In September, Edwin Hill has an opportunity to dash off a quick note to Ann Dewaters. Word spreads that mail will be sent out in a couple hours so he hurriedly writes a brief letter. He apparently used a curiously shaped piece of paper.
Hill notes that the unit is now in eastern Tennessee and that they are eating well because they go out daily and forage for food on nearby farms. On the day he wrote, David Coleman was out on a foraging mission.
Hill mentions that the unit has yet to encounter Confederate forces who are retreating before the Union advance. Hill hopes that when he next writes, the unit will be marching on the Confederate capital of Richmond Virginia.
Miss Ann Dewaters
Head Quarters 25th Mich
near Louden Tennesee
Sept. 14th 1863
Dear Friend Ann
we have just got news that there will be a chance to send out our mail at three oclock and it is after one now,, so I thought I would write you a short letter as it had been some time since I received yours of Aug 7thIt came to my hand at Jim Brown on the Cumberland Mountains while we were traveling over them your letter is the only one I have had since we left Louisville I was very glad to hear from you and that you are in health I am as well as usual to day so is all of the boys,, we are trying to enjoy ourselves the same as ever. some of us go out to a foraging every day for our own benefit and get potatoes apples pumpkins and most any thing else that is eatible. you see we believe in having a living as long as the Country affords it. David C. has gone out to day with our regimental teams a foraging. Well Ann we have got way down in East Tennesee but have not got a sight at the rebs yet. We were just 2 days late to get a peep at them at this place. Our Cavalry got in here just as the enemys rear guard was leaving the opposite side of the river (the Tennesee river) they burnt the rail road bridge across the river at this place It was a very nice one its 900 yards long and 50 feet above the water I understand that it cost a Million of dollars. We got the news this morning that Bragg has surrendered,, now I expect the next place you will hear of us will be on our way to Richmond as it is only 400 miles from here by rail road. Well ann this is a pretty short letter but I will try and lengthen it next time Except my respects and best wishes from your friend
Edwin E. Hill