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Rachel Stanton/Searles Family Papers - MS 597 mf: Transcripts

Correspondence - June - August 1863

From Alfred Searles, June 1, 1863

June 1st

Sunday afternoon and I will try to write a little more. It is a beautiful day. We have been having some fine showers and it has made it much pleasanter fur it has got verry dry and dirty. This forenoon we had inspection of arms and clotheng. Tomorrow we have grand review. Tomorrow we have such a review once a month and sometimes oftner, acording to the movement of the army.

I see by to days paper that Grant has not got Vicksburg yet, but he has them in tight quarters and tells them notheng but an unconditional surrender will do fur him. I see that Banks is a going to assist him and Brag is a falling back from our front. We expect they are a going to reinforce the rebs at Vicksburg, but I expect that if Brag falls back, that old Rosy will follow it up pirty sharp. We have 5 days rations ahead ready to march at an hours notice. I rather think that we shall stay here with our divishion to guard this place. They will be 2 divisions left here eny way and perhaps more. They is verry strong works here to protect the place and they is a large amount of provisions here. But we may be seaged here and need them, but I don't have no great fears of another battel here.

But I must stop fur a while, fur my head is so bad that I am not able to sit up all the time.

Sunday eavning

The day is past and gone, never to return again. The last Sabeth and day of May '63. And how has it been spent with us. Not verry pleasant with me. I have lain on my lone bed nearley all day with a high fever and nearly crazy with the head ache. Oh how much I would like to be away out of this hive of liveng men. That is all the comparison I can make of this imence army. It is never entireley still; they is that hum of bees, day and night. I should like to have a little quiet and the pleashurs or privelages and bountis of my yet free state, but I don't know how long you there are a going to enjoy peace and quiet. Fur it is beyond much questioneng that the time is limeted with England and France for us to put down this rebelion or they will ecknowledge the South as an independant nation. If they do interfere it will make a long protracted revilution. I don't think but what we can subjugate them in time, but it will yous up the whole of the presant generation in doing it. It stands every man of the north to make an imediate move and a determined stand to put this rebelion down. Come and assist us but for 4 short monthes now and we can clear every reb out of the land. Help of 4 monthes now will do us more good than 18 monthes here 6 months from this. We have their armis in a criticle position at the presant time and the thing is to follow up our positions that we now have them.

Men of the north you know not the amount of sins you are commiting in arguing the polittical question and not tryeng to relieve the fathers, sons, brothers that is a stemeng all kinds of hardships. As we stand a liveng wall betwene you and the wurst adversary you ever had. One who threatens to lay your lands waste, burn your buildings, plunder you all of your riches, turn your wives, daughters, children out of doors, housless, foodless, clothless...and the worst infamy and brutel outrages ever commited by man.

I say, here we stand a liveng wall to defend you and yours, And call upon our friends and neighbours to lend a hand to rilieve us from the triels and exposyours that we have been subjected to now fur 2 years. Won't you try to shurten our time, or must we stay, such as live, our full time and subject you to a draft then to fill your plans, fur such will be the case...but I must rest fur to night.

Monday evning, and I will try to fill this sheet fur the mail. I had a hard shake of the ague fur abut 5 hours last night and fever and head ache this fournoon anough to burst my head, but I have to stand it. But I shant a great while, fur I shall have to lay down to it. Addison is well. Notheng of interest is transpiring here. You will undoubtedly think this a curreous letter. Had I been well, I had calculated to of made a letter worth while reading, but my brain has been to confused with pain fur to cary my composition through. Conciquentley, you must excuse a poor letter. While I have limited to some facts, I could tell verry meny more truthes, but fur the presant perhaps it is better to be silent. Perhaps it will be better for me where I am and situated as I am. I hope these few lines may find you well with the rest of my friends. Oh, by the by, I will tell you that I saw old Jerry, your old horse, the other day. He was fat as a foal. He is rode by one of general Thomises aids. The old fellow got a good promotion fur an easy berth. We got no news from Grants army to day. I live betwene hope and fear about his sucess, but hop and pray fur his sucess in captureng their whole force their, but I must close fur this time. My best wishes and kind love to you all. I remain your son, Alf. D. Searls.

Please to write soon, now don't furget. Direct as before.
Ad got a letter from Chancy Miller yesterday which told of Ed Smiths death and your all being well.

From Addison Searles, June 5, 1863

Murfreesboro, Tenn
June 5, 1863

Dear Father,

Once again I try to answer your kind letter, which came to hand today bearing date of May 9. Your letter came to hand today and found me well and also Alford too.

I was glad to hear from home, for it has bin a long time since I heard from home. I got a letter from Marila yesterday and one from Clancy Miller day before yesterday. This day I have heard from home. Well father, you seam to think that I have slited you by not writing oftener. Now father, I have answered all of the letters that I have received from home and would like to have more to answer. You nead not think that I do not want to write to you, but would write to you oftener if I got more. You need not think that I have forgotten home, for there is not one day but what I think of home and would to God I could see home again. But I will have to wait till my time is out, if I should live. I have written to you before and sent you by Amos Polly some time ago and would write more if I had eny news to write, but I have bin here so long and writen the same thing so often that I cannot think of much to write and for some time back things have looked so dark and discoraging that I could not think to write. And the things do not look much beter at the presant time. And perhaps this month may take one or hundred of poor boys from this world for I expect to have another larg fight here before long. But I pray to God that our poor men may be spared. We have suferd a grate deal already. But this will not do for me to give up in dispare, for I have bin lead through one hard strugle and perhaps may be through another. But I would feel a great deal beter if Alford was not here to be exposed, for he has got a family to support and would be missed more than I should at home. But we will do our duty. I will stand the storm till the last, but when you get this do no worry about us both. We hav had fighting all day yesterday and we hav got five days rations in our haversacks and redy to march at a minutes warning. Perhaps we may be cald out before I get this letter finished, but I hope not.

Well father, I have bin to see a man hung today. He was hung for murder and ther will be another hung Wednesday. It looks hard to see a man lose his life just in his prime, but how many hundreds loos their lives almost evry day in the great stragle for freedom.

Well, you say that this war will have to be put down, but what will it benefit us poor soldiers to gane the day and loos our lives in so doing. This looks hard and then agane is it rite to be shooting fellow men? Is this right? I have don all that I could tords killing the rebels and will do so as long as my life is spard and my time last in the servis of the government.

From Alfred Searles, June 5, 1863

Murfreesboro, Tenn
June 5, 1863

Respected Parents,

Again have we been made glad by recieving another ever welcom letter from them that we love and hold most dear at home, first our parents, 2nd our brothers and sisters. We were pleased to read that you were all in comfortable health, which I have the pleashure to say that we both are pirty well at the presant time. I have no particular news to write eny more than we are begining to be pirty active now. Our front line have been a fighting for 2 days now. We can hear the boom of cannons pirty constant for the last 40 hours. I have not heard meny particulars. I know that they are a sending in prisoners all the time. Yesterday McCook's divishion took 8 pieces of artilery from the rebs, but they seem to of fell back today.

We have 8 days rations packed in our knapsacks and haversacks ready to march at a moments notice as reinforcements if needed, but I hardley think that we shall be needed this time, for I don't think they have force anouth to concentrate in our front to occupy more then 2 of our divishions to work at a time. It is verry evident to us that Bragg has sent a part of his force south to help the Vicksburg army.

I mailed a letter to you a day or 2 since and you must not expect much from me this time. I cannot talk aloud yet, but I begin to feel better and if I do not get eny more pull backs, I think I shall get along. I got a letter from Mary today of June first. She is not verry well. The children are pirty well. Hope these few lines will find you all well. Please to shove the conscription through, shove them into the army, don't take their money, for thes bought men are the very poorest soldiers we have in the field. They is no dependance to be put upon them.

Well, I suppose Addison has told you all the rest, so I will close. We are a having quite a weat time for the past few days, verry growing weather, warm and weat. Please to ask mother if she wants my place for what I gave for it and I will throw in my improvements and house. Tell me when you write. Tell mother to write to me. I hate to loos all that I have done and paid upon it, but I have got to do something, for the article expires in September and I suppose I have got to do something about it before a great while. Please to write to me at the earliest possible time, for I am a going to write to Huffman now soon, but I would like to hear from you first. Good day, my best wishes to all, hoping to hear from you all at the verry earliest oppertunity.

I remain as ever, your son, Alfred D. Searls. To his parents, E.G. & M. Searls. Direct as yousiel.

I suppose you will rember this day takes me out of my 20's.

From Alfred Searles, June 9, 1863

Murfreesboro, Tenn
June 9, 1863

To my Parents and Brothers and Sisters,

Again I will write a few lines to you, not in answer to letters, but it is a settled fact that we shall leave here verry soon. We are bound for Chattinooga I expect and another big battel is to be fought, and we as a regt. have got to help do the work. I sit to pen you these few lines to you, for perhaps it will be the last that I may ever permited to write to you. But I pray that my life may be spared yet to write meny times to you, and yet visit you again upon this earth of triels and troubles. Father, in case I never return or should be cut off in this battel, I wish you to try and save what you can of my place for my family. If my life is spared, I shall write you again at the earliest oppertunity after we move. You need not stop writing at all, for the mail will be taken care of and we shall be glad after a long march and fight. I say we shall be glad to hear from our friends at home, for it is a great comfort to hear from them we love. It seems that it settel our ever wandering mind. I have no news to write to you.

Addison is well and my health is better and improveng, but I don't feel like taking 8 days rations and my clothes and starting upon a forced march. Grant seems to hold out good yet, but they is a strong fear felt of him that he and Banks will be defeated their yet, but I hope not. The health of our army is good and in fine spirits, but I think that some of the pluck will be taken out before meny days, for Bragg has got a good deal the largest force of men. They have 75,000 men in our front and we have not mor than 25 or 30 thousand at the most. Just about the differance that we fought them here, but we, we have got to encounter differant forts from what they had here. Here all they had was earth works, but in our front they is strong stone forts and rolling and mountaineous. But I must close fur this time. My love and respects to all the famely and friends. You write to us soon. Direct to Murfreesboro, Tenn and the letters will come all rite to me.

Good night to all, remember us when you read this. To my parents and brothers and sisters, I remain your son,

Alfred Searls.

I have no stamps to pay postage with, good by.

From Alfred Searles, June 20-21, 1863

Murfreesboro, Tenn
June 20, 1863

To my Parents,

Again have I had the pleashure of recieving and reading another ever welcom letter from you and we were pleased to know that you were all in comfortable health. Addison is quite well. My health is not at all good, but I am able to do all allotid duty, but at times it takes me to my utmost exertions and ambitians. I canot endure but a verry little fateague now. My lungs dos not seem to gain very much and my throat is all raw I believe and has been for a long time. I have not talked aloud now for near 6 weeks, but that dos not worry me as the soarness upon my lungs, for I do think if I have to endure another winters campaign in this climate, exposed to all kinds of weathers at eny and all times, that my sojourn, if permitted to live and die a natural death, will be but short, for I think it will terminate in consumption. Weather is verry warm and quite dusty, but we are a drilleng the hardest and steadiest we ever have. We are ahead of regulars. We have been for the past 2 months drilling the skirmish drill by company and battalian, but now we are drilling by divishions every afternoon and once a week corps, and as I am now it is the hardest work I ever done. No unfrequent thing to doublequick for two miles in changing fronts and different coarses of the battel lines and the hot sun upon us enough to broil the grees all out of a man. I am that weat when I get to camp nights that I can ring water out of my woolen pants and shirts. Last Mondy was a drill of the 14th Army Corps and there was 20 men killed by over exertion and heat; some died upon the field. But I must close for tonight.

Sunday morning, 21st. A fine morning and nothing new or strange has transpired through the night. I have never supposed for a moment that you could assist or aleviate us in eny way, mor than by your simpethy, but when I have written to you in eny way but to give you a corect situation of our condition, fur if we are sick you want to know it and if we are well you don't want us to say we are sick. But I never have told you or eny one the half of our stings or pains, fur it will do you no good. Conciquently we bare them with hopes that we may sirvive to be upon eaqual footing again with those that are now superior in powers, but inferior to very many of us when we are civilians. But I fear if we ever get into another battel, that they is very many officers that will never go through sound, if at all alive. I don't say this will be the case, but suppose for the rebs send their balls pirty straight and very careless at such times.

But they is another little item I wish to say a word about. You will know they has been thousands of doulars raised by aid sosites and donations to send to relieve the sick and wounded soldiers. Let me here say that not one doulars worth out of very meny dos ever come to the ones destinened for. Sometimes they do. You will see the thanks said to come from the soldiers in diferant hospitals and differant citys, but let me give you a little light upon that. The boxes and bundels and packages are put up, marked to such a place Hospital No. so and so, in care of sergeon so and so, and away they go. But the inviled, if marked to him, never sees this box or parcel. The sergeon or steward recieves the same, opens it and disposes it as he or they seem fit to act. He may take a small part of some trifling thing and give to the rite owner. He asks, is this all they has come for me, and he gets the reply it is, or that was not sent to you, it came in another package, sent to someone else. Then the day fellers that hang about such places, too lazy and to big a cowards to stay in ranks where they belong, they, I say secreet and yous for them selvs what belongs to another. What they cannot eat and ware them selvs they sell, and by the by they cary on a pirty good business. If you meet one of them upon the street or road you would think him some majur general by his dress, but he lacks the stars fur his badg of rank. I could enumerate anough to fill a volum, but perhaps I have said anouth again and I quit.

I see it is circulated in the northern print that the army here is now recieving supplies of vegitabels. It is fals, for they has not been in this whole department and too well I know it. I say they has not been but a verry few old potatoes ishued to the men in the field or camps, and they were very poor. We have drawn potatoes about a half dozen times this spring. We draw so that they is 3 small potatoes to a man once in 10 days. It is trew that they is vegitables of all kinds shiped to this place, but those that is raised in gardens by the convalessant soldiers and niggers is used up by the commanding officers, their families and assistants and them raised and brought here by citizens east and north of here are sold, and at what kind of prices I will tell you. Cabbage heads about the sise of a quart cup $0.25, squashes sise ditto, 25, onions 5 small ones fur 10 cents, redishes, 5 for 15 cents, they are small and all other things in proportion. So you can see that a man must be all mony to get eny thing.

I will here tell you something I have never told eny one. That the past 2 months I have paid $50 doulars out fur my self and I have eaten it myself and paid fur medisons and I could of put all I have had, everything, in a bushel basket. But well I know it has saved my miserable life, but it was money I had mad above my wages, extry, but I had the scurvy so bad that I have peald all over like a snake and it is not all out of my blood yet. This liveng for 18 months upon dry crackers and salt meat alone, where a man has never been yoused to it, they is no men that can live over 3 year at the farthest. Why it is with the communications that we have here in our own hands that they has or is not more vigitabels shiped from the north out of the abundance they is raised, but well I know we don't get them. Some of the boys that yous coffee get along better or seem to, but I cannot yous it, it makes me sick every time I drink it. I yous no shugar nor coffee. If I could have my dues upon them 2 articles, I would have a barrel of shugar and a sack of coffee, but that I loos.

Good day, my love to all, write soon.
Direct the same.
I remain as ever, your son, Alfred D. Searls.

From Addison Searles, June 1863

[FRAGMENT]
[June 1863]

Well, father, I will have to bring my letter to a close before long, for I guess it will take you all of the nite to read this scribbling. I suppose that Amos is at home by this time and he will tell you all the news and if you want to know what our rigiment is ask him or if we can do enything in this world or not. And we have got the prase of being the best rigiment in this department.

We have got the first class guns now, the five shotes. They are good guns, all as bright as the britest silver I alow you ever saw. The rebs do not like the looks of thes guns. We can stand before eny five rigiments that the rebs hav got and we can give them 5 ronds at wonce loading and if they can stand that they can do more than they hav dun here to fore. Our jenril says that we stood the most dretful charges of the war in the fight at Stons Rivr and they expect a grate deal from us in the next battel, should we be call upun agane. And when our troops have bin driven, then the reserves sent will have to stand the blunt of the fight. This is our pisition and was on the field at Stan Rivr and there was where we gaind our lorls and nevr will we loos them by shrinking from our duty. No, never as long as we hav got our cornel to lead us and then we have got a good captin. He lead us at Stans River and with his ane hands carid our baner through the rivr on Fridays fight when we made that disprit charg and this is where I follod him and all the rest of our boys then plunged in the watr up to the wast and folod us. There is where we drove the rebs from the guns and colors and gained the day and if God spars our life we will always do the same, push forward to the enemy.

Well father, I will bring my lettr to a close, so goodby from your son to his dear father, Mr. E.G. Searls. Give my love to mother and all of the rest.

Direct to Murfreesburo Tenn 21st rgt OVS Co. H in car of Cap Milo Caten, to follow the regiment.

Then write soon. So a long good by. Addison Searls.

From Alfred Searles, July 11, 1863

Deckard Station, Tenn
July 11, 1863

Dear Parents, Brothers, and Sisters,

Again thorugh the merces of an allwise God and the concent of man I have the privelage of writing or attempting to write to you to let you know what we are still upon the land of the liveng and enjoyeng pirty good health, but pirty well wore down with fateague, for it was very weat and warm. For 12 days we, none of us, had dry clothes, but with all the bad weather we have had pirty good luck, for we had the luck to whip the rebs by wit quicker and easier than to fight them. We have killed, wounded, and taken prisoners 10,000 men and they are a comming in and giveng them selvs up all the time in squads of from 5 to 25. I cannot give you eny particulars this time, for I have not the paper and a miserable rusty old pen and I don't feel like writing.

You have the news of the fall of Vicksburg and of the defeat of Lee in Pensylvania and you have more of a general account of our move than I can give, if I should try. I hope you are all well. We have the news here that George Buskirk is dead. Pleas to inform us if such be the case or not and ease our ancious minds.

The rebelion seems to be a going down, and may God hasten the day. We are perfectly ignorent of what is a going on in the world for the past 3 weeks. We have established a camp her. Perhaps we shall stay here a few weeks, but if we have got to go on I want to be a moving. But perhaps this is all for the best to stop here.

Chattinooga is reported evacuated by the rebs. If so, I don't know wher our next place will be that we are destined for. I hope we will never have to establish another camp in the southern states, but we may very well yet. But I must stop for this time.

Pleas to write soon and oblige us. I should not of written till I heard from you, but I thought you would be ancious to hear from us.

Give my respects to all and enquiring friends. With my best wishes and kind love to the whole famely. I subscribe myself as ever, your son, Alfred D. Searls.
Direct to Deckards Station, Tenn
21st Regt O V I Co H care Capt Caton
(and it will come)

From Addison Searles, July 11, 1863

Dechard Station, Tenn.
July 11, 1863

Dear Father,

Once more I will try to write a few lines to you to let you know that I am still alive and feel very well. Alford is well as usiel. We are in camp at Dechard Station about 60 mils from Murfreesboro and Probably will move on in a few days and perhaps before another month we will be in Chatanoga. The report is that the rebs have evacuated Chatanoga. We have cut old Braggs army up pirty bad, we have taken 1,000 prisiners since we left Murfreesboro. Perhaps this war will end this fall for the hole army is taken to flite. I have not got much news to write and but little paper and no invelops but when I git a letter from you I will try to answer all but I have not had one from you for some time so I will bring my letter to a close.

Pleas write soon, from your son, Addison Searls to his father Mr. E G Searls So good by

Direct to Dechard Station Tenn
21 Ohio regt Co H
in car of Capt Caton
to follow the regiment

We are in the third brigade - Second Division - 14 Army Core
Department of the Cumberlin
Third Brigard Commanded by Cornel Surwel

From Alfred Searles, July 19, 1863

Dechard Station, Tenn
July 19, 1863

Dear Parents,

Again we were made glad by recieving another letter from you and to hear that the famely was all well. But still they was sad news to us, fur there was no comfort to us in relieveng our minds about George. We had heard the same by 2 or 3 sourses, the same as you write about him. But still I was in hopes that he may turn out better. Yet there is so many fictious storis affloat about a battel. We all know about the soarces and results of that fight as well as meny others that we have participated in. We have had a tedeous time in driving them out of this mountaneous countery, but we have them all routed now and I think for good during this rebelion. The matter now stand in a shape that I think their fall cirtain, and that in a few month and I hope weeks or days.

But my friends, this sheet is all I have and you must excuse a short and poor letter. I recieved a letter from my famely last night. They were in midleng health, but they think you have all forgoten them. Mary says she has not had a letter from eny of you fur a long time. Ad is not very well now. He has a bad diareah. My health is midleng. I cannot talk nor never expect to again. But as to getting a discharge, I mite as well think of tryeng to fly and accomplish the end as try to get a discharge from the sirvice. My family does not know eny thing about it and I don't want them to.

As regards my land, let it go. If it goes back, let it. It will not be the first $150 doulars that I have lost and if they will take it, let them have it, for I cannot make eny payment upon it while I am in the sirvice. Fur it takes my wages to keep my famely with what I am obliged to youse. But my stay will be short upon this earth and after I am gone my children will have to labour to support themselvs to pay for my being gone in this hellish war. For the way the thing has been conducted I look upon one just as well as the other.

But I must close. Pleas to write soon. I cannot say when I shall write again. My respects to all and love to such as disirve it, for I have but little feelings left for meny of the people that now live in what is termed the free states and were I a single man I would not stay one hour in the United States longer than it would take me to travel out of them. They are welcome, or would be, to the torture, pain, and abuse inflicted upon me as a single indifidual. For the union army has been misyoused and well it has been know and is known now.

Farewell, I remain your son, A.D. Searls
Direct to Decherd Station, Tenn

From Mary Searles to E. G. Searles, July 25, 1863

Saturday night 25 [July 1863]

Dear Father,

As I have got to write to Alfred tomorrow, I thought I would write to you to night. I was very glad to hear from you. I had 2 letters from Alfred this week. They were both well. They had been marching 12 days. They were in the Cumberland Mountains. They have had a hard time of it. When he first wrote, he expected they were going on to Chatoonoga, but in the last he thought they should stay were there was a while. They were obliged to leave their knapsacks and all their things at Murfreesboro. He is afraid they will never get them. They have no clothes, only what they have wore ever since they started. He says they have had some pretty sharp fights, have taken a good many strong places, and have killed, wounded and taken prisoners over 7,000. He feels quite encouraged and thinks the war will close up this fall. Do you think so father?

You must write, he says, before you hear from him. He has no pappr or any writing apperatus, as there left them all in their knapsack and the sutlers goods have not come up with them yet. He borrow what he wrote to me on. Of his officers, he says Ad had a letter from Chancy a few days ago, witch brought the gloomy news of George, but he thinks likely he may be among the prisoners.

I will now answer some of your questions. Hannah is still at Morence. I have been there most all the week. She has 3 women learning the trade of her and she has more than they can all do. She often says how much she would like to come out there.

Wheat was midling good, oats look well, corn is backward and small in most places on acoun of dry weather, apples are very plentyfull. I ruther expect to move into fathers and have that midle room when my time is out here. We shal be as thick as three in a bed, but I don't know what els I can do. Our folks are well, but father is dreadfull lame.

Our county seat is going to be moved to Wasien. Right off they are selling lots there for 90 doller and a man has to build in then in less than one year. Folks say who ever buys will doubl their mony. Wasien is going to be a large place. I wish you would come and buy on the openings. Can't you and mother come out this fall? If you can come before I move frim here as I have room here to acomody my friends here. I shall move in a little over 2 months.

We have no Sundy School. Rose goes once in a while. The children send their love to all. I have not told you Mr. Jay is free from his wife. She left him before I come from there and sued for a bill and got it, but she is trying to strip him of his property. He has sold his farm and moved of of it. He has sold nearly evere thing he had. He send his best respect to you.

Give my love to all the famy and do write to me soon. Tell me all the news. With love, I am,
Mary Searls.

Do write

From Addison Searles, August 1, 1863, Dechard Station, Tennessee

Dechard Station, Tenn
Aug 1, 1863

Kind Father,

We received you kind letter today and was glad to hear from you. Your letter did not find me very well, but better than I have bin for some time. I have bin sick for two weaks, but I think that I shall be better now and hope to keep my helth while I stay in the servis. I hav not got much news to write this time. Alford will write all of the news. We do not get much male now days.

The drafted men that is in the field start for home in a few days. There is going to three comisiand officers and six noncom. to com home to guard the drafted men back. Who they will be is more than I can bet.

Well I guess that I will bring my letter to a close for this time.

Pleas to excuse me for this time. Pleas write soon.

Direct to Dechard Station, Tenn.
21st Regt Co H in care of Capt Caton

So good by, this from your son, Addison Sears to his father Mr. E.G. Searls

From Alfred Searles, August 1, 1863

Decherd Station, Tenn.
Aug. 1, 1863

Dear Parents,

Again we have been made glad by recieving another letter from you and was pleased to read that you were all as well as comon. But they seems to be a gloom fur the anxiety that rests upon my/our minds about Geo.B. that we cannot pass by without some sad thoughts. But so goes all the earth, eather sooner or later. I have no news to write and conciquently you will have but a short note from me this time.

I recieved a letter from my famely of the 28th today. They were in midleng health. I allso recieved one from my coisin Mary Searls. Their famely was well, but I find that they is a worse scatterd famely of our kin their than I was prepared to hear. Whitman is still alive. He has deeded all of his property to an entire stranger fur to take care of him. D famely have all left him, and I guess they have no more now than some of their once inferiour relitives, but no reproaches.

The war seems to be prugressing fine, but if we get old England and France over here I guess that I shall have to extend my term of enlistment, providing I can get a comishion.

As reguard our health, Ad is not very well, but better than has been. I am able to do my duty, but don't holor louder than thunder more than 6 times a day. I don't think that if my life is spared you will tell my coming by my song. Those hapy boyish days are gone, never to be recalled, and with them my voice.

Well, I guess if the wheel keeps rooling, another 12 months will see Mr. Secesh yoused up and with it my 3 years time, if the god of battels spares my life, and I don't look to get home eny befure that time. You read, but you cannot fur the corect ideas of this war or how it is conducted by the news of the day. Fur thousands of the writters know notheng more than they are told, and then not corectly stated. But I must close fur this time. We have company inspections of guns and clothing this afternoon, preparitory to general review of the whole army next week. We shall move fur Chattinooga soon. Bragg is their a strengthning his wurks. I supose he has 30,000 men, but we are bound to whip him and take the place, but not without some hard fighteng.

My respect to all and with my best wishes and kind love I remain your son, Alfred D. Searls.
Write soon. Direct
to Decherd Station, Tenn.

From Alfred Searles, August 10, 1863, Dechard Station, Tennessee

Decherd Station, Tenn
August 10, 1863

Well Father,

I supose you rather like to hear from us sometimes if we don't amount to much. As we expect to move in a day or two I will drop you a few lines to inform you of that fact. I have no news to write. All seems to be a dead stand still. Where we are going to God only knows, for I don't. But we have got to get the main army away from here for the watter is a getting to scarce and very poor. I think it is a making a great deal of sickness for us. As to the army in our front, we don't seem to know anything about it. We have been the longest now and not had a skirmish or heard of one in this department that has been since we first came into this part of the countery under Gen. O.M. Mitchel.

Sometimes I think they are a playing out and at others I fear for this ceasation of hustiletes that it is working against us, but I suppose our commanding officers know best. We are now about clousing up our 2d years sirvice, 20 days more and we will be upon our last year and then every day will shorten our time pirty fast.

Addison is not very well. He has the diorreah. I have nothing to say about my self. I cannot speak aloud yet, nor never expect to. My throat gets wurs all the time. The weather is very warm and very dry.

James Brooks is here, a clirk at the post comisary. He is well. Have you heard enything of George Buskirk yet? I have not hear from my famely for some time. But I must close fur this time. My respects to all. Our best wishes and kind love to you and the famely.

Remain your son, Alfred D. Searls.

I cannot pay postage, fur I canot get stamps and if you don't want to hear from us bad enough to pay it, pleas tell me in your next and I will quit writing.

Please to write as soon as you can make it convenient. Direct to Decherd Station, Tenn, 21st Regt OVI Co H
care of Capt Caton.

I cannot tell when I shall write to you again, if ever, but expect to see some hot times first at any rate.

We belong to 21st Regt OVI
3rd Brigade - 1st Divishion
14th Army Corps
Commander of Division is Gen Janson

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