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Rachel Stanton/Searles Family Papers - MS 597 mf: Transcripts
Sept 1, 1862
Dear Father and Mother,
Once more I will try to write a few lines to you to let you know that I am well and I hope that this few and poor lines may find you the same. I have not got much news to write to you for Alfred has writen all of the news.
We had a little squirmish yesterday and we expect to go out tomorrow to get forige and I expect that we will have to fight for it agane. So good by from your son.
Addison Searls to his father and mother
Pleas to send me Mary's likeness
Tell Jane, ?, and Julia to write to me.
Sept 8, 1862
Once more I sit my self down to try to write a few lines to you. We recieved your letter of the 19th August, 1862. We was glad to hear from home and to hear you were all well, but we were grieved to hear you had to work so hard. But I hope this will be the last year you will have to work so hard, but they cannot any of us tell but we as soldiers are a looking to see a speedy change in the war now. We think we have this southern army now so that we shall eather kill or take the whole of them prisoners. We have on to 100,000 soldiers here. We have betwene Cincinnati and Louisville, Ky over 100,000 more besydes what we have scattered through different parts of the south. We expect to have a big fight here in the south now soon and I expect to participate in it and God only knows how it will come out. We may not never be in it, but we expect to though. We was much sirprised to hear of George Buskirk leaving his famely, but we see meny wonders in this world, fur it is a world of misteris. We have no news to write you this time. We are well and hope you are the same. Have you been out to my place yet.
I recieved a letter from Mary yesterday. They were well. She is a looking fur you to go and see her. As to my comming home this fall, it will be one of the wonders if I do get away. I will if I can and will also yous what influence I have for Ad if he can get away. But I look to all to be at home that live, by Christmas, without doubt.
I must close now. The 3rd Ohio Cavalry is here now. I have seen some of the boys, but not the Col. He's well, though he is general now and has command of a brigade now.
Good by with best wishes and kind love, I remain your son,
Alfred D. Searls.
Please write soon. Direct to Nashville, Tennisee - 21st Regt AU Lieu F.L. Curry, Com. Co. H
Sept 9, 1862
Once more I will try to write a few lines to you to let you know that I am well and I hope this may find you the same. I have not got much news to write this time. Alfred has writen all of the news. Please write soon and tell the rest to write. So good by to all. It is one year tomorrow since I left home last and I don't know but it will be the other 2 years, if I live, before I see home again...
Headquarters - 21st Regt OVUSA
September 19, 1862
Once more I take up my pen to try to write a few lines to you, but I don't expect it of much fur I don't know wheather there is eny mail carried now or not, as this Ky. affair has shut all communication away from us. We do not get eny letters from the north, either letters or papers. But I will trust to fortune about their going. In the first place we are well and nothing new more than we had a little fight, our company with a band of gurriles. We killed one, wounded 2 and took 7 prisoners, 7 head of horses, 5 carbeans, 3 revolvers, 3 shot guns, one Col. in the number. We had our fight upon the old Andrew Jackson farm, a beautiful place is the old general's hermitage. We were guard to a forage train. We still continue to fortify this place. We have 100,000 men here now, some over one hundred pieces of cannons. We are strongley fortified now. We have a line of encampments around the city and then a line of pickets about 3 miles out all around our camp. Our line of pickets is over 70 miles. But the way they have been a going on, they are a going to whip us, for our commanding officers seem to want to prolong it instead of bringing it to a close.
They is certainly the most cureous movements made that could be immagined and has over 20 million of people be duped by a verry few men is prolonging this war. Why is it that all men of the north are so blind to their own interests and not rais as much as a murmer. They is thousands and hundreds of thousands that have left their homes, families, their all for to put down this rebelion and still they prolong it and not only prolong it but they have full as wide a scope of countery as they had one year ago and notheng to look to ahead for peace and quiet as we once had it. It seems, by the way, they have relased their men we have had prisoners of war and meny other such things that they wanted to help them all they could. I find they is a good meny a disserting our army, but if they is not some move made soon that will tell for us, they is thousands more that will leave before this winter is begun and here is one among the number. For I shall think if they is not something done, that the men that is in control are Secesh in earnest. I have no news to write. Reports here is that all business is stoped in Cincinnati and that they are building fortifications their and we are here upon 1/4 rations. We have been on 1/2 rations fur 2 months, fur the last 2 weeks 1/4 rations and our crackers are damaged bad, a great meny of them are. And we are forbiden to get the least thing under strong and riged punishment. I have went hungry for days together and I am not the onley one eather. But I must submit I expect. But I shant more than another month if they is not like to be a change. Let the conciquences be what they may, for I will take my revolver and pull out. We are comfortablely well and I hope you are all the same. I have submited to all kinds of deprivements without a murmor and after so many thousand loosing their lives and a great meny more that are willing to if nessisary, but we as soldiers have lost all confidence in our commanders. But I will close for this time. With best wishes and kind love, I remain as ever A.D. Searls
Direct to Nashville, Tenn - 21st OV, Care Lieu T.L. Curry, Comm. Co H
Please write soon.
Sept 21, 1862
As I was a writing to Mary and having a litle more time to spare, I will try and write a few lines to you to let you know that we are well and still a enjoying ourselves as well as we can under the circumstances. I have no news to write more than the cars left here yesterday fur the north. And report says that our men has whiped Brag in Ky took him prisoner with 12,000 prisoners. Also that Jackson has been badly whiped in tryeng to cross the line of Marilan into Pensylvania, but I do not vouch fur the truth of these reports. But still they my be trew, fur well I know it must be the case and it mite as well be now as to wait a 6 months more. You must know more of the war news than we can, for we have not had a mail for the north in 3 weeks. All the news we get is by pryvet conveyance and reports is apt to be false. But they is to be the death blow struck now soon, fur we have their army in Ky entirely surrounded. They have got to cut their way out, get whiped, or give up. Unless Blidley ? begins commanding men that is in the field there, I rather guess they have given up the hop of going into Ohio, for I do not hear any more about it. But still, they may now be in that state for all that I know.
I wrote to you last Sunday. I have not had eny news from the north fur near a month now, but I hope to when the cars come back from Louisville, if they are not cutt off again, which I hope not. We must Now have over 200 to 50 thousand soldiers in Ky and they ought to do something. The last reports we had from Louisville there was 120 thousand new soldiers there besyds the old regts. We had 11 wagons and 4 men captured within 10 miles of this place. They have 3 regiments of cavelry gone after them today.
But I must close for this time. Write soon and best wishes and kind love. We remain as ever your son, Alfred D. Searls and Ad Searls.
Direct to Nashville, Tenn
21st Regt OVUSA, Lieu F.L. Curry, Com Co H
Nov 8, 1862
Once more I will try to write a few lines to you to let you know through the merces of God we are still upon the land of the living and are well, and we are in hopes that you are the same.
We have been confined here now for over 2 months that we have heard nothing, but have seen hard feed and hard times. We have had several pirty sharp fights, but we have been victorious and have lost but few men. I have not got time to give you meny particulars this time. It is now over 2 months since we have had a single word from the north, but they say there has a mail arrived here today. We are all in hopes it is so, but it will be 2 or 3 days before it will get distributed. And as they is a train of wagons that starts fur the north and it is a going to carry a mail and I am a going to ty to get this to go so that you can hear from us. We know not wheather we have eny friends alive, but still we live in hopes. General Rosincranse has arrived here. His waggon train is 60 miles long, but they is a differant appearance in the soldiers now. They live in hopes that they have a commander now that will go as far as his men is willing go. They had a great disatisfaction arison among the men while Gen Buell was in command. But I will be short with this, fur I expect to get some letters now soon and they will be a good meny things to answer and I think we shall be likeley to have mail a litle regular now.
We had a pirty hard fight here last Wensday. Ad is on picket guard tonight. It is pirty cold nights here now, but warms up through the day. We have not had rain anough to weat the ground up fur 6 months, the ground is very dry. The Cumberland River is fordable a most eny where now. But I must close for this time for my hands is so cold I cannot hold my pen.
Please to write soon and give us all the particulars. I will write soon again if there is eny chance to send letters. Our kind love and best wishes to you all and our friends. Report here today says General Mitchel is dead, he died with the yellow fever. Have you been out to see Mary, if so what arrangements have you made. I had lived in hopes of comming home this fall, but I doubt wheather I shall succeede in getting a furlow.
We expect to be attacked here tomorrow again. God only knows how the day will prove if such be the case. I expect to stay my time out in the sirvice, if I should live, and then not see it done with. I await patiently my appointed time. They has a great meny of the boys enlisted in the regular sirvice. They get 60 days furlow to go home upon a visit to their friends. Alls $25 down, we have 5 months pay due us now, but we expect to get pay before a great while, but can't tell. Good night, it is 10 o'clock now. Direct to Nashville, Tenn, 21st Regt Lieu J.L. Curry, Com. From your son, Alfred D. Searls.
Please to write soon and oblige your boys.
Nov. 14, 1862
My dear parents,
Once more I take up the silent medium of pen and ink to converce with you, it being the onley way that we can communicate our thoughts to each other. But to tell you the truth, I have but litle to write to you. I wrote to you a few days since and I gave you all the news then. We have recieved some mail. I got a letter of yours baring date Sept 28th. They was a few lines in it from G.B., also from Mary. I also recieved a letter from Emely of the 28th July. I recieved 5 from my wife, but non but what was 1 1/2 mths old. But I don't expect the mail is all distributed yet.
They have been at it for over a week. They say they was some 30 wagon loads of mail. But we have a dayley mail now. I hope to hear from home and know what is a going on their with you.
I don't know where to write to George. He may be 500 miles from their now and he may be dead fur all that I know. How or what i a doing is more than I know.
Gen. Rossencrans is here and has been a reviewing all the troops. They is quite a strife among the generals to know who shall stay and to hold this place. Our Divishion has laid here and defended it and have furtified it and we have lived for 5 months upon 1/2 rations and fur one 1/2 of that time we have not had that. We got no coffee nor shugar fur 4 monthes. All we had to eat fur 2 monthes was a litle fresh beef and sour bakers bread, and we had not mor than 1/2 salt anough fur to cook our meet with.
I see that some of the new recruits think they have had awful hard fare a getting to Louisville, Kyn. But let them march through mud over mountains, wade rivers, and fullow it up fur 2 monthes at a time and a go fur 8 days at a time and not get more than one small cracker a day or a pancake made of flour or meal mixed with watter not half baked and then they can begin to complain. I have went for 3 days and all I had to eat was a litle salt mule beef and this is a truth.
But I have farred no worse than my companions. We were after the enyma. We did not think of eatting. It would not done us eny good if we had, fur we could not get it. But some would sing, other sware, others dance, others lay mute, and some make comments of what they would do if they were generals, others make faces and all manner of inhumane noises. If they ever was a place fur one to study humane nature, it is in this army. And they is more kinds of mischef than would fill a book of 6000 pags.
Well, I hope the Democrats are a becomeng more sattisfied, but I fear they are a going to be the means of a disgrasefull setlement of this war matter. I do think in the power they are a getting it is the ruin of our countery, but they is no one can tell. It is beyond the power of man to begin to tell eny thing what is a going to be done. I see they is some verry strong mashures being taken in North Caralina to get her back into the union
Well, I see my sheet is near full and I must close fur this time. You must have a hous full now.
We have not gut our pay yet. The pay master arrived here last night they say. We shall probebly stay here and hold this place. Write soon. Direct to Nashville, Tenn. Tell the folks all to write. We had a pirty big fight here a few days back. We are both well, hope you all the same. Our love and best wishes to all and we remain as ever your sons, Alfred D. Searls and Addison Searls.
Give full particulars when you write what is going on among the famely. Farewell. It is verry uncertain wheather I get home this winter. I want to visit my famely if possible.
November 15, 1862
My belovid parents,
I have just recieved a short letter from you written the 26th of Oct. They seems to be a great deal of anxiety about us becaus you have not heard from us in so long a time. What think you is our thoughts about our friends and families. It was over a month longer than you have waited up to this week that we have not heard from eny of you in the north, but thank God our blockade is open once more and we are now a having communications with our friends once more. I have recieved some 12 letters this week, but they are all of Sept. dates till this one I got of yours today. The latest dates I have from Mary is Sept. 28. Imagine my feelings if you can. I have a famely and one that I love. If I had not, I should not of been here. We have been shut in here without eny communication for 2 1/2 months. I think that this division knows something about hard feed and times, but as ever we hope this to be the last occurance of the kind that we shall see. But alas I fear not, for I have fulley made up my mind to stay untill my 3 years is out before I see my friends, if I ever see them in this world again. There is no such thing as a furlow to be had under any consideration whatever. I have tried in every way to get a chance to come home and see my family and streghten up affairs their, but the big fools are dumb to all pity or reason.
Lieu. Curry allso recieved a short note from you. It is trew we have and are up to this time a great deal of danger hre, for our pickets are in contention all the time. As you may say, it is and has been for 2 months a dayley occurence nearly every day for us to take some prisoners, occassionally killing a man or more. These things happen upon both sides. And we have had some fights or skirmishes that have lasted 1/2 day or all day, where there was from 10 to 20 thousand upon a side, killing some times from 50 to 200 and wounded hundreds of more, but we are a getting youst to it so that the clatter of a few thousand muskets or the boom of a hundred or 2 of big cannon or the wiz of the shell as they go flieng through the are and you then will hear them burst a couple or 4 miles away. Yet we are sparred to tell the sad tale of our fellow mortals, but how long we shall be is more than mortal man can tell. But God only knows what my doom is yet to be told. But I must close for this time. I should like to be at home to visit with my friends from the east, but it is otherwise.
I have a letter from Aunt Nancy Edsall of September 18th. Allso one from Emily of September date. I have written 2 or 3 letters lately and I have give you all the news in them that I have to tell. It is not decided yet wheather we shall stay and hold this place nor not, but I hope we shall, fur then we shall have regular communications from home and perhaps better liveng than we have had for the past 4 months. I shall not attemt to tell what we have went through for the past 5 months, but I don't want to see 5 more such ones unless it is nessisary, and then let it come.
Give our love to all that may enquire after us. Ad is on picket today. The weather is fine. It is quite warm days and cood nights, very dry. We have not had rain to weat the ground for 5 months, but when it begins to come we shall want it to stop long before it will. I have spent one winter in the south and expect to stay 3 winters more, if I should live. But I must bid you good day. Write to us soon. Give us full particulars. Direct to Nashville, Tenn, 21st Regt. Lieu Curry, Com Co H.
We remain as ever, your sons, A.D. and A. Searls. Tell Mary I will write to her when I can get some paper. I have to borrow all that I write upon, but I think we shall get our pay this month some time and then I can get more material to yous.
Tobacco leaves is worth $4 a pound, gold is not to be had at any place or price. I have not seen any good tobacco for 8 months, but it will tast better when I get it. Politics runs high in the north they say, and not very agreable, I don't think from the best information I can gain. Yours in haste, Ad Searls to his parents E.G. and M. Searls.
December 25, 1862
Mr. E.G. Searls,
Well father, as I have been a writing to Mary and as it will cost no more, I will try to write a few lines to you. We are well this Christmas morning and we hope you are the same. I have no news to write to you more than since I commenced writing Mary's letter.
They have commenced a fight in hearing of us, what or how much we don't know. They are cannoning for keeps by the sound for the past 1/2 hour. It may be a general engagement and it may not, but I cannot say. They Boys are not in verry good spirrets, for this is Cristmas Day, the second time and a good prospect for the 3rd now, and they are all past and cannot help themselves but this is a deadner upon this country ever raising a volinteer army again. For the whole of us as an army are yoused wurs than the niggar ever was. And why is it? It is because all the tyrants of our nation have the command of the boys. Had we men of age and men that had been a private soldier himself for officers, one that had carried a knapsack and done duty as a soldier, then we mite look for humane feelings shown towards us, but none now. But our 3 years is about 1/2 out now and then Mr. Officer will not ware so many feathers as they now do.
Well, some of the boys is cracking walnuts, some a writing, some a cooking. We had a beef liver fried fur breckfast, coffee and lite bread. We have some beef a boiling and are a going to have some dumplings for dinner. Some of the messes have got some pigs to roast, some one thing and some another. We are a living pirty well now, but we are all a getting scurvey for the want of vegitable food. Our principle food is and has been sow belly or bacon and hard tack or crackers and coffee, a few beans and a little rice, but the last we rairly ever see. We have about 1/2 bushel of rice on hand now. I could by a barrel or more of rice in the regt for a mere song. There has been bushels of it thrown away. It is poor food for a soldier, they get tired of it. We are prity well clothed, no reason to complain but of differant colors. Socks is very scarce to be had. But I must close for this time. My love to all. We remain your sons, A.D. & A. Searls. Please write soon to us. Direct to Nashville. Good day.
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