Wm O. Wells, age 18

Letter home to Eckford,   Jan 30/64

"a forageing" we will go,   a list of prices,
and the "Reble Red White and Blue" for Ida

640130wow page 1

January 30th 1864
Camp Near Knoxville Tenn
Dear Friends

I now take my pen in hand to inform you that I am Well and hope thease few lines may find you the same    I have just came back from a forageing    we had to go about 25 miles from here after forage    in the morning before we started there was a detail made for to go a foraging    and they got started out and was sent back for to get more men to go    and then our regt. was detailed to go    and so we went about 5 miles and we began to hear that there was rebs ahead    we came up to a wagon that had been sent after forage and the mules were gon and we found 4 of the boys dead    the rebs had found out that they were agoing after forage and they murdered them on the ...

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click here for an enlarged image
Environs of Knoxville seen from south bank of Tennessee River;
East Tennessee University in middle distance.
640130wow page 2

... road    and when we got to where our forage was the rebs got wind of where we was and they started 2 Bregads[brigades?] of rebs after us and we found out that they were after us and we started back on an other road    they after us as they suppose and we agoing to Camp as fast we could    we got into Canp safe and sound after three days hard marching    the name of the place where we went was the Big Valley on the Clinch River,

morning of the 1st Feb 64

not having time to finish my letter letter before I will try and finish it now    I believe thare is no news in camp this morning    I hav not herd from home since the 4th of Dec 63    Frank Chase had a letter from home a few days ago    his sister spoke of 2 of the Mumbrue Boys enlisting in the 8th Mich Ift    you just say to them if they ever come into East Tenn they must call on the 25th    I suppose they got Big Bountys ...

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640130wow page 3

... for enlisting, [I detect a note of envy here. I wonder if Wm got any bounty for enlisting and if so how much.]    you spoke about how high every thing was out thare in Mich    if you was to come down here and perch[purchase] a few things you would not think that things was high prised    I will just name over some of the prises    the first thing will be the prise of

  • salt   it is worth $1 a quart
  • corn meal   10cts a pound
  • sugar   80cts apound
  • coffee   $1 and ahalf apound
  • molases   $1 a quart and scarse at that,
  • writing paper   $1 a quir
  • envelopes   75cts a package
  • steel pens   5cts apiece
  • boots   from 16 to 35 dolars apair
  • some of the Boys went out in the country and got a little wiskey and they had to pay $3 and 75cts a quart you may believe thare is not many of the Boys eny the warse of liquor at that prise
I wish you would send me your Detroit paper    every weak I cannot get eny thing to read here    when you write again just say weather you hav got that money that I hav sent to you

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640130wow page 4 I must close for the present
the Boys ar all well and in fine spirits
write soon and Obliedg [obliege]
      William O. Wells

- marginalia -

Ida here is the Reble Red White and Blue that I will send to you

- end of marginalia -

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The following enclosure is not in Wm's hand and is much worn and stained as though carried for some time in a pocket. It is probably war booty.
facsimile of enclosure - 42447 Bytes
Reble Red White and Blue

Red White and Blue
  1.    On the banks of the Potomic thier's an army so grand
    Whos object's to subjugate Dixies fair land
       They thought they would split this great union in two
    And alter the colors of red white and blue

       Huzuh   Huzuh we are a nation that's true
    We'll stand by our colors of red white and blue

  2.    Our colors won simple and by them we'll stand
    And float from the Potomic to the great riogrand
       We are a nation that's gallant and true
    We'll stand by our colors of red white and blue


  3.    The year of sixty one on the tenth day of June
    Magruder at Bethel whiped out Picaune
       They began in the morning and fought until two
    When glory waved over the red white and blue


  4.    The morning of the twentyfirst day of J________
    A trip down to richmond the yanks th___
       They did not get far before back they all flew
    With their old union banner of red white and blue


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reverse - 1391 Bytes
reverse side

  1.    On the Plains of Manasses the yankees we met
    We gave them a whipping they'll never forget
       They started to Richmond but little they knew
    How rebels would fight for thier red white and blue


  2.    If you want to hear Greely and yankeedom roar
    Just mention the Mason and Slidell affair
        But when they got them theymade such todo
    But now they curse them and the red white and blue


  3.    They will never subdue us you can all see
    With Davis Bragg Beaureguard Johnston and Sea
       Magruder and others so gallent and true
    We'll all die defending the red white and blue


  4.    Oh the sweetest the happiest place upon Earth
    Dixie sweet Dixie the land of my Birth
        I love her I adore her and by her __ true
    And? stand by her Colours of red white and blue


    -((((.... The union forever Hurah ....))))-

- end of enclosure -

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Table of Contents | Wells Letters

edited by Peter J Wait, 5/8/2000