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Letter from William Henry Jenkyns (future brother-in-law), Company C, 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery: Head Quarters, Fort Sherman Chattanooga, May 15, 1864 Friend John, I received your letter yesterday and today I have the pleasure of answering it. I just come off from guard this morning and today I have nothing else to do but amuse myself as best I can to pass the time away. I will tell you what little I know of matters at this place. Since I wrote you last we have moved from Fort Creighton to Fort Sherman, with-in the city limits. It is a very good situation and I like it far better than the old Fort. There is about twenty forts in Chattanooga. Fort Sherman, which we occupy, is the largest in this place. It is a continual line of formidable breastworks protecting the whole of the east side of the city. There is ten or more magazines in it. We have six heavy guns now [and] twelve ten pound brass pieces, but these small guns do not belong to our Battery and are liable to be turned over at anytime into other hands. You wish me to write all the particulars and there is some things which I am almost ashamed to let you know. There is six boys in the company being court-martialed. I am one of the witnesses. There is no one in the scrape that you know, so let this suffice and do not make it public for I am afraid it would give the company a bad name. We have now got very good quar-ters and live on the top shelf. We should have splendid times here now, if it were not for the great amount of guard duty we have to do. There is now seventy-three men in the company for duty and thirty is detailed every day for [guard] duty, so it brings [each of] us on [duty] every other day, but we stand it well. I suppose you have some pretty stories now about the battles. The papers are quite flattering and give some pretty good news, but you need not believe quite all you read. There is a great number of wounded coming into this place. Every day there is some fighting going on, not a great way from this place. The rumor is that the 21st [Wisconsin Infantry] has lost a hundred and thirty men killed and wounded. But as [of] yet there has not been a correct estimate made and I don't think it is as bad as is reported. There was one regiment in par-ticular, the 10th Kentucky, whose time is out in June, lost all the officers but two. One Captain and one Lieutenant being all the officers there was left. That is hot work, I call it. What do you think about it? Business is brisk here now. That is what concerns the government. There is the largest amount of provisions in here now that has ever been in one place of this size since the war broke out. And there is a constant stream pouring in and going out every day. There is ammunition enough here to blow all the rebels to hell, but I think they will reach that place ere long. I suppose you would like to hear from J. Parks but he has had a pret-ty rough time of it . For he has been unfit for duty this [past] two months and today he has [just] reported for duty, so he is excusable. But you will have to excuse him whether or no. This is about all for this time. We are fat like "der teufel". Give the girls a kiss for me, once in a while, just for fun. Give my respects to all the folks, yourself included. Yours W. H. Jenkyns Written on the back of the last page of this letter is the following note: I got a box from home with some schnapps in it and we had a gay time you bet. Not being used to [it] we came very near getting tipsy like one teufel mine gott! Dick said he was going to enlist, but the best thing he can do is to stay at home, for he would be sick of his bargain before he had been here long. I would not care if I was there [at home]myself, for it ain't very funny after all. write as soon as you get an opportunity This from old Bill Vandosenberry
Letter from William Henry Jenkyns to John Heron -THE CIVIL WAR -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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