Charles Hennrich

27th Iowa Volunteer Infantry

 Company D



Submitted by Kimberly Knowlton


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  • Military Data

  • Burial Information

  • Letters he wrote

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Military Data


  • Enlisted at age 18, on August 20, 1862.

  • Residence Garnavillo, nativity Prussia.

  • Mustered September 13, 1862.

  • Wounded slightly April 9, 1864, Pleasant Hill, La.

  • Mustered out August 8, 1865, Clinton, Iowa.

Burial Information


Died 9 February 1937

Iowa City, Johnson, Iowa


Buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery

Ireton, Sioux County, Iowa.



Dubuque, Iowa Sept. 22, 1863

Dear Parents,
I received your letter the 19th of September and see from it that you are all still well. Dear parents, that which you have written in your letter, t hat we must sleep out under the open sky, is not true. The first two weeks we slept without blankets but then, since our covers had not come, Captain Meyer said that we did not want to enter the fighting before we had covers so he said that he would go to Guttenburg to gather some there, he thinking that there would be a blanket for every two. During the time that he was gone another company tried to occupy our camp and Silas Garber said we would have to occupy a\our camp or they would take it away from us so we encamped there on a Saturday afternoon and two days later Captain Meyer came back again with enough blankets to give one to every two men and now it is better since our regiment received its materials on the 20 and the 21. We have two suitcoats, the one for everyday wear and for drill, the other for Sundays and dressparade. Dressparade is held every evening at 5 o’clock, when the whole regiment must assemble. Also, we have gotten an overcoat, two pairs of underpants, two shirts, one pair of shoes, and a hat, a cap, and a pair of blue trousers, and two pairs of socks. You wrote that you had laid aside a blanket to send to me but that will be unnecessary since we now have clothes enough. We have received no money as yet but rumor has it that we will receive our bounty money any day now. Nicholaus of Guttenburg was here in our camp and said that $1500 was laying in Guttenburg for our camp. Dear parents, you asked whether I would be allowed another furlough and if so that I should come home once again. I have asked Meyer if we would have another furlough. He said that we would have another 4 or 5 day furlough before we leave here. We ourselves do not know yet if we will go down to St. Louis or to Minnesota. General Pope has given orders that no soldier from Iowa or Wisconsin shall leave until further orders. The 21 Regiment which was here by our camp left here the 16 September in a heavy rain sailing for St. Louis. There they received orders to proceed no further toward their destination at Rolla, Missouri. It is said that they must return and go to Minnesota. Dear parents, there is nothing much new here. Every day soldiers come here. Four regiments are camped here and almost two regiments lay in town so that the total count runs over 5000 men. One evening when there were three regiments on the drill ground the dust was so thick as to almost suffocate one. We have to drill more thru the day that here-to-fore since we do not know how much longer we shall be here. We have to drill from 6 to 8 am and from 10 to 12 in the morning and again from 2 to 4 when the whole regiment must drill together. Mornings each company drills by itself and evenings at 5 oclock there is dressparade. I must close and greet again all my brothers and sisters.
I remain your faithful son,
Carl Hennrich


When you send me another letter you must address it differently.
Camp Franklin, Dubuque, Iowa
D.E. Meyer Company
27 Regiment Iowa Vol.

Jackson, Tenn. 30 Jan. 1863

Dear Parents,
The letter which you wrote on the 18th of January I received on the 29th of January and see by it that you are all well as I, thank God, also am. The 15th I went into the hospital because I had a bad breaking-out on both arms. They are now completely healed again and I will soon be back with the regiment. Our regiment is encamped about one mile from town. Dear parents you wrote that I had not written for so long but you cannot blame me for that as we were always on the march until the 10th of January, when we returned to Jackson. You write that you have heard that our regiment had been completely wiped out. Pay no attention to such gossip as up to now our regiment has not even been in battle. WE would have been near one several times if the rebels had only stood but they always drew farther away. And when you write that you had heard that the regiment had been captured, for that the publishers had probably heard something to the effect that several of the 27th Iowa had been captured, and then they said that the whole regiment had been captured. On the 21st of December eleven men of our regiment were captured. They are all that have been captured from our regiment. We will probably leave Jackson soon since most of the troops have already left from here for Memphis and from there by the Mississippi down to Vicksburg. Already a great number of troops have gone to Vicksburg. Several of our boys who went to Vicksburg with prisoners have returned. They say that everything was very expensive. They said that a rebel captain was on the ship while it lay at Vicksburg and paid nine dollars for one gallon of whiskey and five dollars in gold for one pound of coffee. You wrote me about the blanket, that August knew nothing about it. I laid the blanket under the counter while he stood behind the counter. I told him he should give you the blanket when you came in. He said that he would do that. Then I met Hofman and told him to tell you that I had left the blanket with August. I had written your name upon a slip of paper and stuck it under the string with which I had tied the blanket. I folded nothing up in the blanket. There is nothing much new, so far as I know all our boys are still well and as to Fritz having had his leg shot off there is no truth in that as to date they have not come close enough to us to shoot off our legs. The weather is quite warm. From the 16th to the 26th we had rain. The weather is now nice and warm. Now I will close with many greetings to you. Give my regards to all my friends and acquaintances.
Carl Hennrich

Jackson, Tennessee February 23, 1863

Dear parents,
Your letter of the 13th I received the 21st of February and see that you are all well, as I, thank God, also am. I went back to the regiment again the 13th of February. I was under the care of a German doctor who has me pretty well cured. To date we have lain at our old place about a mile north of the town. We have a pretty good life. We have our tents well arranged. Our company has made a fireplace for each tent and it is now fairly arm in the tents. We have enough to eat. We get plenty of rice, beans, coffee, sugar, and meat. We have crackers again now. Otherwise we had received flour. Then we took the flour to town and traded it for bread. We now belong to General Lonnen’s brigade, and to General Sullivan’s division, the whole of which is under Major-General Hurlbut in the 16th Army Corps. Last Sunday, the 22nd of February was the birthday of old General Washington. Our brigade had to go to the drill grounds were a parade was held and 34 cannon fired. We do not know if we are going to leave soon or not but judging by the arrangements that we have made here in camp we will remain here for some time yet. Our company is now in pretty good health and is now the largest company in the regiment. In the other companies there are quite a few sick, but that is probably because our company is practically all German and can stand more. The rebels have so far left us alone. The last that we have heard of them Van Doren was supposed to have crossed the Tennessee River with his army. Where he intends to go we do not know. If he wants to come to Jackson we will give him a warm reception, for we can hold out against an enemy force of twice our number, since we are so well fortified. They will not run over us the way they ran over the 101st Illinois regiment for we have pretty strong pickets out. We have to be on guard every other day now. I was sorry to hear that Phillip Dock had been wounded, when I saw him in Carlo and in Memphis he was so well and happy. According to your letter his ear was shot away. We had seen before, in the paper, that he had been wounded but how he was wounded we did not know. Last week a Negro regiment passed thru here on the railroad going to Memphis, to be shipped from there to Vicksburg. Several of them already had guns. Jeff Davis has made a speech wherein he said that he wants to catch every Negro who fights against his own government with a gun in his hand. They know to that if they are caught that they will make an example of them. Therefore they fight to the last and do not let themselves get captured very easily. I must close now and send greetings to all of you. Greet all my friends and acquaintances.
Your loving son
Charles Hennrich
Answer soon.

Jackson, Tennessee 18th of March 1863

Dear parents,
Your letter of the 7th of March I received the 18th of March and see in it that you are all still well as I thank God have also been so far. We have lain, up to this time, at our old camping place. Only the 103rd Illinois and 50th Indiana regiment, which belonged to our brigade, have marched off to guard the railroad which runs from Memphis to Corinth. Here in Jackson all has been quiet up to now. Only in the early part of March there was an uproar here when the news came that the rebel General Van Dorn was marching against Jackson, but General Loller got in his way. He had 1,000 cavalry men, 2,000 infantry men and 10 cannon. The rebels however did not wish to engage in battle but instead withdrew again, as a result no battle came of it, and General Loller came back to Jackson again. The bushwackers give rise to most of the mischief here. They attacked a railroad train the 14th of March at Humbolt but they accomplished nothing by it and the train got into Jackson in good shape. As we wanted to give up the road from Jackson to Columbus they have taken all the troops away. At Humbolt we still have quite a lot of wood laying which is to be used in railroad building. On the 17th of March a railroad train was again sent from Jackson it lay 30 miles north of Jackson, 100 men of our regiment had to act as guards for the train. Ten men of our company had to go along so I had the good fortune to make the trip to Humbolt. We rode away from Jackson at 8 o’clock the morning of the 17th, and arrived at Humbolt at 9:30 where everything was quiet and there were no bushwackers to be seen. We took about 50 negros along from Jackson who had to load the train. The train was loaded with wood and came back to Jackson in the evening at about 7:30 without having fired a shot. There is nothing much new, everything is getting nice and green, the plums and other fruit trees are already beginning to bloom. They have already planted their gardens here. One farmer said that here they would have had their field work done long ago if it had not been so wet. The sun shines down pretty hot here already. The weather is now nice. Now I must close and let me greet you all many times. Greet Henry Kregel for me. I wrote him a letter on the 18th of January and have not received an answer as yet. Perhaps the letter never arrived. Greet all again many times. Still something which I must not forget. Our company is now in the best of health and our company appears hale and hearty. The 28th of February George Beck, he had worked for old Hei Kreuger, William Kreuger’s father-in-law, died in Memphis and also the fat Muller who formerly lived on the Neith farm died here in Jackson, otherwise all are hale and hearty.
Charles Hennrich

Jackson, Tennessee April 6, 1863

Dear parents,
The letter which you wrote the 28th of March I received the 6th of April. I hope that this letter finds you in good health as I, thank God, have been so far. According to your letter you were all sickly at that time, but I hope that God grants that this letter will find you all well. Dear parents, so far all has been quiet here and the weather is nice. We had nice weather for Easter. Only we could not celebrate it as we are wont to do. On Good Friday, instead of going to church, we shouldered our arms and drilled. On Saturday the new general of our brigade, Gimball, inspected out rifles to see if they were in good order. That caused us to think that we might march at last. The first Easter we had to do picket or outpost duty. The Easter eggs turned out bad this Easter for in this region one does not see many chickens anymore, otherwise we would have made ourselves some. Not far from our post there lives a rebel whose six cows, as they were going home in the afternoon, came toward our post and we stopped them, as we are accustomed to do when one comes who has not the pass-word, and I milked one of them which had enough to make me some Easter-milk soup. Monday, as we were returning to camp, we heard that we had received marching orders, for where we do not know but it seems that we are to take two days rations along. It will probably not be far otherwise we would take along more rations. Whether we will go by train all the way or not, we will leave here on the train. There must be something wrong on the railroad someplace since to-day we have had our cartridge boxes filled again, 40 cartridges in all, and are ready to leave here at 7 o’clock in the morning. If we return safely from the expedition I will write you at once. I must close now with greetings to all of you. I would have written more but it is too dark. I will send you a letter as soon as I return.
Best wishes
Charl Hennrich


Dear father, you write of the money which you are still to get from Germany. I would not wait on that little which my Uncle still has, I would let them send me the rest. Forgive me for the poor writing as it is already too dark.


Write me at once again for I think that by the time it gets here we will be back again.

[The heading, date, and signature of this letter have been lost. The fragment found and given here is obviously a part of a letter written in the latter part of June, 1863.]

---------without doing much damage except that they had torn up the rails and damaged the telegraph. This was all repaired so the by 11 o’clock the train from Memphis came and could pass again. We have heard nothing of them for several days now. Dear parents I am glad that you sent me Phillip Dock’s address. I would have written to him long ago if I had known what army corps he belonged to. Things are tough at Vicksburg. When General Grant wanted to blow up the fort he sent in orders to send the women and children away but they didn’t want to do that. After a few days the women and children came out and fell on their knees before Grant begging that he give them food. He chased them back however, telling them at first they were too stubborn and now they would have to stand it. Over 190 women and children have already been killed. It would be good if they would all surrender. Here in the south the women are much worse than the men that are still at home.

Dear parents, as we have gathered from the officers we will not lay here much longer. Our army corps, the 16th, is supposed to march thru the states of Mississippi and Alabama, but I think nothing will occur here until Vicksburg is taken. Dear parents, you wrote that you have a paper to read. If you wish to be so good you could send it to me each week after you have read it and then one could kill a little time reading as there is nothing to do here except to drill and go on picket duty. It almost seems as if our army corps had started on a second rest of the Potomic. Now I will close and send my greeting to all of you. Greet Fritz Dock and family and I will write to Phillip if he is still alive. Greet Heinrich Kregel and his family for me.

Moscow, Tennessee July 13, 1863

Dear parents,
Your letter, which you wrote the 3rd of July, I received the 12th and see that you are still all well, as I, thank God, also am. We were on a bushwacker chase again the 12th, about 250 men from the whole regiment and a company of the 5th Illinois cavalry. We marched four miles, where we halted. The cavalry went on ahead and searched thru the brush and corn fields but the bushwackers know every hole to crawl into and likewise always know how to come out again when they are hard pushed. We lay there almost all day, toward evening our commander left 50 men, under the command of Captain Hulbruk, there on the ground. They had to lie in the brush and if the bushwackers should come past again they were to give them a warm reception. The rest of us marched back again. After marching two miles we came upon a very nice orchard. Our commander allowed us to halt and told us that we should stack arms and could go into the orchard and fill our haver-sacks with apples. We were ready to do so at once. That lasted less that fifteen minutes when one could scarcely see an apple on the trees. After all had filled their haversacks with ripe apples we started lustily off to Moscow. There is plenty of fruit here in the south. Apples and peaches are now ripe. Plums are all gone. We did not celebrate the fourth of July as heartily as last year but we had enough beer to drink. At 12 o’clock 35 cannon shots were fired and in the evening, at the time when young people usually go to the ball, we had to shoulder our arms and march along the Memphis and Charleston railroad four miles and had to stand guard there all night against guerillas. At 2 o’clock some of the gentlemen came along. We sent them a good morning at once but it was too dark to really aim. When the powder smoke disappeared we could no longer see or hear anything. We then marched back. The other day a Negro came and said he had seen a bushwacker in the brush who had been shot dead. That is another one who has come over to the union. Every farmer who had not taken the oath before the 4th of July is having everything taken away from him; sheep, cattle, swine, horses, and mules. The 6th of July 20 men of our regiment and 20 cavalry went out. We took sheep and cattle. As we were on our way back we had 200 head of sheep and 50 head of cattle. The women and children shrieked and cried that we should leave the cows. One man went into the herd of cattle and wanted to get his two cows out. One of the cavalrymen told him to get out or he would bring him out but the Sesesch paid no attention, then the cavalryman rode toward him and struck him on the head with his saber so that the blood spurted. The captain asked him who had given him the wound and he said, “One of the cavalrymen”. The captain said that he could not help it that he should have stayed out. We are not short of fresh mutton now. Dear parents I wrote to Phillip Dock the 23rd of June, but have, up to now, received no reply. The message came by telegraph on the 6th of July that Vicksburg had surrendered to General Grant on the morning of the 4th of July. On the 7th 13 cannon shots were fired. The messages show strength on all sides. General Meade, who commands the Army of the Potomic, has shown General Lee how he got that way. General Rosencrans is giving it to General Braag on the pants. I think that if things keep progressing so the war will soon be over. Dear parents, I have sent my coat home. I forgot to write it in my last letter and I gather from your last letter that you do not have the coat and shirt as yet, because Minnie and Elisabeth are howling that they received no pen I know that the coat and shirt have not arrived for I had folded several pens into the bundle for them. If you do not have the things by now then you must make it known to Fleck at Guttenburg. Dear parents, would you be so good as to send me Kasper Hoffman’s address as I would like to write him a few lines.

Dear parents, I would like to join the United States Regular Infantry but one must enlist for five years. Major-General Hurlbut had it in the Memphis bulletin that everyone who enlists for five years will receive four hundred dollars bounty money besides his monthly pay. I have a strong desire to join. I received the paper the 9th of July. I will close now with greetings to all of you. Greet Ernst for me and remind him that he does not let himself be heard from.
Many greetings to all of you
From your son
Ch. Hennrich

Dear parents you might send me a few postage if you will be so kind.

Memphis, Tennessee December 10, 1863

Dear parents,
I received your letter, which you wrote the 6th of November, the 9th of December, and see that you have worried considerably about my sickness. It was not as bad as perhaps many wrote that it was. Thank God I am again on my legs. We just now arrived in Memphis. We left Little Rock by train at 10 o’clock the evening of the 15th of November for Duvall’s Bluff. The 16th we went down the White River by steamboat and arrived at Memphis the 20th of November. Almost all of the troops have left here for Chattanooga. Two regiments left here again the 5th and 6th. The rebels had made an attack on La Grange and Moscow. The latter was held by a Negro regiment. Commander Hatch of the 2nd Iowa cavalry was badly wounded.
You wrote that it is so cold up there. We have seen no cold weather down here so far. The nights are a little cool here now but the sun shines pretty warm again during the day.

Dear parents, you wrote me nothing about the twenty dollars which I sent you the 14th of October, whether you received it or not. Greet Philip Dock for me. I thought I would see him here in Memphis but I heard here that he has already gone home.
I will close now with greetings to all of you.
Charles Hennrich

Memphis, Tennessee the 29 December 1863

Dear parents,
Your letter, which you wrote on the 24th(?), I received the 28th and see by it that you are all still well, as I, thank God, also am. Dear parents, how much longer we will stay here I do not know for the rebels, under Forrest, are beginning to burn the bridghes and tear up the rails again. The 276th the rebels made an attack upon the passenger train as it neared Lafayette, the engineer saw that a rail was pulled loose and immediately stopped the train, as he knew at once that something was amiss, and started to back up when a heavy fire was directed at the train. The guards returned the fire at once and the train backed away; at least that is the tale – (?) report that we received the evening of the 27th. We will probably have a more detailed and accurate account of it when the train, which had not arrived on the 29th, does arrive. Our company is now stationed at the Memphis and Charleston depot in Memphis and must do guard duty there. It is a dangerous place as the rebels have tried several times to blow up the depot, thru which two of the bums were shot and the thing discovered.

Christmas passed fairly good for us here. I spent Christmas eve on guard and how the New Year will come in, we will have to wait and see.

Now I must close. Many regards to all of you; I wish you a prosperous New Year, peace, agreement and everlasting happiness.

Brother Fritz, you write me that I should send you a revolver so that you can shoot the New Year in for me, as you seem to think that we have nothing to shoot. You can probably shoot about the New Year. Shooting for fun here is not allowed as when a shot sounds here everyone opens his eyes as everyone knows that it is not for nothing. It is dangerous here at night to stand guard or to go uptown. One hears every morning that someone has been shot. Here everyone will be watching into the New Year. Here one must keep his rifle loaded at all times and if it becomes necessary also shoot. I must close and greet you all again. Greet Ernest, he never lets me hear from him.
Charles Hennrich

Memphis, Tennessee January 25th, 1863

Dear parents,
I cannot wait until I receive an answer to the letter which I wrote to you the 29th of December but am moved to write because we have orders to march. When we are once on the march the letter writing will stop for a while. I have watched a long time for a letter from you, but always for naught. Therefore I want to write to you so that in case we should go you will know what way we have gone. It is said that the 16th Army Corps is to take the field and the 15th is to take over out stand. As far as we know we have to go down the river to New Orleans and from there to Mobile. It will probably be a hard march but I think it cannot be worse than when we went to Little Rock last year. According to the orders we are to go down the river by boat the 26th. It is not yet sure whether we will leave the 26th of whether it will be postponed several days. Dear parents, the 12th it was almost our neck, namely, the 12th we went on the railroad train that runs from here to Corinth as guards. When we were 3 miles the other side of Germantown, about 19 miles from Memphis, the rebels tried to blow us up. They had buried several heavy bombs along the track, under the rails in order to blow a wheel off the locomotive and derail it. They had fixed it so that as soon as the locomotive came to the place it would set it off. So it was. As soon as the locomotive came to the spot the bombs exploded and made a great noise but by good luck it did not hurt the train, only sprung two rails and the train was going fast enough that it passed over all right. When they saw that the train was undamaged they started to fire on us but luckily no one was hurt. There is not much new here now except that about our trip to Corinth. I must close now with many greetings to all of you.
Charles Hennrich
Answer soon. Ch. H.

[This letter was misdated by C.H. It was written in 1864 rather than 1863 as shown by the contents of the letter itself; and is placed here in its proper order.]

Vicksburg February 2, 1864

Dear parents,
I received your letter of January 18th the 2nd of February and see by it that you are all still well as I, thank God, also am. Dear parents, we are now going to spend some time in the field, when we will return I do not know but we will hope for the best. We left Memphis the 28th of January and arrived at Vicksburg the 30th where we lay for two days on the water and the 1st of February we marched 3 miles beyond the town and are laying here until the Army is all together. In Vicksburg I ran across several acquaintances from the 16th Iowa regiment, namely both of the Thomson boys and the Zucker boy. They are all well and look fresh. It is said that we will leave here the 3rd of February to go to Jackson, Mississippi. There the rebel General Johnston is said to be making ready for a stand. If he stays put it will be a lively dance. We have left all surplus stuff in Vicksburg in order to be able to march better. The weather is pretty warm down here already. One can go about all day in shirt sleeves. I wrote a letter that 25th of January when I thought I would not be able to write so soon again. I do not know much that is new right now. It is now almost night and we must get ready for the march of to-morrow. Greetings to all of you. Greet little Ernest for me and also Heinrich Kreckel and his family. Heinrich Waterman sends greetings to his family and says he has received their letter. He is still well and lively. At the moment he has no time to write as he is too busy. You will be so good as to tell his parents. Heinrich and I, we were a couple of buddies and will not fail each other in time of need. You must not become uneasy if you do not receive a letter for some time.
Charles Hennrich and Henry Waterman

Vicksburg, Mississippi March 7, 1864

Dear Parents,
We have returned to Vicksburg, in good shape, after a month’s march and again have marching orders for 30 days. As far as we know we will have to spend the 30 days aboard a boat, going further down the Mississippi. However, we do not know where we are going. We returned to Vicksburg the 4th of March. We had nice weather for the whole of our march. We left Vicksburg the 3rd of February. The 4th we crossed Black River on a railroad trestle where, the same evening, the advance guard became engaged. Night ended the shooting and the rebels drew further back during the night. The 5th the fighting started right in again and continued until dark. Although only the pickets were engaged there was a considerable loss of dead and wounded on both sides. Toward evening three cannon and their crews were captured. The cavalry forced their way into the town almost to the court house but had to fall back to the infantry again. The morning of the 6th the riders arrived in Jackson, the rebels had withdrawn over the Pearl River. We chased after them as far as Meridian, Mississippi, a little village where there is a big railroad center. We lay there several days and tore up the railroad. Our division tore up 20 miles. The 20th of February we started our return journey and arrived in Vicksburg again the 4th of March. The country thru which our army passed is all laid waste. All is burned down. Many were not left enough provisions so that they could eat in the morning. The towns thru which we passed were almost completely laid waste. Jackson, Hillsborough and Decatur were burned the worst. That was going. You can easily see what route we took on the map. The first town which we passed thru was Jackson and then Brandon, Hillsborough, Decatur, and Meridian. On the return we came thru the following; Marion, Marion Station, Canton, Lexington and Brausville, on of four hundred miles. I wanted to send something but if we go on the boat we will need it all. If we should happen to march by land I will send my overcoat and dresscoat. Dear parents, I have sent two letters and received no reply. I would have left writing to you until I had received an answer but since we are leaving again in such a short time I wanted to write you a few lines. Dear father, in the end I will yet come into the country where you wanted to go a few years ago, namely Texas. Now I must close and let me greet you many times. Answer soon.
Charles Hennrich

Alexandria April 13, 1864

Dear parents,
Just as the times often undergo change so something of a change has occurred for me and one such as is apt to befall a soldier, and yet it has all come out pretty good. We had a battle on Pleasant Hill the 9th of April and it got pretty hot and a bullet wounded me in the arm and of course gave me a lot of pain. But the bone was not broken and I think it will not be long before it is well again. Many were so badly wounded that they will remain cripples for life, and therefore one cannot but say that I have had luck in my misfortune in that I was not shot dead. Also many in our company are worse off than me and perhaps those who are to-day well may be shot to-morrow and it is just as well, if one is to be shot, if it happens quickly for he is better off as then it is quickly past and he gets thereby at least enough forever. Also Fredrich Winch has been badly wounded in the shoulder and the company had 18 dead and wounded which they got in a charge on the rebels which cost many men from both sides. I would write you more but I think this is now enough for I am myself not able to write for it is the right arm which is wounded and just in front of the elbow through the fleshy part. I do not know if you should write again because I do not receive the letters now. Still you may, if you wish , write here to Alexandria and address it to “Wounded in Hospital”. Then it may be that I will get it before we leave here. Fritz Bendgegerdes and Mollering are still contented. Live happily until we meet again and I remain your truly loving son.
Charles Hennrich

Greet Fredrich Bendgegerdes from the writer of this letter and tell him that his school mate is also wounded and is now finding out how one feels when one is wounded.
Your real though unknown friend,
Henry Kerksiech

Elkport May 19th, 1864

Dear Carl,
We have received your letter of the 9th of May and see that you can write again. Then everybody in the house cried for joy that you have been so lucky as to still have your arm. We received your letter from Alexandria too but Winche’s Fred has as yet given no report as to how things are with him. We have seen in the paper that 27,000 men fell in a short time, dead and wounded. By that one can see and feel how many young men are left lying on many battlefields. I have often thought how foolish it was of the old lady Dock to cry so about Phillip when he died in the hospital. It was at least not on a battlefield. But the damned old Frank Banka did not bury his dead on the battlefield. He let them lay. General Smith said so in the paper. But dear Carl, you will certainly have thought many times of your father, how he begged of you to stay here. I am sure that you have thought of it many times. Oh dear Carl, you cannot blame me that I complained about you so much. When was I so glad as when you and Ernest came home on Sundays? But now your mother’s heart is almost broken, when I think of the 13th of April. I dreamed that night that I had you in my arms and you were dying. I cried until I received the letter that you had written. Ernest was here over Pentecost and your sister Minnis is at the old Krugers. She has no one with her anymore except Fritz. She gets five dollars a month, and Ernest gets sixteen dollars a month. No one dares to say that he should go to the army. He gives the big praire farmers such a mouthful that they were glad to keep quiet. And Fritz now has a nice brown horse by the red mare. We sold the black one for one hundred and fifty dollars and bought the brown one again for one hundred and thirty five dollars. We are going to have a colt in a few days now. Dear Carl, Schecker also wrote us a letter saying that you had been wounded. Your father would like to know if you couldn’t be discharged because of your arm for if it is weakened, your right arm by a shot. Keep yourself still a while in the hospital and let your arm get well healed. It is better for you, you don’t have to go back into the field so quick. Further news we do not know. I must close with many greetings.
Philippine Hennrich
Answer soon.

Memphis July 26, 1864

Dear parents,
I want to let you know as to where I am. I hope that these few lines will find you in good health as I, thank God, also am. The trip went pretty good. I arrived in Memphis Thursday the 21st where I heard that the regiment would arrive in Memphis the 23rd. Our regiment arrived the afternoon of the 23rd and immediately marched about one miles outside the town and camped. Our regiment had had a hard march from the 23rd of June to the 23rd of July when they arrived at Memphis. At Tupelo they had fought a three day battle where, on the third day, they scattered the rebels in all directions. Our regiment got thru it in good shape at that. They lost 27 dead and wounded, and these were lost as ours and the 32nd Iowa regiment made a bayonet attack on a whole rebel brigade. They knocked over a lot of rebels and chased them several miles. Herman Mollering and Peter Wendel were wounded in this engagement. The boys for whom I brought along the clothes were glad for they were in need of them. We will not stay here long as everything is being made ready for another march. Some say we are going down the river to Vicksburg again and several officers think that our division is to aid General Canby. He wants to go up Red River again. If we go there again then probably not many will come back because of the bad water which we learned to know last spring. We will have to wait until we march and then we can tell pretty well where we are going. Henry Waterman is still in the hospital. I was there yesterday and told him that he should see to it that he gets a furlough. He said that he feels pretty good and will come back to the regiment soon. I will go there to-morrow morning again and see how he is getting along. Now I must close with many greetings to yourselves and Watermans. Tell Watermans that the “wurst” tasted pretty good. Michel Thein greets you and his parents. Greet Fritz Dock and his housekeeper. Greet Fritz.
Charles Hennrich

I sent a letter to Watermans the 22nd as soon as I found that Henry was in the hospital. You can find out whether they got the letter.

Memphis, Tennessee September 1, 1864

Dear parents,
Your long awaited letter was received on the 30th of August, and from it I got no good news. As far as I am concerned I am, thank God, well; and I hope that this letter finds you in good health.
Dear parents, we returned to Memphis the 30th of August from an expedition. We left here the 4th of August going to Holly Springs by train where we arrived in the evening of the same day. We stayed there until the 17th when we started our march afoot to Waterford. The morning of the 18th we left from there for the Tallahatchie River which we crossed the same day and pushed on four miles to Abbeville on the other side of the river where we went into camp at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Here, the same day, the cavalry had contacted the rear guard of the enemy. The heavy rains brough our advance to a stop for several days, the roads being so bad that our artillery could not get thru. We lay there until the 20th when we advanced to Oxford, a village 20 miles from Abbeville. AS we neared Oxford the message came to us that old Forrest, with 5000 of his cavalrymen had taken Memphis and had captured 500 soldiers and 150 officers and had released all the southern prisoners at Memphis and had shot General Washburn. The whole army was held at this point. You cannot imagine the uproar there was, one asking the other what old Smith was going to do. We thought that Forrest had captured all the boys left behind. I thought for sure that Henry Waterman would have to visit a southern prison for a time. We began, in an hour, to retrace our steps but no one knew now where we were headed for. We marched back four miles and halted there for the night. The next day we went back further arriving at the Tallahatchie River that evening. There we lay over the 24th since the high water had washed the bridge away and one had to be built again. The 24th the rebels made an attack on our rear but were driven off after some skirmishing in which many of them were killed and wounded, the cavalry taking many prisoners. The 25th we proceeded toward Waterford and arrived there the same evening. The heat was so terrific that many of the soldiers gave out and could go no farther. The 26th we went on toward Holly Springs and we concluded that we were headed back to Memphis. We 28th we started our march back to Memphis where we arrived the afternoon of the 30th. Now we received more news of his visit to Memphis. He came into town at 4 o’clock in the morning where everyone was nicely asleep. He did not keep himself in the town long for the 8th Iowa regiment, which takes care for the patrol duties at Memphis, cane into a hand to hand conflict with the rebels and drove them out of town, where a real battle took place which lasted an hour during which the rebels were driven back. They had to leave their dead and wounded on the field since they were pressed so hard that they could not even take their wounded. He had captured about 150 soldiers which he escaped with. He lost more that he made by it. It was a clever stroke if it had only panned out better. General Washburn had gotten out of the way just in time.------------------
[The rest of this letter was not found.]

Jefferson Barracks, Missouri September 29, 1864

Dear parents,
I received your letter the 29th and see by it that you are still all well as I, thank God, still am. We left Memphis thinking that we were going to Atlanta. We were held at Cairo when the news came that Atlanta had been taken. We lay there several days and then had to board the boat again and went to Jefferson Barracks, 10 miles below St. Louis. We lay there until 10 o’clock at night of the 25th of September when we received orders to prepare ourselves with three days rations to be ready to march. Our brigade was immediately loaded on a train and away it went until full steam to Mineral Point, Missouri, 61 miles from Jefferson Barracks, where we arrived at 4 o’clock in the afternoon and unloaded. The rebels, 15,000 strong, under General Price were moving against Pilot Knob. Six companies from the 14th Iowa regiment were immediately sent by train from Mineral Point to Pilot Knob, 20 miles away, where they arrived in time to entrench themselves and the rebels had almost surrounded the tow. Our regiment and the 32nd Iowa had orders to hold Mineral Point until further orders. The morning of the 27th our outposts were attacked and a skirmish between outposts ensued, lasting until 10 o’clock when we received orders to retreat to DeSoto, 20 miles back on the Iron Mountain R.R. where we arrived on the 28th. The 29th we left there, by train, for Jefferson Barracks, where we arrived at noon the 29th. The last that we have heard from Pilot Knob the rebels have laid siege to the fort. The rebels wanted to storm the fort and attacked four times five lines deep but were repulsed each time. The 64 pounders are supposed to have mown them down like hay. What our retreat signifies I do not know but we were not driven back. We are laying here now under marching orders and it may be that we will leave for Rolla, Missouri to-morrow. I must close because I have to go on watch. I had much more to write as to what happened on our trip. I have received the letter from Henry Waterman and I will write him more of the details when I have more time and you can just as well read it there. Greetings to all of you.
Charles Hennrich

You must not hold this poor penmanship against me as this has been done in a hurry.

Cairo, Illinois November 28, 1864

Dear Parents:
After waiting over a month without receiving an answer I finally take up my pen again to write a few lines.
We returned to St. Louis the 18th from our long hard march which we started the 2nd of October. We might have marched every day without overtaking the rebels and therefore we were obliged, on the 12th of October, to break camp at 12 o’clock at night and march. We made camp at 9 o’clock in the evening and received orders to eat. By 12 o’clock the whole army was again on the march. At day break we passed thru Independence where our cavalry, under General Pleasanton, had made an opening thru the rebels. The dead and wounded still lay on the battlefield. The rebels were driven back, pursued by our cavalry. We laid over there that day. First the dead were buried there and then our wounded were taken to Kansas City, a distance of only seven miles. The rebels suffered severely. They had three times as many dead and wounded as we, for our cavalry practically all have repeaters and the rebels could not stand up to that.
I was in the hospitals where the rebels lay and it looked pretty bad. They had three big frame houses full of wounded. The rebels had left doctors behind to treat them.

The next day we went as far as Harrisonville where the news reached us that General Pleasanton had captured General Marmaduke and Gabel with 2000 men and practically all his artillery. We lay there several days and then took up our knapsacks again. Before we left Harrisonville one of Bill Anderson’s bushwackers was captured. He was set upon a horse which was driven under a tree, the rope was slipped around his neck and tied to a limb and then the horse driven away from under him.

We arrived back at St. Louis again the 18th of November having put back of us a march of almost 800 miles.
The 25th we were again loaded on to boats and shipped to Cairo where we arrived the 28th. We will probably leave here yet today, where to I do not know. Our regiment has just now left. I have not been with the regiment since I returned from furlough. I am a watch at the headquarters of our brigadier-general. When I will go back to the company I do not know. Or colonel is now commanding the brigade. Now I will close with greetings to all of you. You must excuse my poor penmanship since this was done in a hurry so that I could get it away with the mail.
Ch. Hennrich

Spring Hill, Tennessee December 20, 1864

Dear parents,
Once again I must take up my pen. It appears that you have given up writing all-together. I hope that these few lines will find you in good health, as I, thank God, also am. Dear parents, we have had some times for the last five days. You have probably seen in the paper of t he two day battle that was fought at Nashville, Tennessee. In it my bunk-mate, Henry Waterman, was wounded. He was wounded the second day as we stormed the breastworks. Michel Thein was also wounded. Dear parents, it was a terrible sight for one could not head himself speak because of the loud cannon and musket fire. The battle was started the 15th at 6 A.M. and lasted until darkness on the 16th. We came into Nashville the 30th of November and had to march two miles west of the city the 1st of December and went into battle formation at once. The 13th, General Schofield had a battle at Franklin, Tennessee, 18 miles from Nashville, with the rebel General Hood who had an army of 60,000 men. General Schofield had to retreat and arrived in Nashville the 1st with the 23rd and 4th Divisions and a division of the 17th army corps. The corps formed its line on ours and the 23rd was held in reserve. The 2nd we went one-half mile further and took possession of the bluffs which surround the town. There breastworks had to be thrown up and batteries had to be placed. Our line, from left to right ends, was almost twelve miles long. Our corps, the 16th held the center. The 3rd, the rebel showed themselves whereon firing started between pickets. The 4th the rebels started to dig themselves in and our batteries started to bombard them. Picket firing continued and an occasional bomb was thrown from then on until the 15th when the army received orders to leave the breastworks at 6 A.M. and attack the rebels. General Smith, with the 16th, made the attack and at the same time fifty cannone opened fire and gave the rebels full rations. The battle was soon general along t he whole line. General Hatch, with the cavalry, took 13 cannon and 12 army wagons the first day. The infantry took four more and 1000 prisoners. That night all was so quiet that one could hear a leaf fall from a tree. The morning of the 16th the thunder started again. The cannon fire lasted until 1 o’clock when they stopped and the infantry stormed the breastworks. One brigade of the 4th army corps was repulsed twice but the 3rd time the breastworks were taken. By 4 o’clock the last of the emplacements had been taken and the whole rebel army put to flight. The rebels threw everything away in order to get away easier. The battlefield from which the rebels were driven was covered with guns and cartridge boxes. The cavalry started right after them and in the next few days took many cannon and between three and four thousand prisoners. We lost three to four thousand dead and wounded. How many dead and wounded the rebels lost I can’t say. We captured 4000 prisoners and 27 cannon the second day. We have now, at this time, between 8 and 10 thousand prisoners and our adjutant says we now have receipts for 62 cannon. The 17th we received marching orders and with many Hurrahs we went on after the rebels. On the way we met hundreds of captured who were being taken back to Nashville. On the way here everything looked terrible. Everything which hindered them they threw away, army wagons and caisson were left laying for our cavalry was so near at their throat-----[The rest of this letter has been lost.]

Camp in the field near Pulaski, Tennessee December 28, 1864

Dear parents,
I received your letter the 27th of December and see that you are all well as I, thank God, also am. I hope that these few lines will find you all in good health. What surprised me was when I saw that Fritz had become a soldier. I wish he could have come to us for one can give the young recruit a great deal of help. Dear Parents, since my last letter from Spring Hill, as I was interrupted by the thunder of cannon, we had to march then at once and take up another position. The rebels did not halt again. Our cavalry, under General Hatch, were so close at their throats that they let their cannon stand, cutting the harness from the horses to save themselves. The 24th we reached the Duck River, a river like the Turkey River. Old Hood was pressed so hard that he threw his cannon, 15 in number, into the river. We pulled them out again. Our way lay full of cannon balls, bombs and cartridges which they had thrown away in order to lighten their wagons. We crossed the Duck River on the 25th near Columbia on a pontoon bridge. Our army started to cross on two pontoon bridges on the 23rd and they were not yet all over by the 28th. We have had bad weather ever since we left Nashville. Yesterday the news came that General Washburn had captured 7 cannon and several thousand men from General Hood as Hood tried to cross the Tennessee River. If he can’t cross the river then good night Hood. Then he can finally go into winter quarters. As he said when he lay before Nashville he wanted to make his winter quarters between Nashville and Louisville and wanted to starve out General Thomas and his army in Nashville. So thought Hood but Thomas gave otherwise. The Tennessee soldiers under Hood are running all over saying that they do not see why they should fight any longer here. On the way where both armies passed it looks terrible. The families have lost everything. The houses were practically burned over the heads of some. Others were not left enough for the next morning’s breakfast. Dear parents, you probably celebrated Christmas better than I did. We were engaged in following Hood and had to change our customs. Early on the morning of the 25th one could hear the thunder of cannon. That was really a fine Christmas greeting. We are camped now near Pulaski and will probably march further in the morning.

You wrote that Fritz was in Davenport. When you write him a letter, write him that he should write to me at once.

And Elizabeth has let herself be heard from which gave me great joy and I wish Ernst would let himself be heard from, if he cannot write then let little Elizabeth write for you.

Now I will close and send greeting to all of you. Greet Fritz Dock and his family. Fritz should have been here with us and he would have had his eyes open for he could have had a good look at a battlefield.

Greet Watermans for me. We have heard since we left Nashville that Heinrich is improving.
Many greetings to you all.
Ch. Hennrich

I wish you a prosperous New Year.  [The last letter in 1864.]

Eastport, Mississippi January 27, 1865

Dear parents,
I received your letter the 27th of January and see that you are all well, as I, thank God, also am. I hope that these few lines will find you all in good health.

Dear parents, up to now things have gone pretty hard with us here for four days we could get nothing to eat. They could not get enough up the Tennessee River for us and so we had to live on corn and meat. To-day a big fleet arrived again with provisions aboard. God knows who was to blame that they could not get enough food to us with the high waters as they are now on the Tennessee. Our old General Smith does his best for the boys but he cannot always be everywhere. Dear parents, we are pretty well situated here now. We have built ourselves blockhouses with fireplaces in them and everything would be fine if they would only see that we have enough to eat, and if you still get a paper then send it to me as the time gets pretty long here when one has nothing to read. It gives nothing much new here since great crowds of rebels come to our outposts every day and surrender. They say that Hood’s army has played out completely. The most of them do not want to fight any more and many are deserting. The brush is full of rebel deserters. The last that we heard of him he was in Tupelo, Mississippi with the remainder of his army.

How long we will stay here we do not know. They are again preparing a fresh fieldtrain and General Thomas, the rock of Nashville, arrived here himself a couple of days ago.

Dear parents, you wrote me that Heinrich Waterman was dead. I cannot believe that because our second lieutenant arrived yesterday from Nashville and said that he was improving; and we received a letter from Michel Thein who wrote that his wound was healing well and that he felt pretty good.

Dear parents if you would be so good and send me a few postage stamps then one cannot buy any here. I also received a letter from Fritz today. I wrote him that if he could send me a few he should do so but I am not sure of it. Now I will close with greetings to all of you.
Charles Hennrich
Answer soon.