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A Letter of the Civil War


Posted By: Karen Brewer (email)
Date: 2/25/2019 at 13:37:54

A letter written to my third great aunt, Elizabeth Taylor Morris from her brother, Charles M. Taylor and published in the Osceola Sentinel.This letter was passed down to Elizabeth Morris' daughter, Sarah Melissa Morris, wife of Neriah Goodrich.

The Osceola Sentinel, Osceola, Iowa
February 04, 1926, Pages 1 and 4


Interesting Document Preserved
Since Early Days of Rebellion
By Mrs. N. Goodrich

Mrs. N. Goodrich has an interesting letter written from the front during Civil War times. It is from her uncle, Charles M. Taylor, now 96 years old and living at Spencer, Indiana. He with two brothers served in the 59th Volunteer Indiana Infantry. One brother died in the service and the other returned without injury.

The letter was written on a good quality white paper. Even after a period of 64 years it is strong and white. The ink is apparently as black as the day it was written. On one corner of the sheet is a rooster which is crowing out, "Have You heard the News!"

The letter says:

"New Madrid, Mo., March 29, 1862.
"Dear Brother and Sister: I received your letter yesterday and was truly glad to hear from you. This leaves me in tolerable good health. We left Gosport on the 13th of February and went to New Albany, Indiana, and stayed there four days. Then we got on the steam boat and went to Cairo, Ill., then went up the Mississippi river to Commerce, Mo. Then we marched to Benton, Scott county, Missouri. The Rebels had destroyed everything in the town. We stayed there three days and then took up the line of March for this place which we reached on March 4. We laid here until the 13th of March when we were drawn up in line of battle. The artillery opened up on the rebels and continued all day, doing great damage to the enemy. The next morning at three o'clock, in a tremendous thunder storm, we marched down to the front but the devils were gone, leaving behind all they had and some of their dead unburied. We took 20 cannon, 1,000 stand of small arms, $500,000 worth of other property. Co. A of the 59th Indiana and one company of the 5th Iowa were the first in the fort. We waded in mud and water up to our knees and it was raining as hard as I ever saw it all the time. We had seen some hard times since we came but our hardships have been crowned with success so far. There was but one man killed in our regiment. We lost in all about 100 in killed and wounded at this place. The rebels loss I do not know but I think it was very heavy. When our shells would fall in the fort it would make them squall like the devil. The graves of the rebels covered about two acres after the battle.

"Elizabeth I have no chance to get my likeness taken here but if I meet with a chance I will have it taken and send it to you. I got a letter from home yesterday. My family was well and so was father and mother. My wife wrote to me that father had the blues about the war. He says that the war is to free the negroes and we will have to stay out three years, but I wrote the old man a letter. I think it will give him some case on that score. Irvine is here with me. He sends his love to you and family. He is well at this time.

"I must close for this time. May God bless you is my sincere wish Write soon, Direct to New Madrid, Missouri, 59th Reg. Indiana Volunteers Company A, in care of Colonel Alexander. Give my love to your children.

"Charles M. Taylor."
Apparently Mr. Taylor "Met with a chance" to have his photograph taken for Mrs. Goodrich has a nicely mounted tin type of the soldier of long ago.


Clarke Documents maintained by Brenda White.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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