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Fast Family Papers - MS 330

William Fast enlisted in Company K of the 102nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry on September 6, 1862 in Covington, Kentucky. Captured in action in Athens, Alabama on September 24, 1864, he spent some time in a prison camp in Cahawba, Alabama, was exchanged on April 22, 1865, and mustered out on May 20, 1865

William Fast Correspondence

May 7, 1864

Tullahoma Tenn
May 7th/ '64
Co K 102 Regt OVI

Mrs Amanda E Fast

Dear wife I seat myself this Saturday morning to write a few lines in answer to yours of Apr 28th which came to hand last Thursday evening. It found me reasonable well with some little exceptions. I was vaxionated [vaccinated] some six weeks ago last Thursday and I am scarcely able to get around now from the efects of it, I have running sore on my arm about the size of a quarter dollar and I feel the afects all over me, yet I have been on duty every day. I was somewhat frightened last Monday I felt so awful bad and I began to break out on my face and it burnt like fire, so I started for the doctor. I found the major in his tent, I got him to examin me and he pronounced it the -eraloid and I think that was it, there is some of the boys have it very light.

We have a very nice camp here, little a nicest camp that we have had since we left Clarksville. Our camp is in a small grove close by the fort, but I think that it is good not to remain here long they have relieved nearly all of our men that we have got strung along the RR so that it looks to me as though our chance was good for the front. Well it is my opinion that they will nead us all down there soon, and I am ready to go where ever ordered. I believed that I would rather be in the front than to be here in the rear doing guard duty. I heard directly from James yesterday G C McConnell came from there yesterday he sayes that he saw all the boys and they was all well, and that they had turned over their horses and gone into the fort and they expected to remain there til the war was over, they are now called the Garisoned Batery. Good luck to them.

Our boys came in from Cowan Station last night and Knauss was among them, when he came to my tent he handed me Olives likeness and he said that she was going to teach school at the center this summer. You cant imagine how it made me feel. To think that when I left home she wasn't any better than Alice was and now she has improoved so that she can teach, and whare is Alice but little better than she was when I left home, she mite of been just as or advansed as she is if had only taken the right course, nothing would give me more pleasure than to see her have a good education, and the boys I mean they should have an education, that is if I should live to get out of this army all right, for there is nothing like a good education especialy if a man is poor, when everything else fails him he can resort to an honorable position such as teaching or like manor.

I understand that malitia has been ordered out for a hundred days, I am glad of that I hope that they will take every man not leave one that is capable of baring arms. If they had of don that long go the war would have been at an end now. I understand that in Cleveland and other large citys that they are offering from five to eight hundred dollars for substatutes [substitutes] for a hundred days. I think if I was at home I would take some of them on that, that length of time is nothing by the side of eleven hundred and ten days, but my sheet is full and I must close for this time. Give my love to the boys and others that are worthy of it.

Yours as ever with respect
W.N. Fast

December 6, 1885

Dec 6/ 85

Napoleon Henry Co.

To the editor of the Blade

I was a Seargeant [Sergeant] in the 102 O.V.I. I was captured near Athens All[Alabama] in Sept 1864 and was taken to Cahawba Ala by way of Corinth Maradion [Meridian] and Selma. When I arrived at the prison pen oh god what a sight we had to look upon. Well I shant try to describe it more than to say that I remained til the water arose to the depth of from 18 inches to six feet deep all over the prison pen. I think it was on the sixth of March that they took about one third of us out. I was among the first squad to leave the prison pen. We went down the river to the mouth of the Tombigby [Tombigbee] we ran up that as far as well I dont know how far for I have forgotten names. Well we got across the country by the way of Jackson to Vicksburg. We lay there til after Lincon was assasanated about the 22 of April. We were run on to the Sultana just like a flock of sheep. We ran up the river and landed at Memphis the evening of the 26 the captain unloaded a cargo of shugar mooved up the river to the coal dock took on coal, from there mooved up the river about ten miles when it was about two oclock of the 27 of Apr[April] when the Sultana exploded one of her Boilers oh hod what a sight to behold, some colling [calling] for help, others preying [praying], some swaring [swearing] and some to mentin [mention] wives others their mothers in fact you could hear nearly everything. I was not throwed from the wreck I was on the herican [hurricane] deck back on the stern. The boat took fire allmost immediately so I was forced to slide down the fender guard and take the water for it. I will just say that I got a plank and was picked up at the city of Memphis.

I would like to hear from comrade James H Ashley again.

W.N. Fast

MS 330 - Fast Family Papers
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