August 12th 1861|
Your letter directed to me at Mexico, Mo. come to hand yesterday at this place. A glance at the map will show you where I am. When I come here it was reported that this place was to be attacked by 8,000 secessionests, under Gen. Hardee, within a day or two. 1 Now Hardee's force seems to have reduced and his distance from here to have increased. Scouting parties however are constantly seen within a few miles of our Pickets. I have here about 3000 Vols. nearly all Infantry, but our position being strong and our cause a good one, it would trouble a much larger force of the enemy to dislodge us. —You ask my views about the continuance of the war &c. Well I have changed my mind so much that I dont know what to think. That the Rebels will be so badly whipped by April next that they cannot make a stand anywhere I dont doubt. But they are so dogged that there is no telling when they may be subdued. Send Union troops among them and respect all their rights, pay for evrything you get and they become desperate and reckless because their state sovereignty is invaded. Troops of the opposite side march through and take evrything they want, leaving no pay but script, and they become desperate secession partisans because they have nothing more to loose. Evry change makes them more desperate. I should like to be sent to Western Virginia but my lot seems to be cast in this part of the world. I wanted to remain in St. Louis a day or two to get some books to read that might help me in my profession, and get my uniform &c. made. 2 Mine has been a busy life from the begining and my new made friends in Ill. seem to give me great credit. I hope to deserve it and shall spare no pains on my part to do so.
It is precious little time I shall have for writing letters but I have subscribed for the Daily St. Louis Democrat 3 to be sent to