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Pittsburg [Landing, Tennessee] Apr. 11, 1862 Darling Wife, Two of our companies go to Cairo with prisoners. I send you this by the Captain to be mailed at C[airo]. [I] think you will get it sooner than any other way. My health is good considering what I have had to stand. I had three letters from you this AM and will answer them in full as soon as I get a tent to write in. Let Henry see to the matter with Hay. Mr. Viall, I did not write to him to do anything, but simply said he need not worry about his pay. I'll write you a full detailed account of the Great Battle [Pittsburg Landing or Shiloh] as soon as I can get time for, for you to keep for me. I wish you would mail to me the official account of this fight as soon as it's given in the newspapers. Keep papers for me also that give the account. We acted under General [William Sooy] Smith, not Paducah Smith, then you will probably see notice of our regiment. I am well satisfied with the conduct of the 14th [Wisconsin Infantry] for its first time in action. I was mounted all day and was the only field officer of our regiment that was [there] all day. The Colonel did very well. I had command of the regiment all afternoon. Colonel [David E. Wood]'s horse fell and he bruised his leg he says, but all right. This is private: if [Governor] Harvey does not promote me to lieutenant colonel I shall resign. I was not touched or harmed at all, miraculously I think, considering where I was that day and exposed as I was, but I did not act rash and will not. Love to all, Your husband, JH [Major General Charles Ferguson Smith was nicknamed "Paducah Smith" after he captured Paducah, Kentucky on September 6, 1861. He was severely ill at the time of the battle and did not command his division. The 14th Wisconsin Infantry had not been assigned to a brigade or a division at the time of the Battle of Pittsburg Landing or Battle of Shiloh, but were a part of General U. S. Grant's Army of the Tennessee. When they arrived on the battlefield, they were temporarily assigned to the 14th Brigade, General Thomas L. Crittenden's 5th Division, Army of the Ohio. Their brigade was commanded by Colonel William Sooy Smith of the 13th Ohio Infantry. Smith would be promoted to brigadier general for his gallantry at Shiloh. The other two regiments in the brigade were the 11th and 26th Kentucky Infantry Regiments. Quiner, pp. 599-600. Colonel David E. Wood was riding to the rear to urge a Kentucky regiment forward when his horse fell, injuring Wood's leg. Lieutenant Colonel Isaac E. Messmore was not present during the battle, which left Major John Hancock in command. Quiner, pp. 599-600.]
Letter from John Hancock to Jennie Reardon -THE CIVIL WAR -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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