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Kehrwecker Family Papers - MS 641

Transcripts: Frederick to John | Transcript List

Sept. 1, 1861
[Camp Chase, Ohio]

Dear Brother,

We are now mustered into service. We were mustered-in yesterday, all except one man, he being lame. His name is Camel. We have now everything arranged in our quarters. Our meals consist of coffee, sugar, beans, meat, bread & crackers, of which we have plenty.

We belong the 31st Reg. and the name of our com. is E. There are said to be now in our camp about 1500 men. The 20th Reg. is ordered to leave this evening, so we are told we will stay here about 3 or 4 weeks and wee will not get our uniforms until our Reg. is full. Therefore, I would like to have you to send me a couple of shirts and a pair of stockings and a carpet sack, so that I can put my writing paper, ink, etc. I have my paper in coat pocket, where it was all mussed up. You can send it down with John Rhodes or any one else that will come down. Please send me the Cardington paper, so that I can read the news and know what is going on. I have no more at present.

With respect to all of you.

Frederick Kehrwecker

Sept. 9, 1861
[Camp Chase, Ohio]

Dear Brother,

I have taken my pen in my hand to let you know that I am well and hope that you are all the same. We have now received a part of our uniform, viz., the cap, shoes, and two pair of stockings, pantelloons, two coats (over and under coat). The rest we will get in a day or two. We will probably not start away this week. Two companies have started last week. There are now about 1500 soldiers in camp.

There are some of our Co. sick. Two that are in the hospital. Their names Luther Shaw and Major Frost, a brother to Ed Frost. There has been quite a number down to visit us since we have been here. I will come up this week if we will not start off. I thought I would send some of my clothes up and the carpet sack with Edward Kirk. He is going up on a furlough in the morning and leave it to Feidlers. I have no more to write at present.

Respectfully yours,
Frederick Kehrwecker

Care of Capt. Rose
31st Reg.
Camp Chase, Ohio

Sept. 21, 1861
[Camp Chase, Ohio]

Dear Brother,

I received your letter today. I am well at present. Capt. Rose has just come with four or five recruits. Our Com. has not yet started away and I don't think it will start away before the middle of next week. We are now armed and equiped and ready for a march.

We have had a considerable fuss in our camp a few days ago. There were no less than 24 of our Com. put in the guard house for going out of camp to the city after night and last night there was a soldier shot for trying to break guard (he was not killed) and another guard shot one of his fingers off by playing with his gun. There were 7 rebels broght into camp today and there are now over one hundred rebels in the prison.

I received a letter from George Renz this week. They are all well. Dud Barr and Jock May and came down here last monday and I sent my coat with them because I could not carry it with me. I have no more at present.

With respect, your brother
Frederick Kehrwecker

Sept. 26, 1861
[Camp Chase, Ohio]

Dear Brother,

I have taken my pen in my hand to let you know that I am well and hope that you are all the same. We are now ordered to march tomorrow at 2 o'clock, but where we will go we do not know.

Yesterday we fought a sham battle. Our Reg. fought against the cavalry. They made three charges against us, but they were repulsed every time. We fired three rounds at them with blank cartriges. Our whole Reg. was in line of battle, but when our Col. saw that the cavelry were coming upon us, he formed a hollow square on the doble quick and our Co. were right in front of the cavelry. Gov. Dennison and his staff were here to see our maneuvers and he also inspected us. The parade ground was strung with carriages and people from all parts of the surounding country to see the 31st Reg. make a display of her skill. It was a pleasant scene.

I understand that John Rhodes and O.D. [Orson D.] Merriman, A. Heinlin and Johnny Groves and also Michael Denton have all enlisted for the war [Co. B, 43rd O.V.I.], which I am glad to hear. But I should have been more glad if they were in this Co. And I also hear that they are going to start away next week, I supose for this camp. I saw Mr. Robert Rhodes this evening in this camp. He has been here about a week. He came from Marietta with a cavelry Co. to which he belongs. He is orderly seargent of his Co. He may be here two or three weeks yet. There were some more rebels brought in this camp this week. There are now about 150 in the prison.

Our Capt. has been out recruiting this week. He brought some from Delaware Co., it numbers about 90 now. The artillery Co. started out yesterday coming from Camp Dennison. We may go there ourselves for a while.

The weather has been pretty coald for a few days, but we have not had any frosts here yet. News came in this camp that a battle was fought in Lexington, Mo. in which four thousand of our troops were surrendered to the rebels, but our troops fought well.

I have no more to write at present. Whenever we come to a stopping place I will write to you imediately.

With respect to father, mother and to you all and also Crist and all the boys.

Frederick Kehrwecker

Care of Capt. Rose
31 Reg.
Camp Chase, Ohio

Thursday, Oct. 4, 1861
Garret Co., Ken.
[Camp Dick Robinson]

Dear Brother,

I have taken my pen in my hand to inform you that I am well and hope that you are all the same. We are now in Camp Dick Robinson, Garret Co. Kentucky. We started away from Camp Chase on the 27th of Sept., Friday, and started to Columbus where we staid till the next morning for Cin. We went through Camp Dennison and arrived at Cin. about 12 o'clock, where we got off the cars and marched through the streets. The people cheered us very much as we passed them. They prepared us one of the best dinners that we had since we left home. Some of them gave us money. I got some myself. We then marched to the orphan asylum where we staid two days. The building is a large four-story house, opposite the Catholic Church.

We started away from Cin. on Monday evening and marched down to the river. The streets were all well lighted. Large fires were built and fire works were displayed. We then crossed the river on a boat. We then landed in Covington, Ky, where we got on board of the cars and rode all that night and the next day till noon. The cars that we rode on were nice cattle cars with temporary seats in them. The country that we passed through is very hilly and a great many curve in it. We passed through one tunnel. We passed through Lexington and left the cars at a town called Nicholsville. We there went out into a grove and spent the afternoon and in the evening we started for our camp, a distance of 18 miles. Went on till about 9 o'clock and got about half ways where stoped and camped for the night. Some of our boys got so tired that they laid down in the road.

We then started from there yesterday morning and came on to the camp. There are now about 7 or 8 thousand in camp here, a couple Reg. from Ohio and some from this state and about 1500 from Tennessee, that stole thier way from that state. They are all hearty looking chaps. We are about 200 miles from Cincinnati and about 100 miles from the line of Tennessee. The country around here is very beautiful. It is the best country that I ever saw. We saw a great many darkies...[REST OF LETTER MISSING]

Wednesday, Oct. 16, 1861
Camp Dick Robinson
Garrard Co., Ky.

Dear Brother,

I received your letter last evening. It was brought by L.M. Cunard and I also received the postage stamps and that gold dollar that Father sent me, for which I feel very thankful. I am well at present and hope that you are all the same. We have now been two weeks in this camp and have not got into a battle yet. Our boys all felt very courageous when they first came here, because they thought they would get into a battle which they would very well like, but there is no prospect of one until we move farther south. But we will stay here at least one week.

Gen. Mitchel inspected us a few days ago when we were on battalion drill and he said that we were the best drilld in our brigade. Our brigade consists of two Tenn. Regiments and ourselves. There are nearly two thousand Tenniseans in this camp and there are more coming every day. Gen. Anderson and Senator Johnson from Tenn. came to visit us a few days ago and made some remarks. We have some new officers, a Lieut. Col. He is an Englishman and is the best drilled man in camp. They all like him very well and and another staff officer. We have nearly all good officers.

We all thought that we were going to have a battle the other evening. Immediately after roll call an alarm was given to fall in ranks and the long roll commenced beatting on the parade ground. Some of them were in bed and in less than ten minutes the whole battalion was formed quicker than it ever was formed before. We were then marched off about 300 yds from the parade ground and countermarched and came back to our quarters. Our Col. was very well pleased. He said that our Reg. increased most wonderfully and last night another alarm was given. Our pickets were fired into by a party of eight men, but as far as I can learn none of them got hurt. We heard the firing from the camp and a certain number of each Co. were detailed for to go out and quell the disturbance, but they all wanted to go. Some of them broke guard and said they would go anyhow, but the rebels made their escape before we reached them, so the fun was all over with.

I have no more at present. I send my best respects to you all.

Frederick Kehrwecker

Care of Capt. Rose
31st Reg. O.V.M.
Camp Dick Robinson, Ky.

Nov. 16, 1861
Camp Dick Robinson, Ky.

Dear Brother,

I have taken my pen in my hand to inform you that I am well and hoping that you are all the same. I received your letter last evening, which was dated Nov. 11th and also the stamps, that were in it. We are still at this camp and do not know when we will move away, although our Co. is going to guard the Bridge over the Ky. River and we will start away next Tues. if we stay that length of time in this camp. We have to go there and relieve another Co. out of our Reg., which has been there a week. It is six miles disdant from camp and it is a large bridge.

We learn that all the Regiments that left this camp some time previous are now back at Crab Orchard, a distance of 22 miles from this camp and that they were coming back to this camp, but for what reason I do not know. They had been down near the Cumberland Gap, where Zolachofer is said to be now. The reason is probably that they intend to strike a different course into Tenn.

The commissary stores have nearly all been taken back to Nicholsville. Our Reg. has been breaking mules for the last 3 or 4 weeks. They have broken nearly a hundred and have done a great deal of teaming for the other regiments, so that we have not drilled much. We only drill once a day and sometimes not any. We don't have anything else but Battalion drills now. We have to stand guard every three days. I stood guard yesterday and last night and the night before last I was out with a scouting party. It consisted of 8 or 10 men and was commanded by our sergeant major, who is a well drilled man. We were all from Co.E and we started out about 8 o'clock and were gone about 2 hours, but returned without any prisoners. Neither did we see any, but we got one a few days ago, who was going passed our camp and was shouting for Jeff Davis at same time being about half tite. A squad of men were imediately sent after and he was brought in camp and put in the guard house, where he was kept until the next day. He was then handcuffed and sent to Nicholsville or Lexington. He will probably from there be sent to Camp Chase or some other safe place.

The health of our Reg. is pretty good. There are some sick and some that have been sick, but have recovered. There has none died yet, while the Kentuckians and Tennesseans have been dying all around us. The weather here today is quite cold. We had a heavy frost last night, but it has been quite warm a few days ago. We have Meeting here this afternoon at 3 o'clock and tomorrow at 11 clock. They will take the Lords Supper. All members of churches are invited to take part.

I believe I have no more at present. I learn from your letter that you have dedicated the new house and are now living in it. David Wieder has been discharged from service on account of his health and Lieut. Reed has gone home on a furlough on account of his health. Our orderly sargeant has not come back yet. I send my best respects to you all. I suppose you know the address.

Frederick Kehrwecker

Nov. 27, 1861
Camp Dick Robinson, Ky.

Dear Brother,

I have taken my pen in my hand to inform you that I am well and hope that you are all the same. I have not received any letter from you since I wrote my last letter. We have now received one pay from the time we were sworn in to the 1st of Nov., which is two months and 4 days. We were sworn in on the 28th of Aug. I received 27 dollars and 70 cents. We get payed again from the first part of Nov., the first of Jan, which is two months, but we have to wait till Jan. I sent twenty dollars home today by express. I did not pay the postage on it. You can take out of the twenty dollars what I owe you and the rest you can give to father or you can give it all to father if you want to. I am going to keep the other yet. I do not know how I may need it. I have 7 dollars left.

We are still at this camp, but our officers thinks that we will move away in few days. Our Co. has been guarding the Bridge over the Ky. River last week. It is a large Bridge. It is three hundred feet long & has two large stone butments and it cost the government 80 thousand dollars.

The weather is very rainy now. We had very heavy thundershowers last night and this morning the ground was almost coverd with water. Last Sunday we had the first snow. It was pretty cold.

I have no more at present. Please answer this letter as soon as you get it, so that I know whether you received that money or not.

I send my best respects to you all.

Frederick Kehrwecker

Camp Dick Robinson, Ky.
31st Reg. O.V.M.
Care of Capt. Rose

P.S. We receive another blanket a piece today.

Camp Dick Robinson
Dec. 12, 1861

Dear Brother,

I have taken my pen in hand to inform you that I am well and hope that you are all the same. I received your last letter a week ago today and I received another before that and also the Tribune. The money that I sent you I did not pay the exchange on it, which would have cost 75 cents here. Lieut. Reed is now here. He came yesterday and John Andrews also came with him and brought Sam Kain and Luther Shaw. They have not done anything with them yet. John Andrews is going back today with our sesesh prisoners which we caught, about 15 in number. He will probably take them to Camp Chase. Our Regt. has started today for Somerset, where they expect to battle with Zolacopher, and our Co. is again detailed to stay here and guard the Ky. Bridge. Lieut. Reed is now commanding our Co. Stiles and Capt. Rose are both sick yet. Jacob Sherman was put in the guard house for splitting black oak. He was catched at it by the Col. He was very much boared by the boys.

The weather now is very pleasant and has been for a week, but we have had cold weather. The people here say that they have not had much cold weather for five years. If it does not get any colder we can stand it first rate, for we will probably not get any winter quarters.

I suppose Fred Renz got a song book which I sent him. I have no more at present. I send my best respects to you all.

Frederick Kehrwecker
Camp Dick Robinson, Ky.
31st Regt. O.V.M.
Care of Capt Rose
Co.E

P.S. I bought me a pair of Ky. boots for four dollars and some gloves that I paid one dollar.

Jan. 1, 1862
Bones Knob, Ky.

Dear Brother,

I have again taken my pen in my hand to let you know that I am well and hope that you are all the same. I received one letter from you since I wrote my last letter, which was dated Dec. 9th, 1861. Our Capt. is now dead. He died last Thursday and also Jacob Sherman. He died yesterday morning. There are others that are quite sick, but they all seem to get better. John Richards is going home this morning with the corpse and if you have anything to send me you can send it down with him. If you can, send me a pair of woolen pants and couple pair of socks. You need not send me any gloves, I have a pair, and send me a comforter. I am not in the need of anything else.

Our Reg. is now at Somerset. We shall probably stay here all winter to guard the bridge over the Ky. River. The weather has been very pleasant here for a month and today it is quite warm and looks much like rain.

I have no more at present. I send my best respects to you all.

Frederick Kehrwecker.
Camp Dick Robinson
31st Reg. O.V.M.
Care of Lieut. Reed
Kentucky

Jan. 17, 1862
Boones Knob, Ky.

Dear Brother,

I received your letter yesterday and I also received the Tribune last Saturday. I am well and hope that you are the same. Our sick are now nearly all well. Henry Tucker is pretty sick yet, but he is getting better.

The 16th Ohio Reg. passed through here a few days ago and there were two in the Reg. that I knew, Joseph Carpenter and Sam Fisher, and there were about 10 that Josie Orr knew.

John Richards has not yet come.

Yours respectfully,

Frederick Kehrwecker

Address Jessiman
Garrard Co., Ky.

Boones Knob, Ky.
Jan. 20, 1862

Dear Brother,

I received the clothes that were sent to me, but no letter. There were the woolen pants, comforter, and two pair of socks, darning needle, and a ball of yarn and thread. There were a great many things sent to the Co. The box weighed over three hundred. I am well at present and hope that you are all the same.

We are still at the Bridge and we will be very apt to stay here at least one month yet. We have no late news from Reg. They are at Somerset and they are expecting a fight. They say that they have old Zolacofer almost surrounded and he will either have to fight or surrender.

The weather is very warm and rainy. The river has raised very high, but it is now falling. It is now here forty feet deep. We have good quarters now and have first rate times. We do not drill any at all and we have our rations cooked at ten cts. a week and have plenty to eat. I now weigh 190. There are but few sick. Tucker is the only one that is very sick and he is getting better. The rest are all so that they can be around.

I received a letter from you last week and answered it and I was in a hurry in writing, so as to have it put in the post office before the stage came along, so I had no paper handy, so I just took a receipt that I had and I also put a little bit of cedar brush that I got off of Boones Knob.

John Richards arrived last Friday evening. Our Capt. has not yet come and Lieut. Reed is commanding the Co. alone. Bill Brown received a letter from James Rhodes and that he is at Louisville. Tell Fred Renz that I received his letter and that will answer it soon. I have no more at present. I send my best respects to you all.

Frederick Kehrwecker

Address Jessiman
Garrard Co., Ky.

Boones Knob, Ky.
Feb. 4, 1862

Dear Brother,

I received your letter last Saturday and have also received several papers. I am well and hope that you are all the same. We have now got a Capt. He is now here in command of us. His name is M.B.W. Harmon. He is from Delaware Co., where the Delaware boys are from. He has a brother in our Co. and he is a well drilled man and he is now the best Capt. in the Reg. We are still here at the Bridge, but we will move either tomorrow or next day down to where our Regt. is. It is by this time in Tenn. we will get relieved by a Co. from the 33rd Ind. Regt.

There are but few sick in our Co. now. We have had first rate times here at the Bridge. You need not mind sending any papers, for we get the news every day in the Commercial, unless you want to. I have plenty of time to read them.

I have no more to write this. When we come to a stopping place again I will write.

Direct your letters after this to:

Frederick Kehrwecker
Camp near Somerset
31st Regt. O.V.M.
Care of Capt. Harmon
Co.E, Ky.

I send my best respects.

Fredericksburg, Ky.
Feb. 20, 1862

Dear Brother,

I have again taken my pen in hand to let you know that I am well with the exceptions of a bad cold, and I hope that you are all the same. We are camping tonight in a little town called Fredericksburg, in Washington Co., along the beach fork of Salt River. We started away from the Ky. Bridge a week ago last Friday and we marched 33 miles towards Somerset. We then heard that our whole brigade was coming back, so we camped in the woods 3 days till the Regt. cam along. We had no tents, so we just built small shantees and built large fires in front of them and got along first rate. We returned our old tents and we have now the Cibley tents which are much better. They are fixed so that we can build fires in them.

The roads between Crab Orchard and Somerset are very bad, the mud in some places is so deep that you could not see any of the wagons excepting the box. We passed through Lebanon yesterday and it rained very hard. While we were on the march the streams had risen very high and some places we waded in the water knee deep, but today it has been much better. We marched 15 miles. We passed through a town called Springfield. I have nothing more to write. When you write, direct to:

Louisville, Ky.
31st Reg. O.V.M.
Care of Capt. Harmon
Co. E

When you write please send me some stamps. We expected our pay, but we have not got it yet. I send my respects to you all.

Frederick Kehrwecker

Nashville, Tenn.
Mar. 5, 1862

Dear Brother,

I received your letter a week ago today. I am well and hope that you are all the same. We are now 4 miles west of Nashville, Tenn. We started away from Bardstown a week ago last Monday, which is 39 miles from Louisville, and we marched it in two days. The 2nd day we marched 27 miles and got on board of the steamer Magnolia in the evening, but we did not start away till the next day in the afternoon.

We loaded everything on the boat. Wagons, horses, provisions, and all the 12th Ky. Regt. started away with us, their boat being fastened to ours and Gen. Schoepf and his staff were on our boat. When we had got down the river a distance of 30 miles we stoped and landed on the Ind. shore and cooked several days rations, and the next morning at 4 o'clock we again started down the river and when we had got several miles an accident occured. The steamer Forest Queen being fastened to ours on the left ran into a tree top and tore one of the pipes down and tore off the stern and 18 mules and horses were lost. I stood on the hurricane deck when it happened. The river was very high. It was full up to the top of the bank and the Cumberland was higher then it ever was known. Houses along the river were nearly all under water.

March 6th

I have again commenced writing after seeing the 3 Ohio Regt. I saw all of the boys except Charley Wood and Hallet Barber. They were left back to gard commissary stores. You can tell Renzes folks that I saw Henry Keeler. He is all right and the whole of the Co. likes him.

There are about 100,000 troops here. The stars and stripes are floating over the State House. The weather is cold and this morning there is quite a snow on the ground. We have now received our two months wages, $26, and I send you 15 dollars or a check from Col. Beattel on his bank in Cardington. I would have sent more, but I owed the Sutler some and I do not know how I may need it. Everything is dear here. A pair of boots costs 15 dollars, halfsoling $2.00, other things in proportion...

[REST OF LETTER MISSING]

Nashville, Tenn.
Mar. 17, 1862

Dear Brother,

I received your letter, which was dated Feb. 27th, and also the stamps. I am well and hope that you are the same. Lieut. Reed has resigned on account of his ill health and will probably go home tomorrow.

I sent you a letter about two weeks ago and also a check of $15 from Col. Beattel on his bank. I visited the 3rd Ohio about two weeks ago and it was thought by some of the boys that it would be the safest way. 3 or four others in our Co. done the same way. If the check is lost I can get another from Beattel and send it to you. If you received the letter and the check, write to me imediately, so that I may know.

The weather is quite pleasant today, but it has been quite disagreeable. The health of our Co. is not very good. W.R. Clark is not expected to live. We have no news of importance here. I have no more. Write soon.

Respectfully yours,
Frederick Kehrwecker

Nashville Tenn.
31st Regt. O.V.M.
Care of Capt. Harmon
Co.E

I also send you a few pictures which I got from our artist: the crossing of Fishing Creek and the preaching of Camp Dick Robinson

Camp near Clifton, Tenn.
Apr. 16, 1862

Dear Brother,

I received your letter the 14th, which was dated March 31st. I suppose that you think that we have been in that battle which was fought near Corinth, but we were 40 miles from it. According to all reports that we have heard, the battle was a dear one, the greatest one that ever was fought in America. It was reported at first that Gen. Beauregard was mortaly wounded, but it has since been contradicted and that Gens. Johnson, Lee, and Bragg were killed and our number in killed was 8000 and that of the enemys 15,000 and that we also took 91,000 prisoners. We cannot get any reliable reports. The rebels are said to be at Corinth 300,000 strong. Their whole force is said to be concentrated there and the number of our forces is 200,000 and our Gen. thinks that the war will be over in four weeks time if we whip them there. It will be the last battle and if we can not do it in four weeks time, we can not whip them at all. There are a great many of the rebels are deserting. We have two in our Co. that were in the rebel army. I should have said two in our Regt. that are mustered in, one in our Co. and one in Co.I. They say they that they have been badly treated.

We are now in Wayne Co., one mile from the Tenn. River, near a small town called Clifton. We are waiting for marching orders. We shall probably go up the Tenn. River. We have had some mudey roads to march through. Wagons were stuck all along the road, but the two last days we did not march any. We all rode in the Brigade wagons, but last Friday and Saturday we had to pry up the wagons that were stuck in the mud and sometimes we had to unload them and carry the baggage.

The weather for the last few days has been very pleasant, but last week it was quite rainy and cold. There is a great deal of sassafras growing through here. We have made a lot of tea from it.

I am well and hope that you are all the same. James Rose is now here with the Co. He is reduced to the ranks. The health of Co. is as usual. We have heard that Uriah Newton is dead. He died in the hospital at Columbia. I must close. I send my best respects.

Frederick Kehrwecker
Nashville, Tenn.
31st Regt. O.V.M.
Co. E
on the march

Camp near Shiloh, Tenn. battleground
Apr. 24, 1862

Dear Brother,

I have again taken my pen in hand to let you know that I am well and hope that you are all the same. I have not received any letter from you since I wrote my last letter, which was an answer to yours which was dated March 31st.

We were again paid off the day before yesterday. We received 26 dollars and today we are sending it home by Capt. Bowen of Co.B. He has resigned and shall probably start home tomorrow. He will take the money to Cincinnati and express it from there home. Our Co. sends 300 dollars. It was considered the safest way. We all send our money together in one package, so the express charges will be but little. The money will be sent in the care of old Judge Cunard. I am sending twenty dollars, still having five dollars left. The money may get home as soon as this letter.

We are now near the battle ground which was fought near Pittsburgh Landing. We passed over it yesterday. It was a pretty hard sight, trees were all scared up with bullet marks from the bottom to the top and a great many were cut off with cannon balls that were two feet thick. Some of the dead were poorly buried. In some places you could see their hands and faces sticking out of the ground and cartrides, boxes, belts, old gun barrels, and broken cannons were laying all over the ground. The rebel loss in killed and wounded are aid to be two to our one. Our loss in killed is said to be 800 and twice that number in wounded. I suppose that you have a truer statement than we have, because you have the papers to read.

We left Clinton last Saturday and sailed up the river on the steamer Edward Walsh to Pittsburgh Landing, a distance of 45 miles. It rained all day Saturday and nearly all day Sunday, so that it has made the roads quite muddy for our teams, but for the last few days the weather has been quite pleasant and rather cool We are now in the advance of our army and are expecting a battle. We are near the line of Miss. We were ordered last night to sleep with our clothes on and our cartridges boxes and belts and our muskets beside us, so that we could be ready in a moment should an attack be made and this morning just before daylight we ordered to form on the color line, but we were not ordered out. Several pickets fired their guns, which gave the alarm.

The health of our Co. is as usual. Lorenzo Rogers is quite sick. He was left back at Clifton. I have no more to write at present. I send my best respect. Please send me some stamps.

Frederick Kehrwecker
Camp near Shiloh, Tenn.
31st Regt. O.V.M.
Care of Capt. Harmon, Co.E

P.S. When you receive that money, send a letter and let me know.

Camp, Monterey, Miss.
May 11, 1862

Dear Brother,

I received your letter last Wednes., which was brought by I.M. Pancoast. I am well and hope that you are the same, but I was sorry to hear that you were nearly all unwell at the time that you wrote your letter and also that Christena was quite sick, but I hope that she may get well ere long.

We are now in the great state of Miss., about 6 miles from Corinth, near the line. The large battle which is daily expected has not taken place yet. Cannonading can be heard almost every day. In Gen. Popes division, which forms the left wing of the army, we are the center division. We are moving by degrees every day. The bad roads makes it impossible for our army to move faster than it does. If Gen. Beauregard does not evacuate Corinth, the battle cannot be postponed any longer than two or three days. We are ordered to be ready a moments warning and we have sixty round of cartridges. We have not got a new gun, which is called the Springfield rifle. It is said to be the best gun in the service. It carries the same sized ball that the Enfield do and will carry up 500 yds.

The weather is very fine. It is not so warm as I expected it would be here in the southern states at this time of the year. The nights are quite cool. The health of our Co. is now a great deal better than it has been. There are but few on the sick list. The country through here is looks very poor. About two thirds of it is woods. A few wheat fields, which is all headed out, and a few fields of cotton can be seen and also a few houses that are vacated. The water through here is very poor. Just now I heard another cannon.

I wrote a letter to you several weeks ago, but whether you got it or not I do not know. Were paid off several weeks ago and I sent twenty dollars by our Chaplain, who has resigned. Our Co. sent 500 dollars with him. He will leave it to old Judge Cunard, where you can get it. There will be no express charges.

I have no more at present. Respectfully yours.

Frederick Kehrwecker

Camp Monterey, Miss.
31st Regt. O.V.M.
Care of Capt. Harmon, Co.E
on the march

Camp near Corinth, Mississippi
May 29, 1862

Dear Brother,

I have not received any letter from you since I wrote last. I am well and hope that you are all the same. I suppose that this letter will not reach you until this battle is over, for all letters are said to be stoped at Savanah. So I might as well not write yet, but it may go through anyhow, for there is no telling whether there will be any fight or not.

Our army is advancing very slowly. We have been fortifying. Twice we advanced, a week ago yesterday, and drove in their pickets, and last Sunday we worked all day throwing up intrenchments expecting that the enemy would attack us, but they never came. They throwed some shells over in our camp, but without any effect. Our men returned the fire and we have now advanced again and threw up another intrenchment a mile ahead of the old one and we are again expecting to be attacked. We are now at least not more than a mile from the enemy. The pickets are continualy firing at each other. One man in our Regt. was killed and another wounded, but only slightly, which happened a few days ago while on picket. We have the news that the City of Richmond is taken and that Secretary Stanton has offered sixty thousand of Gen. McClellan's army for Gen. Halleck if the battle is to be delayed. According to what we can hear, Gen. Beauregard is almost surrounded. It is said that Gen. Mitchell has taken the last railroad which will cut off all of his supplies and he will soon be compelled to fight or surrender. They are said to live on half rations. Now our Capt. has gone out on a scouting expedition tonight and will probably learn something of the enemys position. We are now in Gen. Shermans division.

I have no more at present. Please write soon. I send my best respects.

Frederick Kehrwecker
Camp near Corinth, Miss.
31st, etc.

Camp near Corinth, Miss.
June 2, 1862

Dear Brother,

I received your letter, which was dated May 14th. I am well and hope that you are all the same. We are again payed off and I have sent twenty dollars home by Lieut. McCune. He belongs to the Gens. Staff and will start today. Our Co. sends over $500 with him. He will take the money to Columbus and express it from there to Cardington in the care of Judge Cunard, the same as our Chaplain has done. The money may reach you as soon as you get this letter and when you get it write and let me know.

The rebels have now all evacuated Corinth. They all left last Thursday night. Their locomotives could be heard distinctly all night and in the morning they blowed up their magazine, which gave our men some idea that they were evacuating. Gen. McCook then sent two of his regts., the 18th regulars and the 35th Ohio, as skirmishers in the direction of Corinth to ascertain whether they had evacuated or not. They found that the rebels had all left excepting some 6 or 7 hundred sick and they also took some prisoners. They left any amount of commissary stores, which our men took possession of. We came across part of the rebel camp and found flour, molasses, sugar, crackers, pork and mess beef, rice, beans, and camp equipage. They seemed to live better than we do and I also saw a metallic coffin, which was intended for some of their gens. They are said to be scattered and some of them have gone home. Our men are making no preparations to follow them. It is reported that our whole division will be sent to Washington and there into Maryland or eastern Virginia to put down gurilla warfare.

I have nothing more to write. Yours with respect.

Frederick Kehrwecker
Camp near Corinth, Miss.
31st, etc.

Camp near Corinth, Miss.
June 18, 1862

Dear Brother,

I received your letter, which was dated May 25th, several weeks ago, but have not answered it until now on account of being sick. I was sick two weeks in the regimental hospital. I had the fever, but I am now well again and with the regt. There are now quite a number of cases of fever. Two have died in our regt. within the past two weeks, but none in our Co. There are now only a few that are sick in our Co.

Lorenzo Rogers came to our regt. a few days ago. He came from Camp Dennison, where he staid two weeks after he left home. We are now camped two miles from Corinth. We shall probably stay here some length of time. We have heard the news that the rebels have sued for peace and that all the generals were ordered to Washington, both ours and the rebels, but for what purpose I do not know. I do not feel much like writing. I will therefore quit this time. When you send me another letter, please send some more stamps. I send my best respects.

Frederick Kehrwecker

Camp near Corinth, Miss.
31st Regt. O.V.M.
Care of Capt. Harmon
Co.E

Trinity Station, Ala.
July 22, 1862

Dear Brother,

I have again taken my pen in hand to let you know that I am well at present and truly hope that you are all the same. I received your letter, which was dated June 28th, but the Cardington paper I did not receive. I received the Cincinnati Daily Commercial and I also received a letter by Martin Reckenberger, which I answered. And the stamps and paper and envelopes and the two holders and steel pens and two cigars and the card which Dud Barr sent me, I also received. They was indeed quite a present to me. They came to me while I was sick in the hospital. You can tell Dud that the cigars I did not smoke on account of being sick, but I admire the prize very much and whenever an oportunity affords I will try and do the same to him.

Our Co. is now at Trinity Station, a distance of 35 miles from Tuscumbia and five miles from Decatur on the Memphis and Charlston railroad. We are guarding a water tank and bridge. The water tank was burned down by the rebels, but it is now almost rebuilt. They have formed themselves into guerilla parties and are continualy scouring the country, tearing up the railroad track and burning cotton whereever they can have a chance. We have been here several days. The country from Tuscumbia to this place is very nice. Theres an immense amount of corn planted and it all looks very well. It is nearly all in roasting ears now, but there is but little cotton planted and there is also plenty of fruit. The boys are getting plenty of ripe peaches and apples and also melons.

The weather is quite warm, but not so hot what we can stand it. Today it is cloudy and occasionaly it drizzles. We have just heard that our regt. was ordered to Huntsville and likely we will be ordered with them. If we go there I will write again.

I have no more to write at present. I send my best respects to you all and give any respects to Mr. & Mrs. Renz and also to Uncle Stevens and Aunt Charity. No more.

Frederick Kehrwecker.

Direct to Camp Tuscumbia, Alabama
31st, etc.
Camp Tuscumbia, Ala
31st Regt., O.V.M.
Care of Capt. Harmon, Co.E

Camp near Winchester, Tennessee
Aug. 6, 1862

Dear Brother,

I received your letter, which was dated July 29th. I was much surprised when I heard that you had enlisted for the war. I suppose that there will be work for you to do.

The rebels are playing thunder again. They have taken Corinth and Tuscumbia. Quite a number of sick were left back at Tuscumbia and I suppose they were all taken prisoners. There were some from our Co. there. William A. Brown is among one of them and I suppose that Decatur is also in their hands by this time.

An they also tried our Co. at Trinity, where we were guarding a railroad tank and a bridge, some two miles and a half from where we were quartered, but they did not succeed in doing it. We gave them quite a warm reception. They came in upon us while we were building breastworks and there was about on third of our Co. were absent, four that were on picket about one half mile from camp, and 6 were guarding the bridge which were not in the fight and as near as I can judge there nearly three hundred of them and they fired one whole volly into us before we saw them. We immediately droped our tools and sprang for our guns. The fight lasted about 15 or 20 minutes. They killed one of our men and wounded 11. Charles Cross of Delaware Co. was killed. Among the wounded are James Maxwell, Walter Case, Francis Conklin, Slocum Barge, Henry Rose, John Closson, Julius Lareaux, Willard Bennett, Nathan Herendieu, but they are all getting along fine. Some of them are able for duty and we killed 5 of the rebels and wounded some 8 or 10, so take it all into consideration we done excellent fighting. We did not get to fire more than two or three rounds apiece. They were armed with double barreled shotguns. The balls whistled quite freely around us. One buckshot just grazed the skin on the back of my hand. We captured three of their shotguns and also two rifles. The fight took place on the 25th of July.

I have not time to write any more this time. We are ordered to march tomorrow morning at 3 o'clock a distance of 15 miles. I saw Robert Rhodes today. He looks hearty and well. I am well at present and hope that you are all the same. I send my best respects to you all. Tell Caroline and Mary to write.

Frederick Kehrwecker

Camp near Winchester, Tenn.
31st Regt. O.V.M.
Care of Capt. Harmon, Co.E

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