Co K 102nd Illinois Infantry

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Wilson Letters from Company K, 102nd Illinois Infantry

On December 22, 1863 "Uncle John" wrote a letter from Lavergne, Tennessee, to the Editor of the Aledo Weekly Record, concerning an incident involving Captain William A. Wilson of Company K, 102nd Illinois Infantry. It is transcribed in its entirety below. The participants in the incident are identified following the letter.

In addition, we have been the fortunate recipients of transcriptions of letters written by Captain William A. Wilson during his service. The letters are in the posession of Stan Drake, a Wilson researcher, and transcribed and submitted by him. He tells us the letters were written across pages, the page turned ninety degrees and written across, then written on the back in the same way in order to conserve paper, but making them difficult to read and transcribe. They were sent in 2 inch by 3 1/2 inch envelopes with three cent stamps. Stan also furnished "Cap" Wilson's obituary which follows William Wilson's letters.

Captain Wilson's brother Allen Wilson also served in Company K as a corporal and died at Gallatin, Tennessee, March 3, 1863 (the Adjutant General's report gives the date as March 3, 1862 which is obviously wrong.) Stan Drake also furnished copies of letters written by Allen Wilson to his sister "Sue" (Sally Wilson Shields). These letters are dated after the March 3, 1862 supposed death date so we know it is wrong. We are not even certain if "March 3" is correct. The army had been in winter quarters in Tennessee since February 1863 and much attention was being given to improving the health of the soldiers by providing a large tent hospital and a large garden to supply vegetables. By April they were even sending back to Illinois for cows and chickens to supply milk and eggs. ("Civil War Medicine" page 191-2). There is also below an excerpt from a letter to Allen's sister, Louisa Jane, giving us some insight into the training in the 102nd!

Aledo Weekly Record
Tuesday, January 5, 1864
Army Correspondence

Lavergne, Tenn., Dec 22, 1863
Eds. Record: - Our usually quiet camp was the scene of not a little excitement today. About 3 o'clock, p.m., yesterday, Surgeon Stanway was called to visit a sick soldier of Company A, some twelve miles distant. The Surgeon, with his usual promptness, forgetting everything but his suffering comrade, started immediately with no guard of company save Capt. Wm. A. Wilson of [Co] K. They did not arrive there until sometime after dark, and it was nearly 8 o'clock before they were ready to return. They had proceeded probably three miles, laughing and talking, unconscious of the presence of an enemy, when they were brought suddenly to a halt, and immediately surrounded by some twelve or fifteen butternut desperadoes who demanded them to surrender. Obeying the instincts of brave men, rather than the demands of midnight assasins, they whipped out their revolvers, and answered them with cold lead. The guerrillas, saddened by this unexpected resistance, poured in their fire from all sides. Of course such an unequal contest could not last long. Two men, however brave, could not long contend with fifteen. Dr. Stanway received a shot in the leg almost at the knee, breaking the bone, which brought him to the ground. The guerrillas now began to close around Capt. Wilson, whose horse had already received two wounds. One shot had grazed his right temple, shaving off the hair. Another passed under his chin, trimming his beard. To stand longer would have been madness. Wheeling his horse he plunged through them, and succeeded in placing a respectful distance between himself and guerrillas, almost miraculously escaping the shower of bullets which the united force sent after him. Five immediately gave chase, while the remainder turned their attention to the now prostrate doctor, and proceeded in the most chivalrous (?) manner to divest him of his clothing, money and arms, leaving him only his shirt, pants and boots. They would have taken the boots too, had they not been too small for their plebian feet.

Captain Wilson had not ran more than a mile when his horse began to show signs of the effects of his wounds. The guerrillas were gaining on him. The crisis had come. He threw himself from his horse and darted into the thick cedar wood, and thus eluded them. After searching for him several hours they withdrew. By frequently changing position he had gotten considerable distance into the wood. On attempting to find his way out, and to reach one of the stockades on the Railroad, to get aid to look after Dr. Stanway, he became bewildered, and after many ineffectual attempts, was empelled to remain in the woods till morning.

Some citizens, hearing the firing, came to the relief of the doctor, and carried him to the nearest house.

The report of the affair did not reach us until this morning. Col. Mannon with a squad of men, accompanied by Surgeon Hamilton immediately started for the scene of action. I would not give a farthing for the life of any of these robbers should they fall into the Colonel's hands.

We know not what the result of the wound will be, but if surgical skill can save the limb, the known ability of Surgeon Hamilton is a sufficient guaranty that it will be done.

We cannot be reconciled to part with the eminent profesional services and fine social qualities of Surgeon Stanway without deep regret. He is beloved by the whole regiment. Guerrillas may hear the name of Stanway, and the next moment receive a leaden messenger summoning them to appear before the bar of justice, should they meet any of the 102nd boys.

Sergeant L. V. Willits is now at his own Regimental Hospital. He was moved from Chattanooga to Nashville. We brought him here on the 16th [?]. He is doing well.
UNCLE JOHN [Uncle John was a regular correspondent but we have yet to discover his identity]

From the Illinois Adjutant Generalís Report:
STANWAY, Thomas S 1st Asst. Surg. ----- July 12, 1863 ----- Resigned Aug 13, 1864
STANWAY, Thomas S 2nd Asst. Surg. ----- Dec 23, 1862 Dec 24, 1862 Promoted
HAMILTON, William Surgeon Oneida July 12, 1863 Oct 12, 1863 Mustered out Jun 6, 1865
HAMILTON, William 1st Asst. Surg. Oneida Aug 25, 1862 Sep 1, 1862 Promoted
MANNON, James M Lt. Colonel Aledo Oct 24, 1862 Mar 4, 1863 Resigned Sep 15, 1864
MANNON, James M Major Aledo Sep 23, 1862 Sep 23, 1862 Promoted (See the Mannon page for more on James M. Mannon.)

Written by William Wilson when he was still Lieutenant. This one from William to sister Louisa Jane. 'Lovena' is also William's sister, married to Laughlin Woodward. "Cate" is William's wife, Keziah Woodward, Laughlin's brother. Allen is William's brother. Wm. Shields was married to Lucy Wilson, daughter of Abijah, and William Wilson's cousin. The child mentioned as lost is probably Stephen A. D. Shields, found in the 1860 census but not the 1870. For added confusion, Wm Shields' brother Richard was married to Wm Wilson's sister Sue (see correspondence below from Allen Wilson.)

Frankford, Ky, Oct 18, 1862
Dear Sister:
I have just received your kind and pleasant letter, which gave me a great deal of satisfaction to hear from you for it is seldom that I get a letter that I consider it quite a treat.
We got our tents yesterday and got them up and slept in them last night for the first time. We have not slept in a tent before since we left Ill. We have just taken the base ground for it which has been verry unpleasant and caused a great deal of sickness in the Company. I have been quite sick myself. I had two Shakes of the ague But I taken quinine and broke it right a way and I feel now as well as ever. Dick Perdum has been quite sick for several days but he is getting better again. There is a great many of the Boys complaining more or less but there is none of them verry sick now.
I like Camp life full as well as I expected to. Sometimes we have it pretty hard and then we have it verry easy again, the greatest trouble with me is eating them devilish hard crackers. They are so hard that a cat could not scratch them. The rest of our living does well enough. We have a great many tirkeys and chickens to eat for the most of them refuse to take the oath of Allegiance and the penalty of refusing to take the oath is to have their necks rung and go in to the Stewpot for dinner. Faine if my letters are not verry well written or composed you will excuse them for one of the Boys will want this thing done and another will want that thing done and I can't write more than a minute at a time with out getting up to Do Something or other. If you want any news concerning the Army, you must send me a Newspaper to read for we get no news out side of the camp.
I want you to tell Cate to hurry them letters of hern for the distance between them is long as the morral law.
Allen is getting along fine with the exception of a sore heal. He likes camp life firstrate and enjoys himself well. The most of the Boys like Camp life verry well.
I was very sorry to hear of Wm Shields loosing another one of their children. Give my respects to them and tell them I Simpathise with them verry much.
Jane, I want you to write us often. Give my respects to Enqiring friends.
Yours truly,
Lieut. Wilson
Direct your letter to Co. K, 102 Ill Vol. Louisville, KY.
Since writing the above Allen has recd a letter from you and one from Lovena Stating all well but Lovena's child. I did not get the Scratch of a pen from anybody and I felt like Saying Dammit but I didn't.


from William to Louisa Jane. 'Reed' would be Jacob Reed of Eliza. not all that much in this letter except talk about getting letters.
Gallaten, Tenn Dec 1, 1862
Dear Sister
Your small Sheet that you sent me By my friend Reed will not admit me of writing a great deal to you. Yesterday was a day of rejoicing with Allen and myself for we had not heard from home for over two weeks we rec'd yesterday three letters, one from Mother, one from Cate, and one from your Self and also five dollars apiece from Mother which was a great Satisfaction to us to think that though far away, a Mother's love still follows us. Tell Mother that I feel greatfull to her for sending me that money for I had spent the last cent I hand and was almost out of every little necessary. But not with standing that I stood in need of the money, I was much more pleased to get the likeness of one that had watched over and administerd to my many wants from infancy up to manhood and now that I have taken up arms in the defence of my country and got to the field of battle that her prayers assend to heaven for our safety - - - Jane, I'd rec'd a letter from you and mother and one from Cate today and Allen rec'd one from both of you and we felt verry jubilant over getting So many letters at once from the fact that we had not had a letter from home for over two weeks untill we got those yesterday. Jane, your letter finds us Boys all well. I have not had as good health in the last ten years as I have at the present and as for Allen you mite look the regiment over and you would not find a man looking Stouter and more robust than he does and he is well Satisfied and there is not a better Soldier in the regiment nor one that is more ready and willing to do his duty. Jane, yesterday our company was out on picket and had a fine time. The Capt and myself put up at an old Secsesh and taken Supper and Breakfast with him and today our entire regiment has bin to work on the Breastworks. We are fortifying this place so that a smaller amount of men can hold the place. This is a verry important place to hold on account of the Railroad.

I must bring my letter to a close, so GoodBy Dear Sister
From your affectionate Brother
Lieut. Wilson

Written by William A. Wilson to (1) his sister Louisa Jane Wilson (later Stevens) and (2) his mother, Henrietta Dryden Wilson (for more on the family see the Allen Wilson Page ). The letter was written shortly after the Battle of Resaca . The girl child mentioned as just born in the letters was named Resaca Battle Wilson at the Captain's request (see second letter.) Captain Wilson was married to Keziah (Kate) Woodward, third cousin, 3 times removed, of Jill Martin and Nadine Holder, creators of this web site, and we are very proud to be related to little Resaca Battle Wilson! Sister Vene referred to in the letter was his sister Lavina Wilson, married to Keziah Woodward Wilson's brother, Laughlin Woodward.

Cassville, Ga. May 22, 1864
Dear & Beloved Sister:
I have just received your very welcome letter of May 12th giving me much pleasure to hear from you. I have also rec'd a letter from Sister Vene affording me unspeakable pleasure to hear that I was the father of So fine a Girl. And to learn that Kate was getting along so well. Jane, I tell you I was pleased to think it was a girl. Jane, I want you to give Kate all the attention that you can and charge her to take care of herself. - Well Jane, your prediction that we were going to be in a battle was too true - on Saturday the 13th we was under fire all day & list upwards of 20 killed and wounded. But that did not amount to much to what our fight on Sunday did. General Hooker Says that our fight on Sunday was as hard as fight as he ever saw for the amount of men engaged in it. We charged upon a Battery that was Supported by 6000 Infantry well Secured in Rifle pits.

Our Regiment was One that went right in front of the Battery where we received a galding fire of grape and Canister. Our loss was terrible. I suspect that in less than 10 minutes, our Regiment lost over a Hundred men but it stood up to the work noblely. General Hooker said that old troops never would of taken the Battery nor of held it after they did take it. Jane, I am happy to tell you that Everyman in my company done his duty, his whole duty. They marched upon the Enemys works as they were going to a feast.

Dear Sister, I know you will have some anxiety in Knowing how I conducted my Self and as I am a modest man, I am somewhat delicate in speaking of myself- But I do feel that I have right to Say to my friends for their consolidation that I aquit myself Honorably and won the esteem of all my men and was complimented by my commanding officers for my bravery and integrity. I was one of the first to reach the Rebel's cannon and one of the last to leave the battlefield. I was struck with a Shell and knocked Senseless for awhile. Frank Endicott came to me and helped me off the field. I Shall always remember Frank as a brave boy. He came and gave me water where there was a few that dared venture. The Boys was falling by me on every hand and side. Jane, it made my heart ache to See the Boys fall. There was two of my own Boys Shot by my Side. They fell there face to the Enemy. I had three killed almost dead instantly, Pvt Willet, Moses, White, And Peter Perce, George Bartlett was mortally wounded and I learned has since died. He was shot in three different places and the doctor taken three "bulls" out of him. Elias Pierce was shot in the leg, Otis Alba had his leg broke by a musket ball, Henry Wells was badly wounded in the leg. John Swartz shot in fingers, Ambrose Rowe shot in arm, Matt Retherford was slitely wounded in the leg. Ezra wounded in rist. Above named are all of my company. Well Jane, we won a great victory that night. They all started in full retreat for Atlanta and left their dead and wounded in our hands. Jane, my time is very precious. You will have to excuse my short letter. I will write you a long letter as soon as I get time.
Yours truly, Wm A. Wilson

More on Battle Resaca Wilson
Cassville Ga May 22nd, 1864
Dear & Beloved mother
I once more have a Spare moment to pen you a few lines I feel that it is only through the Kindness of a Special Providence that I am spared to write to you Mother I am Sorry that I have not time to write a lengthy letter to give you all the particulars But I have not the time for we have only Stopped long enough to draw rations & Some Shoes for the Boys Mother I will comence your letter where I left off Janes on monday we Burried our dead & the dead of the Enemy Mother it was Series occasion We fenced in a piece of ground on the Battlefield & Buried our dead verry nicely in one common grave We did not take so much pains in Burrying the Dead of the Enemy We gethered up 460 dead Rebs within a Short distance of where our own dead lay we got threw Burrying the dead about four o clock Monday Evening We then Started in pursuit of the flying Rebs We overtaken them on wednesday & Skirmished & fought some all day But they didn't Seem in clined to want to fight But just at night old Jo as we call him for convenience ordered all us to charge them They run like Tirkys we only had one man Killed in our Regiment all that day He had both legs Shot off with a shell & only lived a few minutes the next morning there was not a Reb to be found we had no fighting since but we have orders to Start after them again in the morning

Mother I had all most forgotten to tell you the name of the Battle we fought The name of the Battle is ReSaca (long will it be remembered) Mother I want you to tell Kate that I want her to name my Girl after the name of that Battle (Resaca) Tell Sall that She may add her name to it also for I had intended on calling it Sally But I thought I would like to add the name of that Ever memoriable Battle to it But tell Kate if that name don't please her to call it what She likes & it will please me Mother I am highly pleased to think that Kate got a long so well & I am also highly pleased to think that I have a Daughter Tell Kate that I wrote to her yesterday & will write to her the verry first opportunity that I have of writing. Mother I am Sorry that I have not written more to you than what I have I have many things I would like to write to you I thought of you & Kate & my dear little children & my Brothers & Sisters while I was in the heat of the Battle I thought that if it had not of been for Kate and the children & the rest of my Relatives & friends to grieve for me that I would not turned on my heal to of Saved my life I hope Mother that I may never get in an other such a battle But I shal go where ever duty calls me trusting my life in the hands of him that rules the destiny of Nation ---- I was not Badly injured I was Bruised and Stuned pretty Bad I have got pretty much over it to the exception of a pain in my side & knee
Your effectionate Son Wm A Wilson

Obituary of Captain William A. Wilson:
Wilson: Capt. W. A. Wilson, one of the best known Washington county [Iowa] residents passed away at his home on North Second avenue, last Friday morning. The deceased has been in poor and declining health for several months and his demise was not unexpected. His primary ailment was heart trouble and during the past month he suffered an attack of pneumonia. The deceased was born in Shelby county, Indiana, in 1831. When he was but four years of age his parents removed from Indiana to Mercer county, Illinois, where he resided until the outbreak of the civil war. He enlisted in Co. K, 102nd Illinois infantry, in which regiment he served for three years, rising to the rank of captain and being brevetted major. During the war he was in some of the most hotly contested engagements. After the war Captain Wilson returned to Mercer county, Illinois where he continued farming unitl he disposed of his 960 acre farm in 1884 and removed to Lane couny, Kansas. In 1889 he came to Washington county and has made his home in this county ever since. In 1857 he was united in marriage to Miss Keziah Woodward and to them were born eleven children, seven of whom survive: D. Y. Wilson of Chattanooga, Okla.; Seridan Wilson, who lives near Ainsworth; Mrs. Ressa Willits of Ainsworth; John S. Wilson, who lives northeast of the city; Harvey P. Wilson, who lives north of town; Bert M. Wilson of Nanton, Alberta, Canada, and Frank M. Wilson of Olivet, Kansas. All of these children with the exception of Bert, were with their father at the time of his death. The children who preceded their father in death were: Allen J., Edward S., and Louie and Gracie, both of whom died in infancy. Mrs. Wilson died May 7, 1884. The deceased was married the second time in 1885 to Miss Emma Haugen of this county. To this union were born two children: Emma, who died in infancy and Ruth Schley, who resides at home. Captain Wilson was a member of the Methodist church, of the local Masonic order, and of the G.W.R. post. He was a republican and was always intensely interested in politics. The funeral services were held Sunday afternoon from the Methodist church, being conducted by Rev. Smith.

************* Note: There is no evidence that Captain Wilson was ever a Major. He had the rank of Captain when he resigned on October 26, 1864. James Y. Merritt of Eliza was promoted to Captain in his place. He was also designated as Captain Wilson when he applied for his pension on March 2, 1889. He received his pension under Certificate #459413 for those interested in obtaining the record.

Allen Wilson Letters

We do not know for sure what Allen Wilson died of but he was "serious sick with fever and 'beals' (boils) on his ears that had to be lanced" near the time of his death.

Excerpt from a letter to sister Louisa Jane: "...what little time we have had for drill, we have had no one that knew how to drill us. In the first place we had old Col. Abe McMurtry and to say the best of him he was an old drunken ass that knowed nothing nor cared less. We disposed of him and Elected Col. Smith Col of our regiment who was to be the man to drill us and prepare us for battle. He Knew nothing of military tactics and taken no pains to inform himself and the natural result of it is we are not drilled"

From "Field and Staff" of the "One Hundred and Second Infantry Regiment" (Adjutant General's Report, page 593): William McMurtry of Henderson was Colonel, mustered in September 8, 1862 and discharged October 24, 1862. Franklin G. Smith of Oneida took his place on October 24,1862 and mustered out as Brevet Brig. General June 6, 1865.

To Sister Sue (Sarah Wilson Shields)
Camp --- Peoria September 27, 1862
Dear Sister
It is with pleasure that I seat myself to right a few lines to you to let you know that I am well at present and I hope that when those few lines comes to hand that they find you enjoying the same blessing. I received your letter last night and I was glad to here from you for I had not herd from home since you left and I begin to think that you worent again to right. I would have wrote sooner but kept looking for some of the folks out to see us. We expect to leave here Monday for Louisville Kentucky unless we receive different orders. The boys are all anxious to go and begin to thank that they are drilled enough to whip three or four regiments of rebels. You spoke of being at a show. There has been a circus show in town every night and there is twenty or thirty goes every night. I have not yet been yet. They drive up past here every night with a six horse team. We have a good time here. Plenty to eat and plenty of cider to drink and nothing to do. Sense I was writing the above we have been on battalion drill. There was five regiments of us out on general inspection and did not get in untill after Sundown and our Captain fainted away and did not come to for over an hour and he is just come to so as you can hear him speak and William Car is very sick this morning with the bilious fever. I don't expect that they will be able to go on Monday now. Col. Said this evening that we would either get our arms tomorrow or we would get them when we go through Springfield and we get Enfield Rifles. William has gone to show and has taken about 20 or 30 boys with him. He is as harty as a human can be. Tell Sorena [Sister Lovena? married to Laughlin Woodward?] that Woodard is well and well contented.
Well, Sue, I must bring my scribling to a close buy requesting you to right soon so good by sue.
Direct as before.

Note: The Captain mentioned at that time would have been Sanderson Rodgers of Aledo. Allen's brother William Wilson did not become Captain until March 1863. William Carr was great-great uncle by marriage to Nadine Holder and Jill Martin who are providing this Web Site. He survived his illness but had much trouble from his Civil War experience - see Mossman affidavit and William Carr and Ellen Welch Carr family photo

Frankford, Kentucky October 1, 1862
Dear Sue
It is with pleasure that I sit down to answer your letter that came to hand a few minutes ago. We are now camped where the enemy was camped two or three days ago. Our Regiment got here a few minutes after the fight. Our company has been to Louisville after provisions and had to gard the train. We left Louisville Thursday morning and marched till nine o'clock that night when we herd that there was 800 Rebel Cavalrymen ahead of us and we numbered one hundred so we went into quarters for the night. It made some of the boys feel as though they were in a tight place. We taken three prisoners during the night and we were raleyed up during the night. Thought they was right on us but it was all ____ as it happened to be an old niger trying to get through our pickets to see his old woman. We started in the morning and traveled five miles and camped and weighted for reinforcements. While weighting there word come that Morgan was marching up on us with a heavy force. Our Company formed a line of battle and weighted patiently but he never came near. Lorches and Dick Purdum and I volenteered to go out as pickets. We got stationed buy a good old Secesh house and we demanded all we could eat and that was good and the nigers brought out all that ten could eat. At three o'clock we was reinforced buy two hundred Cavalrymen and started for this place. It rained all the way and we had some 30 miles to travel. We met some two hundred of our own men that had been taken prisoners and were going home on parole. We taken one prisoner in the road. We got in town about two o'clock and the tiredest and wetest set of men that ever you seen. Jake Reed and one or two more of the boys are in Louisville sick. The rest of the boys well. You rather raked me for not righting my --------. I have wrote four letters to one I have received. I have not herd more from Mother and Jay than if there wornt no such person.
I must close for they say we have marching orders whether it is a ly or not, I don't know.
So good buy, Sue
Allen Wilson
Direct to Allen Wilson
Genl Dumonts Division
Genl Wards Brigade
Area Louisville, KY
There is not enough provision in the Capitol of Kentucky to keep a flea alive.

Dick Purdum was Private A. R. Purdam of Eliza who mustered out as a Sergeant. We cannot identify "Lorches" as it bears no resemblance to any of the names on the Company K roster.

From Allen to his sister Sue. year is 1862, but he didnt put down the year. 'Noble' would be his older half brother Noble Grimes (by his mother's first husband). Dick Purdum is sick again. janders=jaundace=all kinds of things. malaria, yellow fever, liver fever, etc. it was catchall apparently for feeling poorly without specific diagnosis. 'Woodard' would be Laughlin H., Lavina's husband (and Kate's brother).

November 7th Bowlen Green, Ky
Dear Sister - it is with pleasure that I seat myself to right you. I received a letter from you and mother last nite. I reached here yesterday and found the boys all here and as well as could be expected just getting over 150 mile march. William was well and glad to see me for he said that he could hear from me every day and some times it was good and Sometimes it was bad. He had 3 letters for me one was from Noble. He said that they are all well and doing well as could be expected owing to the times. He said that he would offer working for Uncle Sam but they would not hire him. I came from Louisville with a train of ambulances. There was 26 ambulances and 30 of us to drive them and we had our own time. We had honey every meal and chickens and turky and mutton by the hole sale and milk. The sheep is as afraid of those blue coats as they are of wolves and as for chickens, every chicken you get you have to ketch flying. The Sitizens of this country is a bought et out of house and home. I don't believe that they can posibly raise any thing next year for there houses are nearly all burnt up. We have taken a halling Rails for to burn. There heant half of the houses here that any body is living in. Dick Perdum is Sick with a bad cold. Frank Endicott I left at Jeffersonville sick with the janders and since I left there I hear that Woodard has gone thar and is very unwell. You spoke of wishing that we would get rid of our old Col. He has left us and we have elected Lieutenant Col for our Col and Major Mannon for Lieut Col. And Captain Warden for Major. You spoke of sending me some postage stamps. They would come in very good play for when I was at Frankford, I give one dolar bill for 50 cents of Stamps and here I guess that they kint bee had. The boys has all sent home for postage stamps. We will stay here untill we get our pay and then go to Nashville Tenessee. Sue you will have to quit raken Will for got righting for he has answered every letter that he has got from you. He come to me a growlying bee cause you do not right him and he has wrote Sammy three letters.
Sue I must bring my letter to a close for it is very cold and snowing that I can hardly right. If you do not like my righting get a knappsack and get down on your belly and beat it for that is the way there I wrote this for there are know boards here.
Allen Wilson to Sister Sue

November 27th, 1862 Galaten, Tenn.
Dear Sister it is with pleasure that I seat myself to right a few small lines to you - not in answer to any that I have received but believing that you would like to hear from me if you have forgotten to right me. I have not had a letter for so long that I have forgotten any thing when that I have had one. I don't think that it can bee in the coming right for the rest of the boys all gets letters from home every day.
Well, I will give you a small sketch of our last march. We started day before yesterday morning. We march 18 miles through the god forsaken looking country that a white man ever saw. I don't think we passed a field that there was more than 3 acres in it and that was on a big side hill. We traveled about 5 miles after dark trying to get out of what is called hells hollow but found it in vain. So we halted and the bank was two hundred feet high and that steep that a mule couldn't climb it so there was no such thing as striking a tent so we out with our blankets and laid down and taken our rest though the rocks was rather uncomfortable sharp so we got up in the morning and started for this place. We had a very nice days march. The day was comfortably cool and the road in nice order so we marched 15 miles and that brought us in the land of secsesh and dicksy for the poor ragabond of sunsabitches of citizens don't clame to bee anything but secsesh. There was a little fight here last Saturday and we drove them from this place. I don't think that there is any confederates any near here now. I don't think that we will stay here more than two or three days. I hope we won't stay in one place more than two days at a time until Secsesh is wiped out. We have got so that we don't mind marching as much as we do laying around in camp. William is fat and saucy and is getting along first rate. When on a march, he generally lives off of secsesh for what he cannot ly them out of there vituals he just naturally takes.
And as for myself, I never felt better in my life and come as near enjoying myself as any one can. Sue as it is to cold to right, I will have to close buy requesting you to right soon.
So good by Sue
Allen Wilson