Esteemed Friend

This second letter from Ed Hill, written three months after the previous one, indicates that his unit is still in Louisville on prison duty. He does mention at the end that there is a rumor that several brigades from nearby states are to be combined under Col. Orlando H. Moore, who was the commander of the 25th Michigan. If that proves true, Hill feels that the new unit will be moving elsewhere shortly.

Hill’s letter is interesting for the more philosophical tone it takes in discussing the reasons for the war and the sacrifices that the men are called on to make. He recognizes that many have died and many more are likely to do so. He hopes that if he is killed in action, he does so in the defense of his country.

At the end, he adds a postscript in which he indicates that he spent the recent Fourth of July holiday on guard duty. He doesn’t mention, however, that on that day several companies of the 25th Michigan under the command of Col. Moore fought a critical battle on the Green River. Known as the Battle of Tebbs Bend, Moore’s 200 men held off the much larger forces of Gen. John Morgan. Although overlooked in many histories of the war because it occurred on the very same days as the Battle of Gettysburg and the capture of Vicksburg, the Battle of Tebbs Bend is seen as critical in preventing Louisville from falling into Confederate hands. Hill, however, was not among those who fought in that battle.

Miss Ann Dewaters
Kalamazoo
Michigan

 

                                                                Military Prison
                                                                                Louisville Ky.
                                                               July 26th 1863

 

                                Esteemed Friend,

I will try and improve the present opportunity to answer your kind letter of July 17th It came to my hand on the 22 d inst, Ann you do not know how glad I was to hear from you for it had been a long time since I had received a letter from any one from Oshtemo,, I am sorry you was so tired when you wrote me but you know it is war times now, and we all have to work hard some of the time, we thought so when we was going to Danville when we was marching fourteen or fifteen miles in four or five hours, but those are times that have passed, I am glad to hear that you are still in good health (for health is truly a great blessing), you must keep up good courage for the war is not going to last always and perhaps Tip with all the rest of the Oshtemo boys will return to their homes to reap the reward that ought to be in store for them, Likewise every soldier that has left his home and friends to go forth and fight the battles of his beloved Country, but how many many have sacrificed their lives that our liberties might be secured to us and still there is thousands upon thousands yet to be sacrificed but what they shall be made secure to us, but perhaps before that time shall come there will be many more of the brave 25th  lain beneath the sod,, It may be that your humble correspondent will be one of the many to fall,, if that is my fate I hope I may be found at my post as it becometh a true and worthy Soldier in the defence of his Country, but to something else I believe most of our boys are well with the exception of a number that have pretty sore eyes, Vine has been having painful sore eyes since he got back from Mich,, he had not been back more than two or three days before his eyes were so bad that he had to stay in a dark room and has had to stay there most of the time since a few days ago he thought they were well enough so he could be out and walk around some, he was up here once or twice,, but some how or other he took could [i.e., took cold] in them and they are as bad as ever now, but I hope they will speedily heal for it must be awful to be thus afflicted, I guss it did not agree wtih him to go home was out perhaps to much nights for his good. Oh, Ann how does Albert prosper now days, There is a story in camp to day that we are Brigaded with a Ky. an Indianna and an Ohio Regt and Col. Moore is the Commander of the Brigade, if so we will soon be out of this place, so when you next hear from me I will be in some other quarter. Now write as soon as You can. from Your friend. Ed

[Written vertically]
I forgot to tell you how
I spent the 4th
I was guarding rebs
all day so you see
I spent it in the
service of my
country
you see I have a
good deal of
patriotism
dont you

E. E. H.

 

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