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Letter from Hyronimous Merkley, Company C, 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery: Fort Creighton Chattanooga Tennessee May 2, 1864 Dear Friend I take my pen in hand to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well and enjoying good health and I hope that these few lines will find you in the same good health. The rest of the boys are all well and enjoying good health. I want to inform you that we are going to leave this fort next week, but we don't not know where we are going. There is some talk that we are going down town, and some say that we are going out with a south [bound] train to the front. I hope that we well go to the front, for I am tired staying here. It is getting very lonesome here. We have very good times here. We have plenty [to eat] (of such as it is), bread and sowbelly (as they call it here), and coffee, and tea, and rice, beans and beef and so forth. John, the girls and women are pretty scarce here and [are] hard specimens at that. I think that there is going to be some pretty hard fighting here in a few days. It is a pretty hard looking place here. We can see nothing but mountains here about. The trees are all in leaf and every thing looks green and nice. There is some of our boys gone up the river about four miles from here, there about. One of them, Ivan Jenkyns, was one of them that are guarding horses that are feeding on grass. They have a good time there. John, we have had some pretty hard times here. When we first came here, we had to live on three hardtack a day. We thought it [was] pretty hard the first night we had out of doors right on the side [of a] hill. And it was pretty cold and frosty. I thought it pretty hard, but I got soon used to it at last. We slept out of doors five nights. [At] the time of [the] fight, I was sick with the mumps, but I would go and see them fight. I tell you, that it looked pretty hard to see them fight. We could see it all from where we was. We helped all we could. We done some pretty good shooting the second day [of] the] fighting. Now I well close my letter with my love and no more at present. My love to you and your folks, and my best regards to you all. Give my best respects to Mr. Walls' folks and Mr. Worden's folks and I hope that you will answer this letter as soon as you can.
Letter from Hyronimous Merkley to John Heron -THE CIVIL WAR -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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