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Kehrwecker Family Papers - MS 641
I am not exackly well, but I am a good deal better than I was when Burns left. I have got nearly rid of the diarhea and I am glad of it. It hant like diarhea at home. I hope these few lines find you all well. Cap got back last Saturday. We were all glad to see him. We can't well get along without him. I received two letters and a packed of paper & invelops, two dollars in muney & pencil points. It all was very exceptable. I learnt that you had a visit from Mr. Felger. I herd of it however before I got you letter. I received one letter from Wm. Rapp. He rote after Felger got home. He was well. I presume Father had a good tim with his visiter.
We have moved from our old camp. It was so low & wet and got so filthy that nearly every man got sick. We went about twelve miles up the river. We have got a beter camping ground here and I think we will have better health soon. It is geting quite warm here. Peaches are out in full bloom and the forest is geting grean and the muscetoes are begining to bite like forty. Mr. Stark came with Cap & he is going back tomorrow morning if a boat goes up. I will send this letter with him & also my old comishion paper. I get a new one. There has ben two of our sargents discharge, so I have ben promoted to 3. sargent. I sent you some muney by Morris Burns, $30.00. $5.20 of goes to Cratt & $7.20 to Charls Howard, muney that I collected for Jacob Cratt, Josiah Howard. I drawed $38.50. We were paid from the time of inlistment up to the 31st of Oct., including the one months we got in advance.
I received a letter from Feidler. He told me all about what a time he had to find Fred's grave. He says he is berrid in a good plase, but it is in rebeldom and if the rebels should whip us, it wouldn't be of much use to put a nise toomstone to his grave. It is no ways likely it would stay very long. I expect it would be difacult to get him now, he being dead so long. Father may do just as he thinks best. For my part, I would be glad if he was berid at home. If ever I should be so unlucky as to get killed or die of disease, I don't want to in southern soil. I however don't expect that that will ever hafto be done. I am coming home myself. I trust if you send after Fred, you will hafto get a metalick coffin. They cost sixty dollars. They are air tite. Mr. Stark would of taken Jacob Cratt home, but he had no coffin and could not get eny here.
Well, I must close. Rite soon agan. I send my best respects to you all and all who my inquire of me. Give my respects to Christ and when you write tell me how you have got the dooryard fixed and let me no what improvement you maid generly.
Adres as befor
I received yours of the 27. ult. today. I was glad to hear from you & that you were all well & that you received my letters & muney that I sent with Burns. We expect fore munths pay tomorrow. I will draw sixty eight dollars. I will send home $50.00 or 60.00 if I can get a chance to send it by some reliable person. There is an express office here, but I don't like to trust them untill they are tryed by someone else who is beter able to loose his muney than I. They almost skin a fellow alife here, espeshly the sutlers. Boots they sell from 12 to 15 dollars, tobaco one dollar per lb., buter 50 ct. per lb., cheese 35c, chicken 50c a peace, eggs 50c per doz., aples 3 for a dime, comen sise large ones 5c apease, pies 20c apease.
Yesterday was Easter Sunday. Our mess, we got us a half a duzen of eggs a pease & then we went for them. We could not get eny more, the sutler run out. It was a pleasent day. I went to church twise & today I or this forenoon I was buisy drawing rashions for the Co. that is a part of my duty which I haf to perform & this afternoon I was excused from drill so I went to baking pies. I maid 11 no. one aple pies. We can get dryed aples & peaches for 8 ct per lb by geting an order of a commishioned officer and going to the division comonissary.
Wm. Clark can tell you how we get along here in the army. He was with us beter than a week. There is eny new going on here at present. Vicksburg is not taken yet, but I think it soon will be or we will get whiped. Some of our troups has commenst moveing. They have got as far as Richmond, a small town 10 miles south west from here. It appears that there is a going to be a move maid across the country thru a part of La. & to strike the river between Vicksburg & Port Hudson & cum up on the other side of the river in the rear of Vicksburg. I think we will orders to move in a few days. Where we will go I can not tell.
The 42nd Regt. went out to Richmond yesterday. Norman Cady is in that Regt. He stoped at our camp. He is well. I have saw him a number of times. He belongs to the 8th Ind., his uncle David Shunk is Col. of that Regt. I have also saw Bunk Davis of Woodberry. He is first Surgeon of the 54th Ind. Regt. He ranks as a major.
The health of our Co. is improving. The first of this munth James H. Coomer died. He died cronick dyrhea. There is two more brothers that have left us. Our loss perhaps is their gain, altho it must be hard for their parents & relatives loose two sons in so short a time. We have lost 20 men in died & killed.
We have general inspection tomorrow at ten o'clock. We will be inspected by General Grant. I will close as I don't no of enything more of eny importance to respond to you.
I haven't herd from Metzner for some time. If you have let me no when you write agan.
No more at present. I hope these few lines may find you all well, for I am all rite agan. I send mother the lock of hair that she requested of me by your letter. You all have my best respects.
Adress as before, leave off the Care of Reichelderfer, he is no more our capt.
I just received you letter dated Apr 24th. It found me all well & I hope these few lines may find you the same. I bought a pair of boots of Capt Reichelderfer for six dollars & gave him an order on Father. I had forgoten to write about it at the time. I saw in your letter that Father paid him. It is all rite. I sent home $50.00 from Millikens Bend before we left by Lieut Terry of Co.A from Mt. Vernon. He resigned on the acount of his health & went home. He was to express the muney after he got home at Mt. Vernon to Cardington. As soon as you get it let me no, for I am anchous to no if you get it or not. I also sent home another overcoat from the Bend. It was sent to Mr. Reichelderfer. There were a lot of us sent a bbl. filled with overcoats. We can do very well without them here at present. It is as warm here now as it is in Ohio in July or Augt. The overcoat did not cost my eny thing. I got it Arcansis Post.
We have now got a full set of commishened officers agan. It all hapened last night. Lieut Cline of Co.K from Union Co. O. received a Capt. commishen & was assigned to our Co. J.W. Godman 1 Lieut., C.O. Oldfield 2 Lieut, boath of our Co. They were the two ranking sargents of our Co.
We are still here doing garrison duty about 20 miles above Grand Gulf on the Miss. River belo Vicksburg.
I have not got time to write a grate long war story. I expect you no more about it than I do, but I think you may look for us home next fall. I think we will have all the rebels whiped out down here in a munths time. The health of our Co. is good. I will close for this time. Write soon & don't forget to write often.
I sen my best respects to you all.
Tell Anna I will write here a letter pretty soon.
Adress Millikens Bend, La.
Co.C, 96 Regt, O.V.I.
Yours of the 1st I received last night by George Singer. I am well & I hope these few lines may find you the same. I sent you one a week ago. All together I have sent you more letters than I have received from you.
We have not got into Vicksburg yet, but we have got the Rebs in there & we are all around them garding, ceaping them from runing away. There were three of them came over this morning to take breakfast with us. They said they drew one days rashens yesterday and they eat it all up for super so they thought they would go & visit the yanks & take brakefast with them. They say they would more come over, but our men shoot so much that they are afraid of geting shot.
We are at work all of the time, day and night, diging riffle pits. We are geting closer every day. Some of our boys were within 75 yds of one of their forts diging a riffle pit last night & the rebs dare not rais their head to shoot at them. If they do our boys are ready all of the time & ancious to pop them over & our batrys are throwing shell in amung them all the time, day & night. It is funn to see the shell fly & bust in amungst there Fts. at night. You can see them from the time they leave the gun untill they strike the Fts. or explod & them they make the fire fly.
We have got a large army down here now. When George Singer come down, he said there were 22 boatloads came the same time. He said there were about 40 Regts. I think our army is not less than 160,000 strong & we have got about 700 cannon planted around Vicksburg & if ever we open all of them at once we can throw the shell & shot in there in an hours time so thick that there won't be room for them to lay without falling on top of each other. If we can't get Vicksburg & all the rebs in it now, I think the government had beter ecknowledge the sotheren confederacy & withdraw her troups & send them home, but I do not aprehend eny such a thing will ever hapen.
I suppose the 3rd O. boys have a good time now cetching Butternuts. I was glad to hear that Henry Kehlieu was all rite yet. I sent him a letter about two munths ago, but received no answer. You must give him my best respects. I was also glad to hear that Metzner had been home a few days. I hope he will get his discharge if he won't be able to come to the Regt.\r & help Father farm untill I come home, if this war ever closes & I get thru safe. I think that time will soon come. I will close, write soon agan & give my best respects to all who my enquire of me & except the same yourselves.
Address as before
Dear sister Sarah,
I am well & I hope these few lines may find you all the same. I just thought I would let you know how I was geting along. I am all rite yet, but I tell you this is a hot day. It is hot enuff to fry meat in sun without fire.
Last Wendsday night I volinteared to go with a fatieg squad to work in our rifle pits. The plas where we were to dig was within 40 yds of one the rebel Fts., so after we got there a part of the squad went to diging & tens of us were detailed to go to General Ords headquarters after hand granades. We got 20 & went back & then we were sent in the rifle pit to help the pickets gard the fatieg men. Two of us went in at a time. I & Frank Harris went on the first releaf. One of Generel Smith's aids told us not throw eny of them untill the rebs threw some at us. After we were in there about 3/4 of an hour the rebs commenst they threw a six or ten pound fuse shell & they were to heavy they could not throw them far enuff to reach our rifle pit and an other thing we could see them coming. Ours were different. We had regular hand granades. They weighed about 2 lbs. We could throw them rite in their Fts. Ours had no fuse, therefore they could not see them come. They had a percushin cap, they won't bust untill they strike. I throwed all I had and every one exploded & all the rest did the same. The rebs could not get theirs in our rifle pit, but they got them close enuff so they threw dirt on us. I was in there one hour & then I was releaved. That I call prety close fiting & we are geting closering every day & night.
Day before yester I & Cap were on picket back in the rear. We had a good time. We had half of the Regt. out 100 men. There are just enuff for two releafs. We have about 210 reported for duty yesterday morning. After we were releaved & got back to camp we found the pay master on hand. He paid off 3 Co. A. B. & C. & then orders came to fill our canteen & take 80 rounds of cartridges & fall into ranks immeadtly & march to the front & attact the rebs\r & we did so, but our Regt never got to fire a shot. There wasent room for us in the rifle pit, so we layed back in holer as a reserve. At about 5 p.m. for a signal on our rite our men blowed up one of the rebs Ft. & then the ball was opened clear around the hole line. I tell you it was a noysey tim then & was keped up untill night & then every thing was agan quiet agan.
We did not loos much & I have not learned what we have ganed, if enything. In our Division there was one man wounded in the arm slitely. 4 of July is now near at hand & so is Vicksburg. We have ripe apples & peaches here & rostnears [roasting ears] etc.
I am now acting orderly of our Co. George M. Scott was orderly & he was elected chaplin & as soon as he gets his commishen Cap said he would get mine. I will send you twenty dollars in this letter. I want father to take it & keep an acount of it & all I send him. We drew two munths pay. I drew $34.00. I will have $23.00 left. I send my best respects to you all & don't miss sending me some stamps. Write soon. Let me if you get my muney. I tryed to send my books home, but I can't comeit (?)
Yours truly etc.
Co.C, 96th Regt. O.V.I.
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