Letter of 
Private Augustus Smith, Company D.


                                                                                                                            Weston, Missouri Jan 19, 1862

Dear Brother,

    It is with pleasure that I now take my pen in hand to let you know where I am. We are quartered in a house that a secesh lived in and he was drove out of it. We started from Maddison last Saturday a week ago. We got into Chicago that night at 6 o clock. Then we had to wait until eleven o clock then we took the cars for Quincy. We arrived at Quincy the next night about ten o clock. We slept in the cars till morning. In the morning we took up our line of march. We marched 22 miles that day. When we arrived at Hannibal on the Mississippi river we built a good fire and sat by the fire that night and the next day till noon. When we was ferried across the river in a ferry boat across the river is Missouri. It was rather cold that night that we lay by the river but we passed the night of good after all. The boys went out and got about five hundred weight of honey and a lot of chickens and turkeys. So the night quite good except we was very tired it was a long march to march to in one day and carry our knapsacks but we stood it pretty well but I know that I was pretty well tuckered out myself. After we got across the river we stopped there till the next morning when we took the cars for St. Joseph. We arrived at St. Jo the next morning. The rebels had burned the passenger cars so we had to go in cattle cars without any fire in them. So we had to keep dancing to keep warm. Some of the boys froze their ears. I see there is soldiers stationed along the track to keep them from burning the bridges. The best looking country I have seen is in Illinois. The land is more level there any where else. They donít raise any thing much but corn. I saw millions of bushels. I saw fields with hundreds of acres in with nothing but corn. They raise hogs and horses there down here in Missouri where I am. I can see the mules they use six of them on one wagon. They have a saddle on the hind one and the old niger sits on the one behind with one line on the near one and with his big black whip he cracks them along. It is fun for me here. We have not been to Fort Leavenworth yet. It is about 3 ½ miles from here. I can see the fort from here. Just across the river is Kansas and we are about half a mile from the river. The 18 Missouri regiment is here in this place with us. There is a good many recesh around here but they have to keep still. Smith Bunce was on guard the other night. A man came walking up towards him. He halted him and kept him there till the patrol guard came. He took him and shut him up. He was a rebel. He said he had slaves to work for him and he didnít care a darn. I donít know how long we will stay in this place. There has been [?] of our boys transferred to other companys to make them even. We had a good dance last night. We have good times here. If we leave this place I think we will go to Leavenworth city. That is six miles from here. The boy went out last night and brought in a lot of geese, turkey, and chickens and we had them for dinner to day. It is not safe to go through the streets without being armed. Our captain says take any thing we want from the rebels. I have had any letters since the one I got from father but I expect there is some on the way now. I must come to a close. You must excuse my bad writing this time. I will try and write plainer next time.
    When distant land divides us and we no more can see remember that it is your brother that oft times thinks of thee.

    Send my best respects to you and all enquiring friends.

Augustus Smith
Co. D 12th reg Wis Vol
Weston Platte County
Missouri

Information by Bob Van Hees