Camp at Tullahoma, Tennessee – April 21-22, 1863

Camp at Tullahoma,Tenn,1  Apl 21st, 1863.

Well Fanny Dear I write to you to night more to make you easy in your mind than to tell you any interesting news, war news I have none to tell you.  I have not been here long enough to get the ropes.  I arrived safe yesterday evening, too late to spread our tents so we slept on the ground.  The night was very pleasant.  to day has been very pleasant too + I got my tent fixed up all snug with a ditch round it.  I lost my cot on the trip, some rascally soldier stole it.  I have an oil cloth, an old piano cover, I got in Mobile, I spread that on the ground put my mattress on it.  it prevents the moisture from getting to my bed clothes. + if it was not for the spiders + bugs I would not care a straw for a cot or bedstead.

The big fight is not looked for for a week or two yet, though it may come off any day.

Every thing is in confusion our brigade is to be reorganized.  The secretary of war issued an order some time ago allowing the troops from the same state to be together when ever it could be done without injury to the Service.  The 19 La has been transferred to a La brigade I reckon my little Battalion will be put into a Ga Brigade.  our Col says we will return to Mobile as soon as the fight is over, perhaps before, but it is all guess work.  These things are known only to the big Genls.  My next letter may be written in Mobile may be Nashville or no telling where. a soldier never sees but a few days ahead.  I heard to day that our brigade would move to the front as soon as organized, in the neighbourhood of Shelbyville some 18 or 20 miles from this place.  The big fight is not looked for for a week or two yet, though it may come off any day.  There is skirmishing every day along the whole line.  Yankee prisoners are brought in here every day.  Every one speaks of the coming fight as the big one. I am told there are near 100,000 men on each side, if this be true it will be a grand affair sure enough.

Apl 22nd I was interrupted just here last night + have not been able to resume till now.  This evening your letter of Mch 26. came to hand.  I was delighted to get it for I was getting anxious to hear from you.  I am so thankful to know that you are alive + well.  I am sorry to hear of Allens misfortunes, it is rather unusual for whooping cough to be so fatal.  

Dont allow yourself to be troubled because I dont get a furlough.  I thought I would wait until the press was over + then get a long one I could not get one now for more than 20 days + it would take me all of that to go + come.  Have patience darling I will be along one of these days in good time.  You cant think how it reconciles me to the separation to know that you have plenty to go on + are living well.  I am not living quite so well as you imagine, we are in the field now.  how I miss the many little conveniencies of my old camp.  We will rough it from this out.  I am sitting on my ___ on my bed + it on the ground, with a knapsack for a writing table I soon got tired sitting tailor fashion.  I am sory dear you cant become reconciled to the loss of dear little Fanny.  I too think of her, often but never allow myself to grieve because she was taken from us.  I know there is a great difference in our feelings in her case.  You knew her so much longer + better than I did.  But still my dear you should not allow yourself to repine at what our Father thought best for us.  Be [resigned?]  + thankful or He may take more of them from us.

The Medical Purveyors are calling on the ladies to raise the popy flower so we can make our own opium. 

I find I did not send you the water melon seed sure enough.  I send them now.  Dig a hole about a foot deep + put in a shovelful of manure + cover it up + plant the seed on it.  The Medical Purveyors are calling on the ladies to raise the popy flower so we can make our own opium.  I wish the people would turn their attention to these things more.  nothing would be easier than for us to make our own opium + Castor oil.  Opium is now worth $100.00 a pound + oil $30.00 a gallon, + very little to be had at that.  Tell Maj he is not half as anxious to see me as I am to see him.  There is no war news of importance.  I have no idea when active operations will commence here.  I dont care how soon, if we can be successful

where do you have your school room?  How I would like to pop in + See you play the mistress.  Go ahead + teach the dear brats all you can.  You can teach them for several years as well as any body.  I want them all to be good scholars.  Use your own judgement  about the crop my dear the quantity of corn + cotton.  I will write often + keep you posted as well as I can.  Love to all enquiring friends + believe me your own old

Alex.

The Letter:

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