly is Jo Ben- 
son Goodner I suppose you are Slightly acquainted with 
him he is out at Belleville but is to come back this eve. I 
believe today is the Sabbath but you would not know it 
if you was here. I have just come from dinner perhaps you 
think there is danger of us starving if you think so I will 
just give you a bill of fare of our dinner which was bacon 
cabbage potatoes bread and coffee good enough for a queen, 
the boys make such a noise up here I can hardly tell what 
I am writing. I will have extra quarter after I get rightly 
fixed up Our quarters are up in the upstairs of a two 
story brick it is about 150 by 50 it is very cool and nice 
we have bunks like on a steamboat but nothing but the 
boards to sleep on for we have not drawed our blankets 
yet but 1 think we will draw them this week any t 

T must bring this letter to a close as it is time to go on 
drill Capt J M Stookey Com E 

Direct vour letters to St Louis Arsenal 
Col C H Frederic 
9th Eeg W.Z. Mo. Vol. 
Explanations W Z stands for Wasliington Zouaves 



n. 

Camp on L amine E 
Dec 12th 1861 
Dear Brother & Family 

T am asrain seated in my tent to answer yonr letter which 
I received this mom. Yon state that when I wrote last 
I was in Syracuse, we left Sprin,e:field on the 9th of Nov 
and arrived in Syracuse on the eve of the 17th that was on 
our retreat from Springfield. We marched 140 miles in 
nine days some days marching as high as twenty two 
miles and others marching- only eight but we marched 
every day The boys going out to Springfield stood the 
trip very well although every day there would be hun- 
dreds lying by the wayside waiting for the teams to come 
up and haul them. Some were actually sick others were 
footworn & others acting possum, while others with bet- 
ter pluck would pull of their shoes and take it barefoot 
over the rocks Charley Waggener & Joe Beaver both took 
it barefoot for several days going out, their feet were 
blistered and they had too much spunk to ride and several 
others of my company that you know not. As for our 
force march I consider it rather a mismanagement by our 
superiors. We were encamped in Humanville when we 
received oders to prepare one days Rations for a force 
march we received this order at about sundown but the 
cooks soon had the Rations in the haversacks in good con- 
dition at about Eight Clock P M we wer in line ready 
for our trip we had all of our wagons loaded and they 
were also in line, and all that you could see of our camp 
was the brilliant fires that were burning all through camp 
which the cooks had just left. It was rather a dark night 
on the 1st of Nov that I speak of. At the command of our 
gallant young Col we all were on our onward march to 
a bloody seen as we then ex]jected for we heard that Price 
was within almost hailing distance of Springfield and 
Fremonts picketts. We marched that night untill near 
one Clock A M when we were halted on a large stream 
on the prarie A\ath but very little wood there I rolled my- 
self up in some Blankets but as it was a verry cold night 
I only slept a sliort time when I was awakened by cold 
then I got up and went to a fire near by and found several 



oflScers and men in the same fix I was too cold to sleep I 
sat there by the fire untill I got so sleepy tliat I could not 
hold my eyes open any longer then T crawled in to a car- 
riage the suttler has and slept untill Reville which was 
about four A M "When we were all routed up to make a cup 
of Coffe which I soon drank and by day we were again ready 
to march, that is one of the most disagreeable nights I 
ever spent in my life. We then marched on through Bolivar 
and about 4 miles beyond Bolivar we were filed left into 
a Prarie and there halted and our C'ol called us up to 
the center of the Regt where he was and stated that we 
must now leave all of our baggage and Knapsacks on the 
prarie and push on as Fremont was already fighting. AVlien 
th(» Col stated tliis to us he also said tliat we must cook 
two day's rations and examine all of our guns fil the 
boys cartridge boxes full of cartridges (they hold forty 
rounds) He looked very sober while he was talking to 
us and his lips quivered and for awhile all was very 
([uiet and sober but that soon wore off and they were all 
as lively as ever, there was a cornfield at the place where 
we stopped our whole division Avas with us commanded 
by Maj Genl Pope we had 5 Reg*t of infantry & two bat- 
teries one of six and the other of four guns and the Iowa 
first Cavalry all with us which would make quite a show 
mooving through your city with our wagon train. We 
were all ready to march by 5 P. M. Avhen we started and 
marched untill about 12 Clock that night, it was not 
as cold as the night before and I stood the night a great 
deal better and slept very comfortable as we were marching 
along the road the l)oys that were getting very tired would 
come to me and say Capt I am too tired to go any fur- 
ther I would say go as far as you can and then lay down 
and rest awhile then come on sometimes I have left as 
liigh as ten & twelve on the road and they would come 
in through the night at all times some not arriving for 
hours after we had gone to sleep that night one of my 
men fell against the fence just as we were stacking the 
arms to go to bed he was rather a small man and it rather 
knocked the breath from him but I soon got the Dr and 
by next morn he was able to travel again by getting to 
ride part of the time but he soon recovered and got as 
healthv as ever. I nmst finish what I started about the 



cornfield, we encamped near the first nio:lit we took feed 
for onr horses from the field and used about a half mile 
of fence for firewood and the night that the hoy hurt 
himself we burned near as much fence as we had that 
day. the next day we all wanted coife but our camp and 
garrison equipage had all but a few kettles been left be- 
liind and we did not get our coffe nor get started untill 
about 7 or Eight Clock A ^.I. That day we marched un- 
till we came to Wilsons creek without stopping with the 
exceptions of occasionally a few rests we crossed the 
creek that the battle was on but we were five miles from 
Springfield, the battle in August was west of Springfield 
about 10 miles I did not get time to go to the battleground. 
We stopped on the creek at near 5 O Clock P M there 
we halted and rested untill about dark when we were 
again ordered on to Springfield which we reached some 
time in the night with expectation of going into a battle 
the next day we were ordered into a strip of timber 
there we got some rails and made a good fire and went 
to sleep. Next morn we heard a band of music coming 
along the road that we had came in and some the boys 
went to see who it was when we found it to be Fremont 
on his return to St. Louis and we then first heard of his 
being superceded he had his body guard with him and 
also some Indians there was great many rumors running 
around camp then about Fremont being superceded just 
as he was going into one of the greatest battles that 
was ever fought but at the present you can hardly find a 
friend to Fremont in the whole western army they most 
all call him decessionists or a rebel. We laid in Springfield 
without our tents that night & two days and nights after- 
wards before they came up from where we left them on 
the praries. while we were there as I have mentioned 
before we had no camp equipage with us but about one 
camp Kettle to a company, we received nothing to eat 
but flour & fresh beef & salt that was all we could get. 
Now how do you think we baked bread with out ovens 
skillets or anything of the kind, we drawed flour some 
had no way to carry their flour from the commissionary 
wagons to their fires and would take their blankets that 
they used ever day and put it on and then catch hold 
of the corners forming a kind of a sack, but our Oderly 



Jo Benson Goodner was a little more lucky and he got a 
barrel to carry his in then the boys took a board and 
carried their water in canteens and poured on the flour 
they would put on the board and mix up the dough then 
thej^ would make a cake and cover it up in the ashes 
or roll a long roll around the rammer of their muskets 
which is iron and bake it over the fire and roast their 
beef in almost the same manner. I say we all the time, 
})ut I Albert and Lieut Knigli boarded at a Widow womans 
in town and fared very well but we slept with the men 
all night in the timber, but the fare may seem very 
rough but the boys did not seem to care for they would 
sing and laugh play pranks all day. but when our tents 
came we had more provision and fared well untill we 
started back on the ninth, for when we are on the march 
the boys never draw anything but meat (fresh beef) and 
most always flour sometimes though crackers and at night 
it takes the cooks of each mess nearly all night to cook 
their bread for the next days breakfast & dinner. One 
night (I must tell a joke on some of the boys) as we 
were on our march from Springfield we encamped on a 
large creek bottom and there was a good many Missouri 
possums (as the boys call the hogs here) rimning through 
the timber and some of the boys were rather hungry they 
came to me and asked me for my pistol to go and kill 
some possums I gave it to them making them promise 
to not let the Col or any one know that I knew that they 
were killing possum, so presently in they came with some 
fine skinned hams and ribs but the Genrl had heard the 
fireing of the pistols as my company was not the only 
one engaged in the sport and they made rather much 
noise and he sent the Col to see what was up so the Col 
came along one of my company's fires and saw one of 
the boys picldng a bone before the boy saw him so the 
Col asked him what he was eating he said hog then the 
Col enquired where he got it he said he bought it from 
another soldier in another Regt then the Col went into 
a tent where they had a ham but the boys saw him coming 
and shoved the ham out under the tent so the Col saw 
nothing and started around the tent and the boys saw 
him again and shoved it through into the tent again so the 
Col had to go without making any discovery We arrived 



at Syracuse on the 17th as I stated before and expected 
to go to St. Louis as soon as we arrived, but we are sadly 
disappointed as we have returned about 8 miles west of 
Syracuse to camp on Lamine River near Oteryille and 
expect to stay here all winter for we are now preparing 
to build our winter quarters. Our Col Kelton was promoted 
to an acting Brigadier and was in that office from the 
time we left Boonville on 18th of Oct up to the time we 
arrived at Syracuse and tlien he was ordered to St. Louis 
to act Adjutant General in Maj. Genrl Halleck staff but 
I believe he is still our Col but how long he will remain 
our Col I know not but he is the best officer in the world. 
I have 86 enlisted men in my company and about 70 fit 
for duty the others are none very dangerously sick I 
have not lost a man yet. We have Reed 3 months pay & I 
have sent $300 or dollars home and on New Year's day 
I will draw $260.00/ Dollars more for two months. None 
of your acquaintances are sick but all hearty and send you 
their best Respects. I weigh 147 lbs that ???? you I must 
close so good night J Roe Stookey to be continued next 
month 

III. 

Dear Sister Angle Camp near Jacinto, Miss. 

June 27th, 1862 

I am seated in the shade this morn for the purpose 
of Answering your letter I received yesterday eve. I 
was lucky enoughtto receive five letters some though were 
very old. one from D. Stookey that is just two months 
old that has been after me all over Missouri. Yours was 
written the 17th of June & T think has come through very 
quick. I wrote you a letter on last Sabbath the 22ond 
which I do not suppose you have received yet. But as 
you have promised to write me every week I shall try 
to answer every one immediate on the receipt of yours. 
AVhen I wrote on Sunday last we had orders to cook up 
teo days rations and liold ourselves in readiness to march 
at a moments warning, (and now we have the same orders) 
we marched at 5 P J\l Sabbath the 22ond and went 15 miles 
on an easterly direction to Bivouac near Jacinto the 
county seat of Tishinggo County which we reached at 11 



Clock at night and Bivonacod untill next day when I 
was ordered to go with my Co. on pickett Guard. We 
went out to the city of Jacinto and there was put on Provo 
Guard, we remained there in the courthouse the 23rd and 
24th untill the eve of the 24th & then we returned to our 
camp which had been mooved 2 miles east of the city of 
Jacinto, there we remained the 24th 25th &26th when 
our camp came up to us and we mooved a half mile and 
pitched tents and stayed over night, we had a very hard 
rain last night. I must close this as I must prepare to 
march. I have to inspect the company & see that thye have 
forty rounds of Cartridges in boxes and also three days 
rations. I do not know which way we will go or whether 
we will take our camp with us or not. I have a man Dis- 
charged by the name of Presley G. Edwards who is going 
home and Tsend this by him I must close give my love to 
all & keep up your weekly correspondence I am well so 
no more 

J Roe Stookev 
Capt E Co. 59th Regt 111 Vols 



IV. 

Dear Brother and Family Camp near Jacinto, i\[iss. 

Sunday July 6th 1862 

I am once more seated for the purpose of penning you 
a short but hasty letter. It has been two months and 
ten days since your letter was written that I received ten 
days ago which had been on the roads two months follow- 
ing me around through Missouri and at last found me in 
Mississippi. When I wrote you last I think we were camped 
near Forsyth, Mo. We marcjed from there to Batesville, 
Ark. & arrived there on 3rd day of j\Iay there we re- 
mained several days and then was ordered from there 
to Cape Girardeau distance 250 miles which we marched 
in 11 days & laid over one day in the time, that is ten 
Regiments of us now^ if you ever find any troops that 
can beat that marching you can put them down as good 
marchers but you had better have good authority before 
you believe all that soldiers say but I can give you good 
\s^tness to mv statement. 



8 

We left Cape Girardeau on the boat Ed Walsh on 22ond 
day of May a Regt to a boat had ten boats we arrived at 
Hamburg landing on 25th of May & went into camp there 
untill the 27th when we marched out on the line of Battle 
before Corinth & laid around there untill it was vacated. 
My Company was on Pickett the night that they vacated 
Corinth we could hear the cars whistleing and backing 
around by the Eebels Hurrahing and halloA^^ng which we 
supposed was them receiving reinforcements but we soon 
found that they had vacated the impenetrable Corinth 
next day. Since then we have been following them around 
through Tihimingo Co & Liptah Co but have never had 
a fight yet. We were ordered the other day to bring 25000 
men to Richmond but that order was countermanded. We 
were included in the number perhaps we will get to go 
yet. I only hope so for if we go there & get through we 
will have gone the rounds. We have orders now to march 
at 2 Clock PM but the orders as usual does not say 
where we are going with two days cooked rations in haver- 
sacks & one cooked in wagons. Well Soldiering is hard 
business I will assure you something you can form no 
idea of untill you try it. but for all that I like the business 
better & better every day. Orderly J B Goodner is \\ath 
Company A 3rd Illinois Cavalry & we left that Regt in 
Ark & have not heard from him since. I think if you hear 
from him he will say that he and I could get along very 
well together but there was other troubles in the way that 
we could not well get over. I was very sorry indeed to 
have him leave but he said he could not stay satisfied 
therefore I let him go I had it entirely in my power to 
let him go or stay but I thought perhaps he knew what 
was best for him. I saw him once after he went into the 
Cavalry he was well satisfied. I must bring this letter 
to a hasty close as I want to write a letter home as there 
is no telling when I will get a chance to write again. You 
say you think I have lost my best friends in Albert & 
Jo Bentson which I will admit, but I think I can safely 
say that there is no one in my company but that is my 
friend, & that can only be said by very few Captains. 
I had company this morn of guns & after it was over I 
went and told the Col to come to my company & see 
their guns he came up & said that was the best company 



of guns he had seen & I had never told the boys that the 
Col would inspect their guns therefore tlie inspection by 
the Col was entirely a surprise to the boys. I was sorry 
to hear of the death of Capt Harvey. Write soon to your 
Brother Roe 



Dear Brother & Family Camp near luka Aug 17th 1862 

I am now in luka 25 or 30 miles East of Corinth on 
the Charleston & ^Memphis Railroad. I have been sick I 
was taken with the fever on 26th of July & had the 
fever all the time for ten days. I stayed in camp untill 
the 2ond of August abd then I went to Jacinto to a 
hotel and stayed there untill the 9th of August and then 
started for luka and rode all night in a ambiance and 
arrived at luka on the morn of the 10th then a Lt from 
the 22ond 2nd Regt came and told me that Jack was in 
Corinth & was going to stay there untill he heard where 
I was. I then got on the cars and went to Corinth but 
did not find him untill next morn the 11th as he had been 
out to the 9th Illinois & stayed all night he & I then came 
to luka. he started home yesterday. I have been boarding 
at a private lious here in luka untill yesterday Eve I 
came and reported for duty. 

You say the last I wrote vras from camp near Jacinto 
we went into camp there on the 4th of July & remained 
untill the 4th of August with the exception of the 7th 
July Genrl Asboth was slightly frightened about 7 miles 
from us and sent us word to come & reinforce him as 
he expected an attack Ave loaded our teams all up & sent 
the teams ba.ck from camp to 4 miles of Corinth. We 
marched to the road about Vo mile from camp and then 
received orders to march back to camp which we did, 
and laid without tents that night but next day the teams 
came back & we pitched tents & drilled & had schools in 
Tactics & regulations untill 4th of August when our Bri- 
gade was ordered to March to Bay Springs (but I was 
sick and did not go Avith them) where they tore up a cot- 
ton mill & took some cotton & took some 20 prisoners 



10 

as there was a small squad of secesh there guarding the 
mill. Then our Brigade marched to this camp luka but 
it was so hot that they had a very hard time. Since our 
Brigade has been here we have taken nearly 300 bales 
of cotton also a lot of Negroes & fields of corn from 
the secesh and made no compensation to any, what do 
jovL think of that way of proceeding. I am glad to hear 
that recruiting is going on so fast in old Illinois I hear 
that Illinois will fill her cjuota without drafting. We have 
orders now to hold ourselves in readiness to march tomor- 
row afternoon at a minutes notice what direction I knoAv 
not some day for Chattanooga but I do not profess to 
know. I say hurrah for L J Eyman Ed Eyman John Eyman 
& Georg Goodner I see that none of the old soldiers of 
the Mexican War can stay at home You will please let 
me know what Regt they go into tell L J Eyman if he 
will have me elected Lt Col of his Regt I will insure it 
soon to be a welldrilled Regt as I think I could drill a 
Batallion all right, where do they go to rendezvous 

You say you have not heard from home for some time 
I received a letter yesterday eve from Angie the same 
time I received yours She said they were all well and that 
Charley Wagner had just arrived there he is at home re- 
cruiting sent from my Company. Jo Beaver received a 
letter from him today he said he had seven recruits his 
head quarters are to be in Carrollton Ills as tthat is near 
where the Lt lives that went home with him but he says 
that he got leave from him to go to Centreville for a 
few days, I think they will soon fill up our Reg-t we have 
a man from every Company on recruiting service. How 
old is your cattle and are you going to feed them this 
winter is the cattle business good now I suppose you 
can sell all fat cattle now to the IT S contractors I am 
well at present give my love to all enquiring friends tell 
ED Lewis John or Georg to write to me when they get 
to soldiering so no more write soon to Roe 



11 

VI. 

Camp near Nashville Tenn 
Nov 24th 1862 
Direct to Capt J M Stookey 59th Ills Vols 
9th division 3rd Brigade Army of the Cumberland 
Nashville Tenn 

Dear Brother & Family 

It has been a long while since I have received any let- 
ter from you & I do not know whether it is my fajilt-or 
yours but I think I have i'\vitten last but T shaH now 
write again and then I will be shure to have you in my 
debt. It has been so long since I wrote to you that I do 
not know hardly where I was at the time I last wrote 
but I think at luka Miss. Since then we marched to this 
place & from here went to Louisville Ky by way of Mum- 
fordsville where I suppose you heard of the capture of 
4800 of our men by Genrl Bragg there. We skirmished 
a little with the enemy & then they travelled towards 
Louisville and we were in pursuit untill we came within 
80 miles of Louis\alle then they turned to the right and 
we wnt on to Louisville a^ quick as possible there we re- 
mained for several days & then started again under Genrl 
Buell in pursuit of Genrl Bragg & after several days 
skirmishing we came up on to him at Perryville Ky & 
there fought the battle known now as Chaplin Hill. Our 
Regt was engaged from an hour by sun untill way after 
dark we was held as reserves all day and at this time 
in the eve we was sent in to reinforce ]\[a,j Genrl McCook's 
Corpse which was then gi^dng aw^ay we went into a hea\^' 
fire and was soon surrounded & driven back but we fell 
back & formed again behind a rail fence & held out 
position there untill it grew so dark that tlie fireing en- 
tirely ceased. I suppose you have read a great many ac- 
counts of the fight than I can give so I will have to go the 
next day when we followed up the enemy but they had 
retreated through the night & we did not come on to 
them for several days and then only came up to their 
rear guard the evening we went into Lancaster Ky our 
Eeg-t was in advance & we had quite a little skirmish with 
them but no one was hurt although there was considerable 



12 

fireing both of Musketry & artillery, then we followed them 
on to Crabb Orchard in the Mts & then changed our direc- 
tion and came here which was several days march & 
arrived here on 7th of this month & have been in camp 
here ever since. 

The R R cars rnn from Louisville within 30 miles of 
here where there is a tnnnell bloAvn np by the rebels 
& not yet repaired the cars run from here also to the 
tunnell. The hands are busy at work at the road and it 
is supposed it will soon be finished. Yesterday Genrl Rose- 
crans reviewed our Division commanded by our old com- 
mander Brig Genrl Jeff C Davis. Davis command now is 
12 Regts Infantry & 3 Batteries consisting of 18 guns 
we were all in line yesterday with ranks opened & then 
Genrl Rosecrans passed all along in front of our line 
with Genrl McCook Genrl Da^ns and all of their staffs 
& returned in rear of us all excepting Genrl Rosecrans 
& he rode in between the ranks and gave ever man a very 
scrutinizing look & if any was short any equipments such 
as haversacks he would ask them if they had any if so 
why they did not have them on or if had none he would 
tell them they must procure them. Rosecrans has a very 
good name with us all What do you think of the exchanges 
of Burnside for McClellan & Rosecrans for Buell! 

Nashville was entirely cut off from the states while we 
was up in Ky & our troops that were here had to live en- 
tirely off of the country & had no coffe or shugar. The 
Regt that Capt Challenor from Belleville was in was here 
& he resigned and is now at hom.e he went home since 
our army arrived here. Potatoes here are $2.50 to $3.00 a 
bushel Butter 75 cts to 1.00 per pound shugar and coffee 
cannot be had excepting from the government & ever 
thing else of the eateable kind demands a very exhorbi- 
tant price. The State house here is one of the finest of 
the United States except the one at Ohio. Nashville has 
been a very flourishing place I suppose in good times it 
is situated on the south side of the Cumberland River, 
there is two bridges across the River one R R bridge 
where the teams and the Cars both cross on and one 
pontoon bridge for the teams and foot passengers. I sup- 
pose you have nothing much to do now & you could jump 



13 

on the Cars and soon come over and see me. T think it 
would be well worth any ones time to ^nsit the army & 
get to see the grand old states of Ky & Tenn which are 
two great states, the people of Ky are the best people 
we have ever met with since we have been soldiering, 
they treated us like brothers almost. I shall ever remem- 
ber the citizens of Ky I vsuppose I was one time within 
50 miles of Uncle Abraham's & Birt & I was both anxious 
to get there but we did not succeed. The last letter I 
received from home it stated that Jack had sold out the 
stable property & liad rented it out. what do you think he 
will get at next. I must bring this to a close by asking for 
a speedy answer give me theopinion of the people of 
Illinois on the war question & things in general so no 
more but as ever your brother Roe 

VII. 

Dear Brother & Familv Camp Near Nashville Tenn 

Dec 14th 1862 

I am seated in camp by mess chest, for a dsek for the pur- 
pose of answering your knid letter which I received today 
bearing the date of Dec 6th 62. When T wrote mv last 
we was on the north side of Nashville & on the other 
side of the river Cumberland, but since then we have made 
two mooves first we marched through the city and went 
4 miles south and went into camp between the Franklin 
pike & Granny Wjite pike but since then we have mooved 
camp three miles east & are now encamped between the 
Franklin pike and Nolinsville pike about six miles from 
to^^^l in a beautiful pasture of large trees and fine blue 
grass whihc is very green yet. I am writing in my tent 
without a fire and the door is open and I am sweating 
on my forehead, while you in your cold icy country are 
all locked in your houses by a large fire and nearly freezing 
at that. 

Well Dan as for news there is very little. Some skirmish- 
ing most ever day with the picketts today the picketts 
on the Franklin pike had a skirmish we lost I believe 
some four wagons but this is only a rumor & I shall 
not vouch for its truthfulness. I am g-lad to hear that 



14 

Joe Benson is still on the land of the living & enjoying 
his cavalry life in Arkansas & that the rebels were badly 
whipped out I suppose Joe was not in that. I also see 
that Genrl Pemberton is going to form a junction mth 
Genrl Bragg in Tennesee & T also suppose that he is 
going to make an attack on this place but if he does he 
will have a hard time getting Nashville Avith the Army 
we have here and the breastworks and forts we have 
built here. Col Black of the 37th Ills that was killed 
in the late fight in Arkansas was an army acquaintance 
of mine we were all in the same Brigade last winter & 
I have often seen him & he was a splendid officer he was 
first Maj of the Regt and w^as wounded at Pea Ridge. 

As for speculation in confiscated property I know of no 
such speculations at least I have never seensuch sales 
whlie we were in Mississippi but since then I have seen 
no such speculation here but there may be such specula- 
tions and we know nothing of it as I stay very close to 
my company and do not medle myself about any such 
business but I think all such speculations are only lottery. 
As for out sutlers making a fortune I cannot exactly say 
but I think they are making a very good thing of it al- 
though they have lost some considerable by crediting the 
boys and also the rebels captured two wagons loaded & 
eight mules and horses in Miss ippi No man thou is 
allowed to sell anything here except he is regularly com- 
missioned as a sutler then he is not allowed to station 
his shops in no place but in their o^^m Regts. As for Field 
Officers names I Avill give you a list Col P Sidney Post 
of Knoxville Ills is our Col now commanding 30th Bri- 
gade. I think he expects to be commissioned as a Brigadier 
soon and I thinl he is very deserving of a star he is a 
very intelligent man. 

Our Lt Col is C H Frederic who now commands the Regt 
w^e all think a great deal more of him now than ever & 
if Col Post gets to be a Brigadier Lt Col will get to 
be Col of our Regt our Maj J C AVinters is at present 
at home on a short furlough he is a very good man but 
not a very good Military man, though I think he will 
be our Lt Col should a vacancy occur then there would be 
a vacancy for a Maj and one of the old Capts will get 



15 

it the ranking Capt is Capt Hale 2ond is Paine 3rd 
Stookey 4tli Snyder there are the candidates and if it is 
left to a vote of the officers of the Regt I think the 3rd 
stands as good a chance as any but if it goes by promotion 
the 1st will get it according to rank, but as this is all 
mere speculation & we may all gwt killed off in next 
fight and never have any promotion but we shall all hope 
for the best. T suppose you are all attending church to 
night while I am engaged in writing. Our Chaplain has 
left us he resigned & we have no church now sometimes 
I go to hear others in other regiments As I have nothing 
much to write I will close give my love to all the Family 
I hope Caroline is well by this time. Serg-t Charles Wag- 
ner has returned from home he has been recruiting since 
August but only got three recruits. Serg Joe Beaver has 
been detached witha pioneer core and is now Commissary 
Sergt My Sts are both enjoying good health as well as 
my self and all my company so good night J M Stookey 



VIII. 

Dear Brother & Family Camp Near iMurf reesboro Tenn 

Jan 24th 1863 

I am once more seated for the purpose of penning you 
a few^ lines in answer to yours written Jan 2ond 1863 
which I received a few days ago. Well I have been in one 
more hard fight & come out safe. We laid in camp near 
Nashville until the 26th day of Dec 1863 when the whole 
army began the advance toward Murfreesboro. The right 
Avdng which we are in commanded by Maj Genrl McCook 
moved out on the Nolinsville pike Genrl Davis Division 
in advance Col Post Brigade in advance of the division 
& the 29th in advance of the Brigade our Regt was soon 
throwed out as skirmishes on both sides of the road and 
discovered the enemy after we had gone about 5 miles 
from camp & drove them with our skirmishes until drove 
them into Nolinsville where they were heavily reinforced 
& secreted themselves in the houses & Col Post then 
brought up the r)th Wisconsin Battery commanded by 
Capt Pinney & he opened on them with shell & cannister 



16 

which was soon answered by a rebel battery then Col 
Post formed his Brigade in line with the 59th on the 
left & Col Carlin throwed his Brigade into line on our 
right & we then moved and soon drove them from the 
town capturing one gun & several prisoners our loss was 
some six or eight killed & wounded their loss I know not 
how much it was. That morn we sent all our wagons 
tents & camp equipage to Nashville & had nothing with 
us except what we carried and that was a shelter tent 
each two & haversack mth three days rations, and as 
the day was rainy day & night we had rather a hard time. 
Next mom the 27th the 59th Avas detailed as rear .guard 
for the Division train rained all day some skirmishing 
in advance division arrived at Triune distance about 5 
miles from camp & 20 miles from Nashville. Next morn 
28th was a beautiful sabbath day & we laid still in biv- 
ouac all day drew three days more rations. 

On 29th started on the march again our Bri gade in ad- 
vance excepting some Cavalry we took the dirt road lead- 
ing from Triune across to the Murfreesboro pike which 
we reached by night distance 10 miles. Cavalry in our 
advance had very hard fighting our lines were all formed 
that evening in connection with the Army which we that 
evening formed a junction with. Next day 30th we com- 
mencing advancing in line of battle our Brigade was 
formed on the extreme right of the army the 74th & 75th 
Illinois in advance & 22ond & 59th as reserve. Our Regt 
was detailed to guard our Battery %th Wis, & we there- 
fore followed its movements all day. 

The fighting become tolerable general all along the lines 
bu 2 Clock PM excepting in our front & we was not 
engaged uutill late in eve & then our Battery opened on 
them but with veru little effect as we were in a very 
thick cedar forest & could see nothing. Our Regt was ly- 
ing doAvn on the right of the Battery, about this time a 
rebel Battery opened on to us giving us rather a cross 
fire but Genrl Johnson moved up his Division & formed 
on our right & opened his Batteries on the rebels and 
soon silenced their Battery, but by this time came on to 
us and we laid on our arms in line of Battle all night, 
next morn the 31st as soon as it was light enough they 



17 

beg:un fireino; on our skirmishers & made a heavy attack 
on our rig'ht driving Genrl Johnson Ijefore them before 
he had his Batteries in readiness, then that caused us 
to throw our whole line into position on the advance so 
then we had no reserve & we had hardly got our lines 
formed in an open field before we could ijlainly see the 
rebels moving up on us. We then formed on the left of 
the Battery & 22 2nd on the right of the Battery & open- 
ed on to them and as soon as they come within range 
we opened on to them but their lines were too strong 
for us & our fire only checked tliem momentairly & they 
still kept advancing & we received the order to fall back 
the battery lost all the horses from one gun & all but 
two from another the gun that had no horses was left 
on the field & our Regt helped to pull the others off of 
the field we was driven back about two miles forming 
several times and fireing into the enemy untill we were 
relieved by other regiments & we left the field for that 
day untill late in the eve we was again formed into 
lines and laid on onr arms all night. That day's fight 
w^as terrible all along the lines all day was one continuous 
roar of canon & musketry the hardest days fight of the 
war I suppose. Next day the 1st we laid along on the 
lines canon could be heard at intervals all day. On 2ond 
about two hours before dark they made a heavy attack 
on our center & left & drove the first lines but when the 
boys that were in reserve saw them coming they raised 
with a yell & hurled them like chaff in the wind but 
darkness stoped our pursuing them nmch that day. next 
3rd we laid on our arms with some skirmishing. On 4th 
learned of the evacuation and moved back into camp where 
we laid several days & then moved into this camp where 
we have remained ever since. The casualties of our Regt 
was about 80 killed wounded & prisoners seven killed in 
all. My Company lost none killed two prisoners & some 
six only slightly wounded. I had been acting as Maj 
ever since the 25th untill a few days ago. ]\[y horse was 
twicw shot & I was compelled to let him go he has since 
died None of the boys were touched that you knew I 
must close this for the mail soon starts give my love 
to all & write soon Capt James M Stookey 

E Co 59th Ills Inftrv 



18 

The baggage & company bank(?) of all the Oj65cers was 
started up to us on the 30th & rebel Grenri Wheeler's 
Cavalry got into it & burned the whole train of 200 
wagons & so all the officers of our division lost all their 
clothing except what they had on 

Dear Brother & Familv Camp Near Murfreesboro Tenn 

April 17th 1863 

T received your letter bearing date of April 12tb 1863 
on the 15th which had made a very quick trip & I now 
embrace the present opportunity of answering it although 
T am sorry to say T have nothing of importance to write. 
We have done nothing lately but drill & do pickett duty. 
We have been lying around Murfreesboro ever since the 
fight except a few scouts wo have been on. This is the 
longest we have ever laid in one place since we have 
been in the service. We have eat very little idle raions 
for Uncle Sam. We have the Pay Masters now they are 
paying in our Division for the months of January & 
February but have not s-ot to our Regt yet, but I sup- 
pose wall begin next week that seems to be the report 
now. We have very pleasant weather now it is beginning 
to become in the midle of the day rather uncomfortably 
hot. 

Ever one that writes to me lately wants to know how I 
am or how Jack suceded in having me appointed as Provo 
Marshall. I can say that Jack sent a recommend forward 
for me strongly endorsed by Belle^nlle men & also by 
State Officers at Springfield to Hon Lyman TrmubuU & he 
endorsed it & forwarded it to President Lincoln & wrote 
to Uncle Sam of his proceedings & further stated that he 
thought that would receive the appointment. But further 
than that I have heard nothing. I think it rather doubtful 
whether I will receive that appointment or not & further 
I am not very particular as I have a ver}^ good position 
here and very well satisfied Avith it, & understand my 
business perfectly & if I shoulddreceive the other appoint- 
ment I should have to learn the duties appertaining to 



19 

that Offico. Which T snyipose aro rathor laborious. But 
I think I would soon make the Copper heads think they 
had a Picayune Butler No 2 to deal with. I will assure 
you that I would not have very much S>nnpathy for them. 
I have fought Rebels too long to be very Sympathetic. 

My Orderly D F Korhammer has received a comission as 
Second Lt of Co 2 of the 59th which I was very glad 
to see him get as he has been a faithful & good soldier 
since he has been in the service. He is rather a good 
scholar &: a beautiful pensman & has always done all of 
my company writing. You will let Jo Benson Goodner 
know of this next time you write as he and D F Korham- 
mer was particular friends Charles Wagner is now Or- 
derly Sergeant of the Company & makes a very good 
Orderly. I supposed you was in Decatur by this time but 
I see by your letter that you have not moved yet. Do 
you think you will like to live in Decatur as well as in 
Bloomingtonf Or are you changing because it is more 
convenient to your farm and you can do better financially? 
I think the the latter is the case. I saw a D M a few days 
ago from Decatur who belongs to the 21st Illinois he had 
been home on a leave and saw Uncle Sam in Decatur & 
he told him to be sure and call on me and tell me that he 
had swa Uncle Sam his name was Jones. He stated that 
ever thing was advancing in prices and that money was 
plenty. And that all the houses were filled with Families 
& he said were he had known most ever one he was now 
most an entire Stranger. I see you give some prices that 
seem to be very exliorbitant. T am very sorry to hear of 
the ill health of the Eyman Family, & of Jin Eyman's 
misfortune You seem to think that Genrl Bragg will try 
Rosey again if he does try him at this place, he will be 
the worst whipped man he ever was & his Army will 
be of the same fix we want no better fun than to whip 
Bragg here with Rosey as commander. The capture of 
Charleston is among the thing that is to be & I see that 
our Ironclads have concluded that they cannot take it with 
what Fleet they have. Vicksburg seems to be too hard 
for Genrl Grant & I fear will neve be taken. You have 
given me a list of prices I will furnish you a list of prices 
here Potatoes 5 Dollar per bushel Eggs 50 etc per Dozen 



20 

Butter 75 cts per lb can peaches in quart cans $1.50 cts 
per can other can fruit the same applies small four for 
a quarter Whiskey done up in bottles $1.50ots per pint 
Lager Beer 10 cts per glass & scarce at that everj^ thing 
else in proportion I have a pr boots I gave 12 Dollars 
for pr pants 15 Dollars for coat 33 Dollars for Shoulder 
Straps not extravagant 8 Dollars that's the way the money 
goes pop goes the Weasel I must close good night 

Roe Stookey 



Dear Brother & Family Headquarters 59th Ills 

Camp Near Winchester Tenn 
July 14th/ 63 

I received your welcome letter a few days ago and am 
now seated for the purpose of answering it. T had sup- 
posed that I had answered it & am very certain yet that 
I did and the letter was lost som.e place. T mil now give 
you a short account of our trip here as you will see 
from the heading of this that we have changed our home. 
We left Murfreesboro on the m.orning of the 24th of 
June & marched out on Sheibyville pike. Johnson's Divi- 
sion in advance of us and Sheridans in front of them 
tJiat constitutes the whole of McCook's Corpse on Shelby- 
ville pike. But when we got six miles out, Johnson's Divi- 
sion & Davis Division took a road to the left leaving the 
road to Sheridan. We did not find any Enemy untill we 
came into Liberty Gap & there Johnson's Division had 
some very hard skirmishing, but drove the rebels with- 
out Davis' assistance. On 25th we did not moove forward 
ver^^ fast but Johnson held the advance untill late in 
the evening when the rebels made an attack on him & 
Our Division went up to their assistance. Our Brigade 
was deployed in line in a open wheat field but was not 
engaged although some rebel shell and solid shot went 
whizzing over close enough to warn us that we were in 
Danger, but Luckily enough for us none of our Brigade 
was hurt. That night we advanced in line about half 
mile and occupied a hill which Carlin's Brigade had 
driven the rebels from, first day's march 13 miles second 
3 miles On the 26th we had orders not to advance but 



21 

hold our position. That day there was a cracking of 
Musketry kept up by our skirmishers on both sides. They 
would talk & laugh and yell all kinds of Way's at each 
other that day but nothing transpired of importance some 
few skirmishers wounded none in our Regt. 

On 27th we commenced rather a retrograde moove by go- 
ing back to the IManchester pike and comeing into the 
rear of the nuiin part of the Army. But we did not begin 
this until] we found that the rebels had all disapi^eared in 
our front during the night. AVe arrivedat Beachs Grove 
about sun down & went into camj) Dis marched 15 miles 
On 28th we started off again early and arrived at Man- 
chester at 12 clock at night Distance 12 miles. I must 
stop now and say that we had rain ever day since we left 
Murfreesboro & the ground was as soft as it is in the 
spring after the frost first leaves the fields, & as we had 
considerable train we had very hard times getting them 
through, & perhaps you im.agine we felt any ways nice 
after being thoughorly drenched ever day & very short 
rations & the broad canopy of the heavens for our roof 
at night & hard marches with heavy loads occasionally 
out a wagon that was mired in mud, but as I happen to 
be assisting our Lt Col in command of the Regt I have a 
fine sorrell horse which carries me over the mud very 
lightly But the rpivates they have the hard times but 
T heard no complaints. 

29th & 30th we remained in bivouac near Manchester. 
On 1st of July we started for the rebel string hold Tulla- 
homa not knowing that it had been evacuated untill we 
got nearly there. AVe came in on the road that was com- 
manded by one of their strongest forts & slashed timber 
for mile in front & each side all around the town almost. 
They had the town Fortified on all sides "& some very 
strong forts but for some cause they evacuated without 
giving us fight which I can assure you pleased us very 
much. I suppose the reason they evacuated the place was 
fearing we would surround them & capture the whole 
Army by regular approaches the same as Grant had Vicks- 
burg. Dis from ]\[anchester to Tullah.oma 12 miles. On 
2ond we marched on in pursuit of rebels our Brigade was 
in rear of the train Sheridans Division was in advance 



22 

& had some considerable skirmishing at Elk River, where 
the rebels burned the RR bridge. We have the cars run- 
ning now to Elk River & the bridge will be completed by 
Sunday & the cars come to here. We bivouaced on night 
of 2ond at Elk River Dis 10 miles next morning we march- 
ed in here and have been here ever since. Dis 4 miles. 
During all this time we have had rain ever day. On ac- 
count of rain our trains did not do as expected & we were 
very short of rations & have not got any too plenty yet. 
At Tullahoma we captured all the rebels tents 4 siege 
guns & some corn meal & what else I am not able to say. 
On account Bad weather we run over & burned rails so 
much that we destroyed all the crops & stole all chickens 
& robbed all smoke houses & I suppose the citizens now 
are nearly starving. We are now situated in a valley in 
sight of Cumberland Mts in a nice little village of 3000 
inhabitants before the war now about 1000. I hope this 
letter will meet with better success than my last I wrote. 
So for the present I will close give my love to all the 
family yours respectfully J Roe Stookey 

XI. 

Dear Brother & Family Headquarters 59th Ills Vols 

Camp Blue Springs Tenn 
April 20th 1864 

It is just one month ago to day since I received notifica- 
tion that the Regt would be at St. Louis and that I left 
on morning train for St Louis without even haveing time 
to bid any of my Friends "Good Bye" except our own 
Family that was at home. T\Tien I arrived atESt. Louis 
I found tha Regt had got there that night about midnight 
and were all waiting then to get aboard the steamer 
Jennie Deans that was going to take us to Nashville I 
Avent aboardfound the Officers all that were not on duty 
enjoying the comforts of a huge hot stove in the cabin. 
I gave all a hearty shake of the hand introduced them to 
Jack, and we soon enlarged the circle by two. Col Post 
soon came up to me and introduced me to his Sister Miss 
Bunce & Miss Disbrow ladies he had with him taking as 
far as he could comfortably. I had several gay times with 



23 

them before they left the Re^'t. On the 20th of March by 
noon the Jeannie Deans v/as earryincr the 59th smoothly 
down the father of Waters bound for Dixie all with rather 
a sad heart as ever moment the distance between us and 
our home friends increased. All passed off very smoothly 
landed at Cairo Paducah & Ft Donnelson each place either 
to load or unload some frei.^ht. Jack left us at Cairo and 
started for home. He arrived at Clarksville Tenn on the 
night of tlx' 22ond and next morning was informed by 
the Capt of the boat that he could proceed no" farther 
as his boat was too large to cross the shoals and we were 
then sixty miles from Nashville. So we disembarked ther 
and found comfortable barracks for the men in an old 
Tobbacco warehouse, and the Officers the majority found 
lodgings at Moores Hotel. Clarksville has been a place 
of 3000 inhabitants in times of peace. 

We remained at Harksville untill noon on the 25th when 
we embarked on the Emperor a very lia-ht draft boat, at 
about 11 that night we reached the foot of the shoals and 
agreeable to Contract the man had to get off and March 
around the shoals which by the way fell to me to be the 
Conmiander, I sent out a detachnKmt of bovs under com- 
mand of a Sergeant to bring me in a guide, the first one 
they found, They soon returned with two boys mounted 
on a mule. And we were again started on the marcli this 
part the boys did not admire much as they could not 
think their weight would make much difference to the load 
of the boat. We arrived at the landing above the shoals 
where the boat was to take us on by 3 A M and had to 
bivouac there untill 1 P M when the boat arrived. They 
had some trouble in coming over the shoals but suffered 
no damage. 

We arrived at Nashville that evening the 26th of Afarch, 
and put the men in Soldiers home and the Officers put 
up at City Hotel part of them. We remained there untill 
the 31st of March at noon when we started off on foot 
for this place only one wagon to the Eegi: haveing sent 
most of our baggage by R.K And on the 15th of this 
month we arrived safe here which is five miles from 
Cleavland & 25 from Chattanooga and on Knox^^ille & 
Chattanooga RR. We marched ever day with tlu' excep- 



24 

tion we laid over in Chattanooga. The ladies left for the 
north the same day we left Nashville. Since our arrival 
here we have been busy fixing camps and making returns 
we had behind from the time we started home on Fur- 
loughbut if we have a few weeks quiet in camp we will 
soon be all right. I read to day Genrl U S Grants report 
of his succession of victories around Chattanooga which 
I consider very good and truthful. He rubs Genrl Granger 
very hard and he is now relieved of his command and I 
suppose will undergo a trial and I am in hopes they will 
use him rough It is late & I must close give my love to 
all the family & Friends Roe Direct 59th 'ills Vols 

3 Brig 1st Division 4th A C 
Dept Cumberland 

XII. 

Dear Brother & Family H«^adquarters 80th Ills Vols 

Inftry Bivouac on Chattahoochee 

River Ga July 7" 1864 

T have had your letter for some time bearing date May 
15th, 1864 but as you I suppose know we have been march- 
ing fighting and building earthworks. On the 3rd of INIay 
we left Blue Springs Tenn thfit is the whole Army. And 
marched the 3 & 4 the front skirmished some but we were 
not engaged. (The 5 & 6 in bivouac at Catoosa Springs 
Ga Southera watering place and has been a gay place 
eighteen different kinds of water. On 7 on march fought 
all day took Tunnoll hill our Brigade done no fighting 
but laid at night near or in front of Buzzard roost S 
Rockyface Mountain which the rebels held an impregnable 
position. The skirmished around there \rith our Corps 
(the 4") and showed as bold a front as possible the 8 9 
10 11 12 while the army flanked the position to our right 
passing through Snaky creek gap and threatening Resacca 
Ga & rebel rear and communication. And on the morn- 
ing of the 13 we found they had gone and left their 
strong position in our possession we pushed through the 
gap after them meeting their rear guard and skirmished 
immediately after passing through Dalton Ga driving them 
until night capturing some prisoners made 15 miles & biv- 
ouaced for the night. On 14 marched up and fought our 



25 



way into a position in front Resacca Ga under heavy artil- 
lery fire Two Brocades of our Division driven back by 
rebs. But Genrl Hooker fell on to the advancini? fox and 
soon hurled them back with severe loss to rebs. On 15 
the whole Army in line around Resacca right resting on 
Oustanala River and left on acrofs the RR cannonading 
heavy all day in afternoon Genrl Hookers corps made a 
charge taking four guns riffle pits some prisoner and 
small arms that ended the day. On 16" first orders we 
received was to march out as the rebs had gone from 
Pasacca which we found true they burned RR bridge 
acrofs the Oustanala River. I suppose seventy five long 
but our train came in by 10 AM and the bridge corps 
said they would have the bridge done in 48 hours but I 
believe it took them 144 hours w^e mad eight miles with 
some skirmishing and bivouaced for the night. On 17" 
18 & 19 fought our way along the RR through Calhoun, 
Adairsville Kingston & on the evening of the 19" took 
Cafsville distance made in the three days 28 miles our 
lofs in our Regt very light the rebs built rail works ever 
few miles to resist our advance but these we would charge 
and take witli little lofs. 20" 21 & 21" Army laid still near 
Cafsville Ga On 23" the Army started with twenty days ra- 
tions and left the RR to our left with the intention of flank- 
ing the rebs out of the Altoona hills, the 23" 24" 25 made 35 
miles over hills and skirmished nearly all the time in 
eve of the 25" came up on the rebel works and Army their 
left resting on Dallas Ga and their right in direction of 
RR. We got our Army into line and cannoaded skirmished 
and built works until June the 5" when in morning we 
found the rebs had gone rained most ever day laid still 
the 5" of June On march the 6" made nine miles & biv- 
ouaced for the night laid there the 7" 8" &9" within three 
miles of Seworth(?) Ga where our trains came ever day. 

On the 7" I w^as assigned to the command of the 80th 
Ills Inftry in our Brigade there. Field officers are all in 
Libby prison Richmond Va but since I have seen an ac- 
count of their being sent to Charleston ScC to be put 
under our own fire. On 10" of June we started on march 
again. My Regt in advance of Brigade met the rebs ibn 
four miles and found them on Lost ^Mountain and in be- 



26 

hind works. Skirmished there 10" 11" 12" 13"&14" and 
occasion cannoading this is the place one of the Batteries 
of our Division killed Lt Genrl Polk. On 15" found the rebs 
had left during the previous night but by skirmishing 
through the woods we found they had only gone about a 
mile behind the works and we got up in front of their 
works again and went to work fighting and making works 
laid there the 16" on 17" found the rebs gone again and 
we on pursuit found them within a mile's skirmishing & 
cannonading behind works built works and fought there 
the 18". On 19" in morning find the rebel ditches evacuated 
again and Yanks in pursuit drove them to the Kennesaw Mt. 
there found them in force strongly fortified their lines 
00 in rear of their lines is Marietta Ga here fought charged 
and cannonaded until the morning of the 3" of July when 
we found that the rebels had gone and we started on pur- 
suit & skirmishing all day through Marietta Ga and made 
six miles and found the rebs again in position behind 
works. On morning of the 4" of July all seemed very 
quiet untill noon then we were ordered to make a charge 
all along the line to take the rebels first works The 80" 
was on the left of the Brigade and in front line of our 
Brigade and we had to charge over a cornfield where 
the corn was two feet high nearly a half mile this we 
did under heavy fire of Artillery and Infantry and carried 
the rebs first works capturing some rebs and killing some 
the 59" was in this charge on the right of the Brigade 
four Regts in front line. Genrl Sherman watched our 
Brigade charge and complimented it highly lofs on the 
4" in 80" 16 killed and wounded Henry James Kelley 
among the dead and 21 wounded out of 232 taken into 
the fight in 59" 3 killed among the wounded was Lt David 
F Rorhammer that used to be my Orderly Sergt that is 
all I suppose you know Dabid not dangerous in side but 
gone to hospital. On 5" found the rebs gone and came to 
this position our corps on left of line and on Chattahoochee 
River no rebs in our front to disturb us our right is on 
the river also and the rebs also form their line inside of 
our on North side of the river I suppose when we get 
rested up we will start and crof s the river and flank them 
out of this position we are now 8 miles from Atlanta Ga. 
The lofs from the Army since the 3rd day of May 1864 



27 

in killed wounded captured and sick I suppose amounts 
to Thirty five thousand men that is not from any official 
rej)ort but from my own jiidf^cment and I consider very 
near correct. On 27" of June our whole line made a charge 
and our lofs heavy did not take i-ebel works but advanced 
our linesinplaces very much Genrl Davis built works with- 
in 35 paces of the rebels T think the whole charge almost 
a failure. Our Division was in reserve and did not charge. 
This is as much as I can give you of the fight at present. 
I see you have mooved. Jack is in the service T know but 
T have neve heard the number of his Regt. or letter of 
Company. I sorry to hear of J. B. Goodner's poor health 
I am glad to hear of his good prospects of receiving a 
commission. George I have not seen or heard from I sup- 
pose his Regt. is along here perhaps. I am thinking your 
mil] is going to cost money these high times I have money 
in greenbacks I suppose I will have to get you to invest 
in land but T dont know but what the best speculation is 
to lay money aside and wait for gold to go down, do you 
think it ^\dll soon. Give my love to all of the E^anans and 
acquaintances also to Caroline and children as ever your 
Brother Roe 

XIV. 

Dear Brother & Family Head Qtrs 80 Ills Vol Tnftry 

In trenches near Atlanta Ga 
August 1" 1864 

I received your letter bearing date July 18" 64 on the 
30" Inst, but was then ordered with my Regt. to go on 
picket and did not return untill dark last night therefore 
this is my first opportunity to write. You state you had 
only received one letter from me since I returned. I have 
answered all I have received from you, but I suppose one 
must have been lost. This campaign has been a very hard 
one to keep up our correspondences on, as on the third 
of this month will end three months of this campaign. 
Our situation now is our right rests on the Atlanta Decatur 
and Augusta RR which we have also destro^^ed then 
circles around Atlanta our works averaging from one 
mile to two from the center of the city in shelling distance 
at the farthest point and the left rest near the Atlanta 



28 

and Macon ER which I suppose the rebs can not run their 
trains on now as we are within canon shot range there- 
fore they have no RR to get out on, and only an open 
space from Macon and Atlanta Road to the Atlanta and 
Decatur Road the distance you can measure on you map. 
"We have very good earth works all around our front 
and I suppose Sherman's intention is to keep lapping 
around them and if they will stay long enough finally to 
get them surrounded but that is only a vain hope we have 
as it is a very difficult matter to surround an army but 
if we succeed we will make a big haul wlien they sur- 
render. This campaign has been a series of skirmishes and 
battles the rebs would halt and form a line of works then 
we would have to skirmish up within musket range of 
their works and build works under heavy fire of Artillery 
and small arms. The lofses of the armies both of rebel and 
ours have been very large since this campaign begun but 
I know the rebel lofs is the greatest. Genrl McPherson 
was killed on the 22ond of July w^hen his three corps 
the 15" 16" & 17" had a very hard fight here getting into 
position. Total union lofs in wounded killed and mifsing 
three thousand five hundred (3500) and ten (10) pieces 
of Artillery Rebel lofs prisoner's captures 3200 knoAvn 
dead of the enemy in front of the 15" 16" and one Division 
of the ITCorps 2142 The other divsion of the 17 Corps 
repulsed six assaults of the enemy before it fell back wich 
will swell the lofs in killed to at least 3000 after the fight 
we held the field then figures are official also captures (18) 
stands of colors and (5000) stand of Arms. On the 20" 
of July the 20" Corps One Division of the 4" Corps and 
part of the 14" Corps was engaged. Total union lofs in 
killed wounded and mifsing 1733. In front of the 20" 
Corps there were put out of the fight (6000) rebels. 563 
were buried by our own men rebs permitted to bury' 250 
additional themselves. 2 Division 4" Corps reported seven 
assaults of the enemy and slight lofs to themselves which 
must swell the rebel lofs beyond 6000. Prisoners cap- 
tures 300 and seven stands of colors. No report has been 
receivedfrom the part taken by the 14" AC this is all 
Official Today finishes my first three years, when I went 
into the services I had no idea that I would be in service 
in /64. You say wheat crop is good Oats excellent and 



29 

corn looks promising. "Wliat is the price of AVlieat Oats 
and com and what do yon suppose corn will be worth this 
winter. I have some young horses at home I don't like 
to sell and they tell me they have been offered $200 for 
my two year old and think T had better sell as com is 
going to be very dear this winter what say you. l^Toney is 
no object T got more than T know what to do with and 
TT S owes me $900.00. Jack dont write to me. I was assigned 
to command of 80 Tils on the 7" of June they had Lt Col 
out of the 7')" Comdg them at that time but the Brig 
Commander and Lt Col had some words and Brig Com- 
mander relieved him and put me in command and I have 
been with them ever since they are in smae Brigade with 
59" Their Field Officers and most of the line Officers were 
captured on the raid with Col Streight in spring of /63 
and are still in prison. Our fourth was celebrated with 
a fight Our Brigade charged and carried rebel Riffle 
pits and built works there charged over an open cornfield 
80" 59" Ills 3" Tnd and 77 (?) were in fro line I lost in 
80" 15 wounded and two killed and 59" lost 3 killed 
and fifteen wounded Henry James Kelley of Ev E w^as 
killed Lt David Koi'hammer was slightly wounded and 
is getting well, (^apt Knight is back sick Lt AYao-ner has 
not come up since he got his leg broke in Centreville Lt 
Gooding is hearty and Comdg Company. Company is all 
OK. I must refuse your invitation to the melons Washing- 
ton news is old but good it assists the recruiting We are 
all getting along hugely although occasionally aroused 
by a rebel shell write soon love to family Roe 

XV. 

Dear Brother & Family Headquarters 80th Ills 

Camp Near Atlanta Ga 
August 25 1864 

I received your letter bearing date Aug 16th on the 24th 
was very glad to hear to you as I had heard from home 
and they said you was sick. I suppose you will have a let- 
ter before this reaches you answering all your questions. 
But I will answer some again for fear you don't receive 
my last. Land to speculate on is the kind I want, or money 
invested in bonds which ever you think best. Uncle Sam 



had one thousand Dollars (1000.00) of mine when I left 
home from Furlough. Perhaps he has it invested for me 
if so all right if not I suppose he can furnish it to you 
without any inconvenience But if he should need it let 
him keep it. As for being a stranger in 80" and wawy 
from home you are slightly mistaken as it was made up in 
our district and T knew a great many of the boys at home. 
The Adj't and I are old Shurtleff schoolmates. The 59th 
Tils has been transferred to the 2ond Brigadf' 3 Division 
4th C so Col Post can take command of that Brigade. 
AYlien they left both the Col & Lt (^ol tried to get me 
relieved and the officers of the 80th tried to keep me so 
did Genrl Grose commanding our Brigade The Col's of 
the 59th applied to Genrl Stanley conmdg 4th AC to have 
me and all the men of the 59th send back to our Eegt. Genrl 
Grode heard of it and wished to keep me, therefore he 
went to Genr Stanley and had the order made out re- 
lieving all the 59th in this Brigade except me who (Genrl 
Stanle)^ said) should remain in command of 80th untill 
their Field Officers were exchanged and returned to the 
"Regt. The Lt Col and Mrj is all they have and are ex- 
changed and at home, but T inderstand are both sick and 
perhaps some time before they arrive here. Your dis- 
couraging news is all a hoax the day's that you mention 
there was no fugbting that T know of more than usual. 
But one thing certain Beauregard is not here. And Hood 
is still in command and we have whippd him severly every 
fight since he has taken command. His lofs is treble our's 
since he took command, we know this as we have buried 
nearlt treble their dead that we have of our own. Rebel 
reinforcements are very scarce. Kilpatrick our Cavalry 
Genrl has made once round Atlanta he says we only 
lack about four mile having Genrl Hood surrounded. Our 
lines are supposed to be twelve miles long We are all 
ver}' confident of capturing him if he stays long enough 
and he cant now get out without giving us a fight in 
open field or where we will have the advantage, and then 
we will give him a good threshing. We could take care of 
him and 20,000 reinforcements should he receive them. 
You speak of State fair and sanitary fair at Decatur I 
would like to attend both, but I think I shall defer it. 
You speak of soldiers living well from proceeds of sanitary 



31 

Fair, they do in hospitals but the boy's in ditches never 
g-et our rotten teeth filled. Our position here is same as 
when I last wrote excepting our position on the right has 
been extended to the right some distance we have been 
very quiet in our 4th AC but we have good prospects of 
a mo\^^e now which I suppose udll come of tonight. George 
Goodner I have not seen. I must close love to family and 
friends as ever 

Your Brother Roe 

XVI. 

Dear Brother & Family 
Headquarters 80th 111 Vol Camp near Atlanta Ga Sept 

18th 1864 

I received your letter of Sept 5 on yesterday evening. It 
finds me camped quietly with the remainder of Genrl 
Shermans grand army around the captured city of At- 
lanta. My last was written on the 25th and on that night 
Grn'l Shermans army marched from their ditches swing- 
ing around the west side of Atlanta, all excepting the 
20th AC which fell back to the river, there to guard our 
cracker line. We marched till tAvo oclock that night, then 
bivouaced for the night. Next morning the 26th, the rebels 
found the Yankees gone and immediately reported to Reb- 
eldom that the Yankees had been compelled to raise the 
siege of Atlanta and fall back for grub and to protect 
our communicationwhcih Gen'l Forrest was then making 
grand havoc A\ith. And also, we had detached one corps 
to threaten their communication which Gen'l Hood had 
sent two corps to gobble it in. Upon the strength of all 
this good news, all the rebel ladies south came upon their 
trains with their baskets of sanitary to give food and 
army a picnic. Now I shall return to the Yankee army 
and show you what they were doing. 

Marched 10 miles, skirmished a little in our rear during 
the day. On the 27th marched five miles, had plenty of 
green corn and sheep meat to eat. My regt was on picket 
duty that night but found very little opposition to our 
advance. On the 28th made the Montgomery railroad five 
miles below Rough & Ready and ten below Atlanta. This 
we destroyed by tearing it up and making two piles of ties 



32 

far enougli apart to lay the ends of railing on their make 
a big fire under the center of the railing of Bails and 
pile some ties on the top. Then when the railing got red 
hot, they would bend almost double, in that way rendering 
them entirely uselefs and burning the most of the ties. 
On the 29th still destroying RR aU day 
On the 30th made amrch of five miles in direction Macon 
ER Met no opposition. On the 31st skirmished with enemy, 
some lofs. None in 80th. ]Marched 6 miles, struck the 
Macon RR. and bivouaced for the night. On 1st Sept we 
begun to destroy RR in the same manner as we did the 
Montgomery. Destroyed 10 miles. In the evening came on 
one corps of Rebels. Our 14th AC commanded by Genr'l 
Jeff C. Davis charged them, capturing ten pieces artillery 
& 1700 prisoners. The Brogade the 80th belongs to was 
in the charge but too far to the left to reap any benefits 
or suffer any lofs. That night rebels skedadled and we 
marched into Jonesboro. On the 2d at 10 Genr'l Slocum 
with 20th AC marched into Atlanta finding they had de- 
stroyed 8 locomotives, 80 carloads of ammunition and 
shell. We followed them to Lovejoys made a charge but 
found a heavy force there. I lost two killed and four 
wounded in the charge. Laid ther after building works 
until the 5th when we withdrew after dark and marched 
back to Atlanta, which place we arrived on the 8th. Have 
been here ever since. I find I have become very lengthy 
and now must turn to your letters and asnwer all in- 
quiries. As for the land investment I suppose you buy 
for the best, we expect to be paid soon, then perhaps I may 
have a few hundred surplus again and will send to you 
by way of Belleville. I see St Clair is crowding you with 
visits. I have heard nothing of Angle & Ma moving to 
Alton. What is J .B G. going to do since he has been 
mustered out? Tell me, how is your fair also all about 
the investment. Love to you and family and all enquiring 
friends, I remain as ever your most affectionate Bro. Roe 

P.S. Direct 59 111 VV Inftry " " Brig 3 Div 4th AC Dept 
Cumberland. Our Regt has been changed into that Brig 
as Col Post has conunand of Brig. The Lt. Col and Maj of 
80th have been exchanged and I expect them back eveiy 
day. Then I mil return to 59th. All OK. fat and saucy. Roe 



33 

XVII. 

Dear Bro and Family 
Headquarters 59th 111 VV Tnf. Camp near Huntsville Ala 

March 13th 1865 

I received your letter of Feb 19th a few dyas since. We are 
quietly camped around Huntsville yet but expect to move 
this week. The 4th corps ids g:oin^ to Knoxville, Tenn, I 
think to watch Lee if he should leave Richmond and 
strike for east Tennessee. We are having fine weather ex- 
cepting the rain occasionally. Rivers are very high here, 
carrying away all our temporaiy bridges and therefore 
have our RR comnmnications cut oif for some time. But 
it is in running order now. We will go thru to Knoxville 
on the cars, all excepting our wagons which will be guarded 
through by some brigade. I understand that will be a bri- 
gade from the 1st Division. 

Your 149 Ills is now in our Department and we expect 
to see it soon. I say hurrah for your assisting in filling 
tyour quotas but not in favor of the big bounties. I say 
draft first every time. You tax by making bounties, us 
soldiers that have been in the field ever since the war 
begun to save some men that have never done anything. 
Also our mothers and fathers that have all their sons in 
service have to help pay the tax. And when we come out 
who have stood the hard knocks, we received nothing. 
And now to pay us, we have to be taxed to pay men for 
one year that come in on the eleventh hour. Grofs injustice. 

Jack and I have good health. Do with my money just as 
you please. I will be satisfied. I remember the baby but 
I had forgotten its name if it had any when I was home. 
Jack is very well satisfied mth his new position. 

I can recoimnend the country around Otterville, Sedalia, 
Tinton, Syracuse Mo. as being splendid and about such 
climate as St Clair Co. Ills. It is only about 25 miles 
from Booneville, Mo. Also Spring-field and between Spring- 
field and Otterville Mo. The mail is being made up so I 
wiU close. Love to all the children and yourself and Caro- 
line. Jack sends his love to all. J. Roe Stookey 

Major 59th 111 VV Inftry 



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