Dear Sister

There is a two month gap between this letter and the previous one dated March 24. Given how frequently Harrison had written, some of his letters are probably missing. During those two months, the 13th Michigan nearly saw its first major combat at the Battle of Shiloh (also known as Pittsburg Landing). Despite a forced march, the regiment arrived late on the final day of the battle as the Confederates retreated toward the city of Corinth, Mississippi.

In this letter, Harrison writes to his sister describing their picket duty, that is, they stood guard against any Confederate attack. He also comments on the news that his sister had provided in a recent letter. As he had in previous letters, DeWaters again asks about his wheat crop and urges his father to harvest it for him. As a farmer, the wheat crop would have been a significant source of his annual income.

Miss Ann DeWaters

Kalamazoo
Michigan

May the /24 1862
Camp Near Corrinth
in Mississippi

Dear Sister
it is with much pleasure that i writ these few lines for i think you would like to hear from me i received your letter the other day and i was glad to hear from you i am well at present and hope these few lines will find you the same   you have said yo[u] wanted us to write Just how it is i tell you Ann it is pretty hard here some time we are in a place whare we expect to be caled out every minute to no[know] what flag will float over this place but we no what flag will we no that the Union flag will   we have had no battle yet and i hope that we never shal  i hope they will settle it without but if they will not we can help them to comes over here every day and give themselves up and they say that they would half of them come over if they could get away   i heard that they was 2 Companys come over the other day they was 3 come over the other day when we was

Illustration by Thomas Nast of soldier on picket duty; Harper’s Weekly, 1862

on pickets they come up to our Ordly sergent and give them selves up  thy said that they had ben triing to get away all the while   you said you wished i was home i hope i shal get hom this fall if not before   i would like to [be] thar now but i cant but as long as i am well i can get along i hope i shal have my health and then i guess i shal come out all rite   when you go home tell our folks that i am well and wish them the same   tel father to Harvest my wheat and thrash it and take car of it for me if i dont get home   i hope i shal   i want you to write me all the news   i got a letter from Gilbert he said they was all well  i got one from William Rhoads and h[e] said that hank got his new close all wet the other day and they had a dance to Hams and they had a good boat wride on the lake with the girls i hurd that Hank was down to the old log house is it so as not   tell Mother i would like to see her and have her wash some cloths for me   tell her i send my love to her  i must stop writing so good bey & write soon   Direct to the same place i can get paper and envelopes

from your afectionate Brother

OH Dewaters so good bey

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