Weston, Missouri Jan 19, 1862
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.
Co. D 12th reg Wis Vol
Weston Platte County
Information by Bob Van Hees