The letter was a bit tattered at the bottom of
the pages, but I have
transcribed the remainder as follows:
Head Quarters Camp Burnside
Ft. Des Moines, Iowa
Dear Cousin John,
After so long a time a time I make haste to answer your last as I was just
ready to start in the services. I thought I would not answer it til I got in
to camp and now I am in camp as there was such a great call again for to
sustain our government. I felt it my duty to go John. I hated to leave home
awful bad but yet I could not be contented to stay there, I think when we
leave here be ordered to Washington. The news is this morning that the
rebels are within twelve miles…. (illegible line at bottom of 1st page)
Fighting to do yet but if I get into a fight you bet I’ll be alright. Billy
keeps cool in Battle every time. John if you rite to me let me know what
fight George is in. You told me but I have forgotten and Couts boys if you
know further. Our men in our state have turned out very well around Clarinda
and Hawleyville looks desolate. They have nearly all turned out to fight.
Things look lively around Des Moines. We are just East of the town in
barracks one half mile. We have been here eight days. We will (illegible)
our uniform today. The regiment is full and two _____ over drafting will
commence the fourth of September and will continue til the quota of 30,000
is made ….. (illegible line at bottom of page 2).
_____ South out of the country.
John I left all the folks well at home and this leaves me well also. Hoping
it may find you and family well and enjoying the best of blessings and as I
have nothing very strange to write at this time I will come to a close.
John our ____ is not letters yet write some John to your friend until
Wm. P. Peterman
To John ____
WP my address as this
In care of Captain C. G. George
23rd Iowa Vols