Civil War Love Letters: August 2, 1862
As James wrote this letter, his regiment prepared to move again to protect Union general Don Carlos Buell’s troops as they continued to fight the Confederate forces under Braxton Bragg. James’s reference to Jeff. C. Davis is unclear. At this time, the 8th Kansas Infantry regiment was part of Union general Jefferson C. Davis’s 9th Division, Army of the Mississippi. However, based on the context of the letter, it appears that James is referring to Jefferson F. Davis, president of the Confederacy. On a personal note, James says that he is happy to hear of Molly’s visits to “Old Shaws,” a reference to Shaw’s Garden in St. Louis, today known as the Missouri Botanical Garden. He also refers to the birth of a second son to his cousin, Eliza Ann, who was married to Molly’s brother, William C. Wilson. The couple lived on Morgan Street in St. Louis.
In the field near Jacinto
August 2d 1862
My Dear Molly
After a week of peace and quietness & when just in a fair way to have all creature comforts around us, we again leave our summer quarters tomorrow.
We have had a very wet week but we only worked the harder for our comfort, in the shape of bowers &c &c &c - & now when finished, Jeff. C. Davis at whose mercy our summers peace lay (I said before) raises a perfect nest of hornets about our ears, & we start for Alabama, to protect General Buell's rear from Guerilla attacks. So mote it be. I am well as you see. I was just commencing a letter to you this morning when we had an alarm in camp & the result is we took 16 of Jeff's scouts prisoners. Nobody hurt on our side "seriously." We are all packed & ready for the road. Continue addressing me all the same as our letters will follow us & I expect must come through Corinth anyhow. I will write of course as soon as settled again. I think we will be near the Tennessee. I hope so, if it is not swampy.
I recd your last letter & the I.L.N. for June 28th yesterday. I see the excitement in St. Louis continues, but I dont clearly understand yet. I suppose light will break on me gradually
Glad to hear of all those horseback rides & also of your enjoyments at "Old Shaws." I hope you'll continue such dissipation as long as it improves your health.
I am very careful & a very good boy always! You know that surely?
I thought all the folks up Morgan St. wanted boy's. I hope the last one has a good constitution, and promises to continue the name with more certainty than its elder's. I suppose the mother is well?
Your letters all came safe sooner or later. It requires no apologies, & probably your mistake did not detain them, as our General is already well known & the other has gone to Washington.
I am my dearest Girl ever sincerely yours. With much Love to yourself Sallie & all the folks
James E. Love
A dozen kisses & Embraces if you please from your
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