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Rachel Stanton/Searles Family Papers - MS 597 mf: Transcripts
April 27, 1863
It is with pleashure that I take my pen in hand to try to write to you. Yours of the 18th came to hand today and you don't know with what pleashure and eagerness I opened it to see what its contents were. We were much pleased to read that you were all well or nearly so. We have looked fur days and weeks and monthes for a message from you, but their none came. We are pirty well, I have no news to write to.
It is full sumer here now and verry warm. We are a drilling now every day, company drill in the furnoon and batalien in the afternoon. We are a pirty good drilled regiment, but not perfect yet. The strong probability is that we shall have another big battel near here verry soon now.
Did I tell in my last that we are agoing to be mounted. We expect to get our horses now every day. You say that the rebs of the north done the worst of their dirty work. Well, you are their and ought to know, but let me tell you that they have onley just begun to show themselves. We feel their movements sooner and more sensitive than you do their among them, and it taxes the commanders of our army to their utmost to keep harmony and the right feeling in the army. The soldier has become impatient at the length of time it takes to make a move and with so little sucsess in meny instances.
We was on grand review again the past week. The army is in fine health and spirits, but I am afraid these last acts of military laws will be the ruin of us. It dos seem as though our leading men did not know when good was good anough, fur we now have the best disciplined and regulated army in the world. But now they are a going to work to tare the whole army to pieces. If they are afraid to enforce the conscript in the north, why not say so at once. For now is the time while our army is in shape that we can send a few old soldiers their to put the thing through a coars of sprouts that they will remember for a while. The men we must have and the sooner they are raised the sooner we can crush out treason.
Well, I could go on fur pages upon differant subjects, but of what youse is it, so I will quit it. I don't know wheather Ad will write eny or not. I had a letter from Mary yesterday. She and the children were well and the rest of the famely. I feel very thankfull that my famely keeps so good health. Ad got a letter yesterday from Chancy and Aunt Marila Mrs. Robt. Seeley. He answered it last night. As I write tonight we are a having a verry had rain with heavy thunder and lightning. The boys are all down upon their blankets, some asleep upon a soldiers bed, the ground.
My love to all the children. Our respects to all that may enquire after us. Now hopping throught the merceis of God that we shall meet soon upon this earth and if not here below, in heaven above, we remain your sons, Addison Searls - Alfred D. Searls.
Please to write soon, direct as before
Murfreesboro, Tenn. I have no stamps nor cannot get them. I will send and envelope all ready directed and see if it will make eny difference about its coming. Good night dear parents.
April 28th, 1863
Pirty near all the regt. is on picket today. It does not come my turn, so I am in camp alone in my tent. You don't say where to direct a letter to Uncle David [David P. Edsall, on duty on a boat in the Finger Lakes] and I cannot make out the whole name of his boat. I had at one time this spring a little hopes of visiting the north and my family and friends, but old Rosy don't seem to submit to the act now passed to allow such a percent to go home at a time with a leave of abscance of not more than 30 days at one time.
Well, our regt. and company officers went to work and made the furlows out and sent them in to Rosy to be signed. He sent them back with orders not to send eny more till he gives the orders to. That has been over a month now and no order yet, nor I don't think they will be. But they is one thing shure, if they is not a chance for the married men of this armma to go hom this sumer and visit their famelies they will be trouble, fur it is verry wrong the way the soldier has been fooled and duped. Oh, it has been well plotted and planned to get the mass where they could not usirp their power, but they is a day not far off when there will be many secreets revealed that is now kept back by fear for the want of liberty of speech. But I must close for this time.
Remember me to all and write soon and often and oblige us. From your son Alfred D. Searls to his parents E.G. and M. Searls.
Read so all the children can hear from their brothers who are a growing old in war. Fur they is more silver hairs upon my head than upon my fathers, caused by fateague and exposure.
We don't know where to direct to George, nor Clancy does not tell what Aretus address is eather. I had a letter from Aunt Nancy a few days ago. They were well with the exceptions of colds. Grandfather had had another verry poor spell, but was better when she wrote.
May 3, 1863
Once more I will try to write a few lines to you to let you know that I am well and I hope this will find you the same. I hav not got much news to write this time. Alford has writen all of the new. Pleas to excuse me for this time and I will bring my leter to a close.
So good by from your afacinate son, Addison Searls, to his father, Mr. E.G. Searls.
May 18, 1863
As I have a chance to send you a letter by Amos Polly I thought that I would write you a few lines to say we are all well and I hope this may find you the same. We are in camp at Murfreesboro yet and may be for some time to come. I have not got much news to write this time for we get no news.
Alford has had a bad cold and has lost his speech, he cannot talk loud yet. We have very warm wether here now.
They have been fighting on the Potomach and what the result is I cannot say for we cannot hear what they are adoing but I hope that our troups may come out victors over the enemy. I guess that we will have to stay our time out and perhaps longer, but I hope not, for it seems as though I have been gone from home a grate while. Well I will not complain while I have my health, for I felt that it was my duty to go and fight for my contry and I feal so still. Well, Amos will come and see you and he can tell you more than I can write.
What can good horses be bought for at home now? Write and tell me for if they can be got reasnibal I want to send home and have you buy me a good team and wagon and harness.
Well I will bring my letter to close, so good my from your son Addison Searls to his father, Mr. E.G. Searls.
Write direct to Murfreesboro, Tenn,
21st Reg Co H in care of Cap Caton.
Yours with respect, give my love to mother and all of the rest of the famely. Tell mother that Alford and myself have had our likeness taken and sent home to her, I gave six dolors for them. So, hoping to meet you all soon, I will close.
Write, one and all, no more at present.
May 18, 1863
Having a chance to send a letter direct to you by Amos Polly, he having his discharge, I will write a few lines to you. I have no news to write to you. Our army still remains motionless or nearly so and I don't see as they is to be eny great move for some little time to come.
We have a day or 2 of rejoycing a few days since, but it has turned out to be a debate and argument like the previous acurincess, when we have heard of such great things that the Army of the Potomac had done. But when you come to sound the thing, all they have ever done is to demorilize their army that did not get killed. And what is more, that army never will accomplish enything, for they is no bottom in them for a long seage. And they will keep on untill they will be the ruin of our other armes, because they have lived in hopes they would accomplish something, but are doomed to disappointment every time they make a move.
Only think, 22,000 men killed their this time and nothing gained, had to pull back to their old position again and this war will never end until they is less rebbels. They are a agitating too meny things and come to no termination of eny. If they would get done with a thing then drop it and let it rest their, then they mite be a chance of seeing the thing die away after a coarse of time. But they must rais up new things every day till they have so many things that the time is not sufficient to do our national business. But thank God for one thing, my time is awearing away and then they may find a substitute in my place. For I am disgusted with the way things are a proceeding.
Perhaps I have allready said too much. I rest, but could fill pages. Ad is well. I have not the yous of my speech now, nor have I had it for near 2 weeks. My lungs is the worst I ever had them, with a verry severe cough. But have got to bare it, for it is root hog or die here. I hope you are all well and getting along first rate. My respects to all. Excuse a short note, for I have to go on brigade drill and have not the time to write. My love to the famely. Write, one and all you. Father, pleas write soon and oblige me. From your son, Alfred D. Searls. Direct to Murfreesboro, Tenn.
I am looking dayley fur letter from you. Have late news from my family they were not very well. I don't expect to get home this summer now, for old Rosy don't sanction the order of giving furlows. They is a good meny a getting discharged, but verry few that disirve it, though it is them that have friends to help them in the shape of officers.
Headquarters Army of the
May 25, 1863
Again I will try to write to you in receipt of one received from you yesterday. We were glad to hear you were all well. I have no news to write you, and what is more, I do not feell like writting, for I am not able to sit up and write. If I could give my self part does but have to do what under other circumstances I would not. Ad is well. I don't know wheather he will write or not this time.
I am having a verry severe time with my throat and lungs. Have not spoke a loud word in over 2 weeks. But I care notheng about that, fur if I can cure my throat and lungs up, that loss of speech will come back. But it has seated so upon my lungs and they are so soar and inflamed with fever that I cannot get eny rest day nor night. I have yoused up a bottle of Ayers Pecturel, but dos me no good, and what I get from our doctor dos us no good, and I cannot have the prvelage of eny other council and they is only cirtain ones that can get eny justice done them. My cough is not as bad as it has been, but my lungs are wurse than when I cughed and raised a good deall. But I must put up with it. I am thinner in flesh than you have seen me fur a good meny years.
No news of the war here more than you have their. I suppose Grant has taken Vicksburg with a number of other places in Missipa, and it appears old Jos Hooker is on the move again, but they is no signs of our moveng yet, allthough we have been under marching orders for over 2 monthes, with renewels every few days. We have imence fortifications here and a verry large amount of army and comesary stores.
The rebs are a tryeng hard to get behind us and get into Ky again by the way of the gaps thrugh the Cumberland Mountains. But I think our men are to dilegant and upon the allert to much fur them to get much of a furce thrugh. I recieved a letter from Emely yesterday of 16th May. She was in old Locke upon a visit. They were all well their, but she had not been to grand fathers but was a going that week.
I got a letter from my famely yesterday. Mary and Eva were both quite unwell. I should like to visit my famely and friends, but don't expect to till my time of sirvice is out, if I should live. But I must close fur this time. Write to me soon. Direct as before. My love to all the family especily.
I remain as ever, you son, Alfred D. Searls to his parents E.G. Searls and M. Searls.
[late May 1863]
As Alfred was a writing to you I thought that I would let you know that I am well. I have not got eny news to write this time, only that I sent you a letter by Amos Polly some time ago. I suppose that he has got home by this time.
Our general says that our brigade has got the most force of the whole army for fighting and that they expect more from us than eny other brigade in the hole army.
We done the hardest fighting that was done at Stons River and should we ever be called into another batle, that they will expect more from us than eny other of the hole army. I feel proud to know that we have bin trusted to be the best drill of the hole army and the best of the United States, which we will be before we will give it up, for it is high name for us to have.
And I hope that I may live to come home to live to show the glory, for it is more than ever was known before.
Well I must draw to a close for this time.
From your son, Addison Searls to his father
Mr. E.G. Searls
Write soon, so good-by
Mr. E.G. Searls
Headquarters Army of the Cumberland
14th Army Coar, 2nd Divishion, 3rd Brigade, 21st
Regt OVS, Co. H. Capt. Caton
May 30, 1863
Feeling rather lonly to night and not verry well eather, I thought that I would commence a letter to you. I have no news to communicate as I know of, but I have annough to communicate were I where I could make my voise be heard by them that I would like to talk to. You have undoubtedly read a great meny pieces in the papers said to be the sentiments of the soldiers in the field. Well, I have had the reading of Cincinnata, Louisville, Nashville, and Toledo papers for the past 9 months dayley and I can ashure you that they isn or has been but a little of the soldiers corect feelings been put in print, and I suppose if it should be known in my own compeny that sayeng no more than this alushin that I would be under an arest and indited fur a coart martiel. More than one is the poor fellow that is now in irons layeng in the prisens of Murfreesburo and others that have been shot for what, for simply speeking the truth. No, I ashure you that a soldier has not the privelage of speech. It matters not what his argument may be or which way he sides. He will have strong rebuffs and if you say a word that offends them that have the power, hear "I order this man under arrest". Oh the amount of poor rotten carran that they is under some of them sholder straps, them that call them selvs men. Oh, it is to bad to give it a thought.
But I must close fur to night, the bugel blows fur lites out. Good night.
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