Civil War Love Letters: July 14, 1861
Steamer A. McDowell
July 14th 1861
My Dear Molly
I find this opportunity by the D.A. January - Ive sent you two or three long letters since I saw you - but the strange reports that we are receiving & the knowledge that both mail & telegraph are tampered with by the Enemy between here & you makes me uneasy & I fear that you may not receive them -
Time is scant now as the D.A.J. goes off at five minutes notice
I hope you & all are well & that all goes well in St. Louis. We understand it is so, & that troops are pouring in - in abundance so as to stop these bridge burning vandals pretty soon -
I am well & in good spirits - hard marching & weariness succeed each other in regular order & hunting powder & watching the returned rebels from Jackson in the S.West our daily occupation & excitements. We are closely penned up - cannot carry books or reading matter with us - cannot buy any sterling literature on our way not even a newspaper later than the 4th of July -
So our minds are becoming so stagnant as to be scarcely equal to the effort of Composition
I wish I could Daguerreotype our daily life for you - time would not permit now if I could had I known yesterday - of this opportunity - it was a fine cool day & we were resting - I might have - Our provisions have run out. That’s what’s the Matter! We've been expecting supplies & they didn't come - writing letters with a crowd of 400 noisy men as it were packed in one room with you is not the best stimulant to composition - & I find that most all I wished to say flies from my distracted head in this Babel - Were we in camp it would be different! -
We sleep on our arms every night - as the rebels are active all around & might attack us if they have weapons at any time. They have been very vaniglorious & confident lately on the strength of news from the S.West, too extravagant & lying to repeat, but in which there might be grains enough of truth to make us feel serious. I fear we wont have any fight here however - if we do why I hope "we trust in Providence & keep our powder dry" - I wouldn't like to say so much for all my Dutch friends - I can bear them (it has come to that) better than most folks but the fact is they do not improve on closer acquaintance. From what I’ve said you will see that we are perishing for lack of News, News, News. An old paper or a letter is a godsend we haven't had since the 4th - scarcely a telegram, as the lines are cut more than half time - If you or Alex would bless me with either or both - & address to me, care Col. White 5 Regt. U.S.R.C. Booneville or Elsewhere I would get it sooner or later by boat
With Love to all
I am my Dearest girl
James E. Love
A thousand kisses & sweet thoughts -
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