Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, Charles Wright Wills, (8th Illinois Infantry)

Note: This letter—a document written in 1862—includes terms and topics that may be offensive to many today.  No attempt will be made to censor or edit 19th century material to today’s standards. Rienzi, Tishomingo Co., Miss., June 19, 1862. This is one of the few days that remind one of Illinois, although there are very [...]

0 comments

Rienzi, Tishomingo Co., Miss., June 16, 1862. We are camped here enjoying ourselves grandly. As our brigade is scattered over a line of 50 miles we just pitch our headquarters in the quietest spot we can find independent of the command. There are only two companies now out of the 24 within 8 miles of [...]

0 comments

Rienzi, Tishomingo Co., Miss., June 14, '62. We have located for a somewhat permanent stay, as the clumsy order said, in the most beautiful little town I have yet found in Mississippi. We have pitched our tents in a little grove in the edge of the burgh and are preparing to live. We have been [...]

0 comments

Camp near Boonville, Miss., June 13, 1862. This is the fourth camp that we have had to call as above. We have lived all around the burg, but to-morrow we leave. We have just got nicely arranged here after working hard all day, and now an order comes to move brigade headquarters back to Rienzi, [...]

0 comments

Headquarters 1st Brigade Cavalry Division, Camp near Boonville, Miss., June 6, 1862. I am leading an inglorious life now, nothing to do but the brigade writing and ride with the colonel when he goes out on business. The only time I am on the fighting list is when the brigade goes out, and that is [...]

0 comments

June 4, 1862. No. 10. We've been living out here a week without any tents until to-night, and General Pope is ripping and swearing because we dared to move them up here without orders. He says we shall not move a thing back. The colonel I am with is a regular army officer and he [...]

1 comment

Corinth and Hamburg Road, Miss., May 11, 1862. You remember that in my last I spoke of a reconnoisance our people made on the 8th inst. On the 9th Beauregard returned it with interest, driving our advance back some two miles and almost scaring this wing of the Eagle. He appeared on our left flank, [...]

0 comments

Near Farmington, Miss., May 8, 1862. I've been within one and a half miles of Corinth to-day. Didn't see anything especially worthy of mention, but had full rations in the way of leaden bullets whistle. Yea, and larger missiles also. For four days past our battalion has been the advanced picket of Pope's army, full [...]

0 comments

Headquarters 7th Illinois Cavalry Camp, on Hamburg and Corinth Road, May 3, 1862. I arrived here yesterday in safety. Stayed in Peoria the Monday night that I started, and was in Cairo at 9 p.m. Wednesday. Woke up Thursday morning on a boat at Paducah and devoted the day to admiring the Tennessee river. Stopped [...]

0 comments

Note: This letter—a document written in 1862—includes terms and topics that may be offensive to many today.  No attempt will be made to censor or edit 19th century material to today’s standards. On Steamer Henry Clay, off New Madrid, Mo., April 16, 1862. I finished my last in a great hurry, helped strike and load [...]

0 comments

Headquarters 7th Illinois Cavalry, In a very fine House, Point Pleasant, Mo., April 7, 1862. If this isn't fine your brother is incapable of judging. Cozy brick house, damask curtains, legged bedsteads, splendid tables and chairs, big looking glass, and everything just as fine as a peacock's tail. I do wish you could have been [...]

0 comments

Camp, near Point Pleasant, Mo., April 4, 1862. I received your last letter within three days after it was mailed, and praised Uncle Sam duly therefor. Our regiment has had a run of bad luck since we've been here. Two men killed on the plank road, two wounded at same place, two killed by falling [...]

0 comments

Point Pleasant, Mo., March 28, 1862. There isn't a thing to write only that they keep up the infernal "boom, boom," with their cannons all day and night long. It's perfectly disgusting the way they waste powder and iron without killing anyone. They have knocked every house in town to flinders, and round shot and [...]

0 comments

Camp near Point Pleasant, Mo., March 26, 1862. It is, to-day, very much warmer. I'm altogether too hot to be comfortable in my shirt sleeves. Don't know what is to become of us in July if it is so hot in proportion. I shake in my boots at the thought of the mosquitoes, flies, etc., [...]

0 comments

Twentieth. — To-day 'tis cloudy and we have fire in the tent and I wear my cloak besides. There are no news of any kind to-day. We are on a little piece of dry land here (some of the earthquake’s "get up" I suppose) entirely surrounded by swamps of the vilest kind, cane and cypress. [...]

0 comments

Near Point Pleasant, Mo., March 18, '62. You see we are creeping along down the river surely if the motions are a little slow. This is about 12 miles below Madrid and said to be 75 or 80 below Cairo. It is said that the Rebels have between a dozen and 20 steamboats above here, [...]

1 comment

New Madrid, "by Jingo;" March 14, 1863. Night before last we received four heavy guns from Cairo and two or three of these infantry regiments planted them during the night within a half mile of the enemy's main fort and within three-fourths of a mile where their gunboats lay. The seceshers discovered it at daylight [...]

0 comments

Yet near New Madrid, March 12, 1862. The enemy are separated from us by only a few cornfields, the country is perfectly plain; we can see from our tent door the smoke stacks of their gunboat, and the music of their bands mingles with our own and yet 'tis confounded dull. I received a letter [...]

0 comments

Note: This letter—a document written in 1862—includes a term that may be offensive to many today.  No attempt will be made to censor or edit 19th century material to today’s standards. Near New Madrid, Mo., March 6, 1862. What oceans of fun we are having here. Here goes for all of it to date, and [...]

0 comments
1 2 3 4