A Letter from Edwin Hill

Edwin E. Hill, another of the Oshtemo men serving in the 25th Michigan, wrote this letter to Anne Dewaters while on prison duty in Louisville. As with the other men, he acknowledges her letter. It appears that Ann wrote to the Oshtemo men regularly, providing them with news from home.

Hill provides a look at the daily routine of the regiment. They march to different locations, Danville, Lebanon, Halls Gap before ending up at Louisville. He makes a point of emphasizing that one of the Confederate prisoners is exceptionally tall. His estimate of 8 feet tall seems a little exaggerated but there seems to be little doubt that the man is a foot or more taller than everyone else around. Overall, Hill seems to feel that the Confederate soldiers are a motley crew, poorly dressed, with some even wearing civilian clothing.

 

                                                Miss Annie Dewaters
                                                Kalamazoo
                                                Michigan

 

                                Head Quarters 25th Mich
                                At the prison Louisville K.Y.

                                                                March 
                                                                Apr. 18th /63

                 Friend

                                Ann I received your letter in due season & was glad to hear from you & to hear that you were well and enjoying yourself as well as you could, so you sad, well that is all right. that is the way the soldier boys do when they cannot enjoy themselves one way they will try another. that the way the world goes. I believe the boys are all well to day as usual myself included. hope this will find you in the enjoyment of good health which is one of the richest blessings of mankind Without health what can a person enjoy. nothing since I last wrote to you Our Regt. traveled around a considerable we went from Bowling Green to Lebanon by rail road was there two days, then all those that were able to stand marching got ready & we started after the rebs marched two days after them but did not find them after all, the first day we marched 30 miles to a town called Danville & stayed in a nice church A place very acceptable after so long a days march, the next day w made 18, miles arrived at halls gap & encamped for the night. At this place the pike passes through & over a high chain of hills at this place. they are a good deal higher than Ed, Hill. so they are I thought I was pretty well up in the world till I saw some of the Rebs one especially. he is so tall that his head must be up where the cool breezes blow continually. At least I heard some of his shorter bretheren ask him how the weather was up where he was. I did not hear him make any answer. I guess it was so far up to where he was he could not hear them Without any joking he must be nearly 8 feet in his stockings I believe   I left the 25th on the hill at the gap. I do not know as you can tell what I am trying to write about if I quit right in the middle of a story. but I hapened to think of that tall fellow so I spoke of him for fear I might forget it if I waited; We staid at the gap till the next day noon, when we got orders to march back to Lebanon it was the first day of april so you see the rebels April fooled us once, We marched back to Danville that day & slept in the church again We did not hurry ourselves on the remaining 30 miles arrived safe in camp after being gone 4 ½ days. Friday it was when we got back, saturday we received to go to Louisvill & sunday night found us here all safe and sound We are here to guard Rebel prisoners & to do provost duty in the City. When we came here there was over five hundred rebels in the prison we are guarding. theres been some four hundred of them sent to baltimore and from there to some point for exchange. 80 of Our Regiment have gone to guard them to Baltimore. I should like to have been one to have gone with but I did not hapen to be lucky enough The day before they were sent away I stood guard in the prison where Major Fitch was taking their names their rank & the name & number of the Regt to which they belonged, thats the time I saw the one that lives up above the rest of them taken them all together and they do not look much like Soldiers. No two of them hardly dressed alike some of them dressed in citizens clothes through out others with a pair of butternut pants or coat on as a general thing they were all midling well dressed for soldiers without uniform, but as it is getting late I shall have to close concerning the Rebs for this time, I was pleased to hear that hank & his woman were getting along so finely, hope they will always be so happy, I wrote to hank once, but have never got an answer. I thought I would not write to him again till I did, but I guess I shall have to get my best respects to you & all enquiring E. E. H                                 from your well wishes

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