Letter home to Eckford,   Dec 12/63

"...a going on after Longstreet ... plenty to eat now ...
Simpson was not shot"

The date is uncertain but I believe this letter was written on the 12th and 13th of Dec 63 because of the pursuit of Longstreet.
Longstreet stayed around Knoxville keeping Burnside engaged until he knew that General Sherman would be arriving soon with reinforcements. On December 4, Longstreet retreated, leaving Knoxville in Union hands where it would remain until the end of the war.
640312wow Page 1 (6381 C__ __)[too ornate to decypher?]

Head Quarters. 25th M
Knox. Cou. Tenn
Dear Friends

I now have the opportunity to write you a few lines    I am well and hope these few lines may find you the same    we ar on our way after the old fellow comenly called Longstreet.   We have camped here for a few days to rest and then we ar a going on after Longstreet    I recieved a letter from you the 9th mailed the 4 of Nov and one mailed I believe th 23 of Oct    one of them had some stamps and thread and they came very exceptible[acceptible?] for I had none of either and could not buy any stamps or thread    I suppose you have had the perticlers of the battle of Knoxville    the Mich boys suffered very much at that battle    young Davis had his leg shot off and poor Simpson I hear is ...

- end of page 1 -

James Longstreet, Lt.Gen. CSA
James Longstreet, Lt.Gen. CSA
... dead    I was told he was killed on the retreet fom Leenora[Lenoir?] to Knoxville    it is nothing more than a hearsay    the 9th corp ar in the advance when there is eny fighting to be D[?done]    they always send the Mich troops ahead for they ar the best fighting troops that they hav here    Charley is well as usial,   We hav plenty to eat now but we hav to forage it our selves    the other day one of my mess mates and my self went out after something to eat and we went to a rebles house and went to his barn and found plenty of pork and then we found plenty salt     we took about 150 pounds of pork and one sack salt and one bushel corn meal and s[since?]ce that[?] we have lived prety well    we start on the march in the morning    the boys ar all ancious to catch up ...

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640312wow Page 3 ... with old Longstreet
     David Berger and James Kincaid has just been out to make a raise of a little fresh pork and they got a prety good piece    I have not time to write much this time    I cannot say when this will go out the mail does not go out very often

afternoon of the 13

   I hav just heard that Simpson was not shot that it was an other man by the name of Clark that was killed,
I have just been out after some straw to make me a bed and when I came back I found the mail was a going out and I thought I would finish my letter    it sens[seems?] _oste like home to get where I can get letters from home and have a chance to send my letters out    it has been a long time since I had a chance to send letters out...

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640312wow Page 4 ... you spoke about my coming home on a furlow this winter    I think it is rather doubtful my coming home this winter    there is some talk about our being called back to Louisville Ky and if we should it is likly that I shall come home on a furlow    you spoke of sending me some things    it is imposible to send them now    they could not get over the mountains and if I had them now I could not carry them far    We ar marching all the time nearly    I cannot write as long a letter as you do for I have not got the paper    here is some raw cotton that picked out of the bur    thare was lots of it that the people went off and left it a standing and this picture is of the aslum[Asylum] Hospital that I was nurse in at Knoxville Tenn
give my best respects to all enquiring friends    please write soon    from   Wm O Wells

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edited by Peter J Wait, 5/10/2000