To Mrs. Lyon.
Fort Henry, Tenn., Sunday, Nov. 16, 1862.—My letters recently have been few and hurried. I am now able to give you a more full account of our expedition. I have a feeling of quiet in my comfortable tent, with the rain falling outside. My round of duty is ceaseless, yet it is no burden to me, for I have the cordial co-operation of officers and men, all of whom seem to have a sincere respect for me. In addition to my regimental duties, I am commander of this post, which adds somewhat to my labors. I like Colonel Lowe, the commander of this district, well, and we get along together first rate. He compliments me very highly upon the improved condition of this regiment since I assumed the command of it. He lives on the steamer Ewing, spending most of his time at Fort Heiman over the river opposite. Now for our march.
We went down the river forty miles to Chaudet’s Landing, October 31. Thence we marched southeast to Canton on the Cumberland river, in Trigg county, Kentucky; thence southeast to La Fayette; thence northeast to Hopkinsville, Christian county, Kentucky; thence south to Garretsburg, near the line of Tennessee, and all about that place. Here we overtook Woodward’s gang, fought, and drove them; were only under fire a short time. We then went back to Hopkinsville, getting there Friday afternoon, the 7th; stayed there until Sunday afternoon; came back here by La Fayette and Fort Donelson.
The country about Hopkinsville is very fine, and Hopkinsville is a beautiful place and very healthy. It is the most loyal town we have found, having furnished a large number of troops for the Union army. It is the home of General Jackson, who was killed at the battle of Perryville. We, the officers, enjoyed largely the hospitality of the citizens and found much refinement amongst them. We were the heroes of the battle of Garretsburg, you know, and that is a great event with these people! I attended church in Hopkinsville last Sunday morning and heard a fine discourse from the Rev. Dr. Nevins, a Presbyterian, and a sterling Union man. The people in that region have suffered terribly from the raids of guerilla parties; and after witnessing the effects of this war there, and, indeed, everywhere in the South, I am more and more thankful that you are out of the range of these sufferings and that I can bear the whole peril for all of us.
I expect that Colonel Lowe will start another expedition soon after a guerilla gang under Napier, some fifty miles south of us; and we shall doubtless form a part of it. When I get back from that trip I think I can give you marching orders to come here, for it really looks as though we should winter here.
Lieut.-Col. Chapman and Captain Woodman of the Thirteenth started North yesterday, and both of them partly promised to visit you before they return. They live in Green county. The captain is a young married man and a finished gentleman. He and Colonel Chapman are among my very best friends. I am sure you will enjoy a visit from them. Several officers will send for their wives, I think, after we return from the proposed expedition; among them Captain Ruger, of Janesville. We will arrange to have you come with them.