YOUR CART 0 items - $0.00
Roll over image to enlarge (scroll to zoom)

59th Illinois Infantry

Item LTR-8196
April 29, 1862 William McAdams
Price: $200.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 4 pages, written in period ink.

Camp at West Plains, Howell County MO
April 29, 1862

Dear Harriet,

When I last wrote to you we were in camp 25 miles south of Springfield April 18th. On the morning of the 20th we left that camp and marched east 15 miles through the rain and mud. It being Easter Sunday and we marched hard and had not one Egg to Eat. Our teams did not come up tonight. So we built as good a fire as we could and wrapped ourselves up in one blanket each and laid ourselves down near the fire. The rain falling in a light drizzle nearly all night.

April 21st. Our team has not arrived yet so some of us went to a settler’s house nearby and procured a breakfast consisting of cornbread, surgum, molasses, stewed peaches, fried meat and water. We marched early, the rain having ceased to fall. Went 17 miles east and camped in the western edge of Webster County MO. Our team did not get up tonight again although all the other company teams of our regiment did. We drew some beans and borrowed a vessel and cooked them this being all we had tonight.

April 22nd. Leave Camp early and march east 14 miles and camp on Beaver Creek, Webster County. Drew three days rations of flour and our team came up tonight and we had a good meal this being the first I had since eating at the farm house, except the beans and biscuits. When we came to Beaver Creek this evening Stephen Lansdown came across his Uncles, David and Nathan Lansdown. He went home and stayed all night with them. Six miles distance from Camp.

April 23rd. Leave Camp early and march down Bryant’s Creek. Cross it a number of times. March 15 miles and camp Vera Cruz or Freeland near Douglas County. Dinning arrived in camp late this evening looking tolerably well having left home the 8th. Stephen Lansdown and his uncle David came into camp late this evening and David stayed all night with us and I wrote a letter for him to Thornton Lansdown. Steve says his uncles are well fixed where they live but have had a hard time battling with the Secesh.

April 24th. March east 8 miles and camp on Fox Creek, Douglas County. Today while marching I seen the prettiest pine grove I ever saw there were pine trees all along the road today.

April 25th. Remain in Camp and I got your letter of the 12th acknowledging the receipt of my letter of March 26th with the ten dollar note in it. I was glad to hear from you and Emma. Glad to hear that you were all well. I have no doubt but you feel for us when you hear that we are short of rations of bread. Today we drew pants and shoes which were badly needed. My old pants had about gone through their best days and I got another pair also a pair of shoes.

April 26th. Leave camp early. Soon came to North fork of White River and camped on its banks and the boys had a good time washing themselves.
April 27th. March down north fork of White River 12 miles then went east of it 3 miles and camped for the night in heavy pines. Today I seen the tallest and heaviest pine timber I ever saw. The County perfectly wild, scarcely a house.

April 28th. Leave camp early and march east 18 miles and camp at West Plains, a small town in Howell County. Anthony came to us this evening having come across the country from Rolla to this town. He brought me a letter from William James and one from J. R. Honnold to Sutten and I don’t know whether I can answer them tonight or not as I have a chance to send them tomorrow morning the 29th only a Captain belonging to the 24th MO Regiment. I received the stamps you sent me and now I have plenty to do awhile. Harriet, I love to write letters when I have time and you can hardly appreciate what pleasure it gives me to receive letters from my friends. Brothers John Honnold and William James wrote pleasant words of encouragement. Brother Honnold said the letter I wrote to the neighborhood had been received and he said they intended to have a “Soldiers Prayer Meeting” the next Sunday.

May God bless all my dear classmates and may they all ever prove to be loyal and patriotic citizens. Anthony says he bought me some writing paper which is in his trunk at Rolla. He expects it to come on to the Regiment in a few days. We are all well and hearty at present. Forker has not arrived yet. I don’t think Frank Stark has acted very patriotic. Captain Taylor has handed in his resignation papers and I guess they will be accepted in this case. A Captain and Lieutenant will have to be elected in this company. I guess we will push on east again in a day or two. Harriet, excuse my poor written letter as I wrote it in a hurry having marched hard all day and now it is about ten o’clock at night and I must retire to rest. I was glad to hear of the safe arrival of the 20 dollars I sent you in letters. Give my Love to all.

From your affectionate Husband,

William McAdams