The Civil War Letters of John E. Richardson
April - July 1862
Corinth & Moscow
Following the battle of Shiloh, Gen. Henry Halleck moved the Federal army with excruciating slowness toward Corinth. By the time they arrived the Confederates had all but abandoned the place. The 48th was then moved north into Tennessee and along the railroad toward Memphis. John Richardson rejoined his regiment at Lafayette, TN after returning from home, where he recovered from an illness. The regiment then backtracked to Moscow, where it spent several days before moving on to Memphis.
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Camp near Mosco June 28th 1862
Dear wife it is with pleasure i take mi pensil in hand to rite you a few lines to let you know that i am well and feal first rate. i got to pitsburg landing on sunday. we had to walk to corrinth. we got on the cars thar and road to grand juncion and then we had to walk 20 miles to lafeyett ware i found the regimint. i got thare on wensday almost two weaks geting here. i was very tiard but others ways i was al rite. the boys was glad to see me. i am the first one to cum back that went home sick. thare is thirty men in our company thare in the hospatle. the rest have been sent home. i was agointo rite to you the day i got here but i was tiard and i had mi gun to clen and the next day we marched to this plase and went on picket gard that knight and did not get of until dark last night so i am riting the first chance. it is very warm. i felt the heat for thre days past but it is raning to day and is more comfortabul. we have new potatoes grean corn bens pies blackbers plums apples fresh bef and pork. we exspected to have a battle when we came to this plase but thar was no body to fight when we got here. i think the rebels ar about plad out. when tha see us cuming tha leave on dubble quick so dont be afraid that i wil get kild. i feal better and stronger than i did when i left home and if i new that you and the baby was well i should feal better yet. it was harder for me to leave home this time than it was before and i think and hope it wil not be long until i can cum home to say. stecker [George Strecker?] has gon home sick. he went before i got her. we exspect to be paid the first of July and then i wil send you sum money. potatoes are worth 4 dollars a bushel when thay sel them but we draw them. we take hold of the top and draw them rite out. the order has just cum to make out the pay roles so i ges i wil get some money for you next weake anyhow. i brought a letter from hanna to fred. she roat that he was a dady and he should ask me about it. i told him i had not heard of it before. if you have heard anything about it let me no when you rite. i told him i did not beleve it for i should have herd it if it had ben true. Charley morfealus is in the hospatel now sick. i think he is daddy to one child on the crick if not more. tel saley hal that i left her letter with the head surgen at corrinth. he sad he would giv it to him for i had not time to hunt him up. the surgen did not now whether he was thar or not. the cuntry is thickly settled here. thay ar al rebels but they behave themselves and as long as thay do that we let them be but when they dont we take care of them. it is thirty nine miles to memphis from here. well i cannot think of anything more to rite so i shal hafto stop. writ as sone as you get this becos i shal be uneasy until i here from you. tel warner that the 78 reg is at memphis. i cannot find out whare the 20 and 49th are. dinner is reddy. good by. remember mi.
from your affectionate husband
John E Richardson
to Rosetty Richardson
ps direct your letter as before bi memphis J.E.R.
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Camp ner Mosco July 9th 1862
with pleasure i take mi pen in hand to inform you that i am well and enjoying good helth. i am ganing al the time. i weigh 148 pounds. this is more than i ever did before. i think that this part of the cuntry agreas with me better than ohio but for one thing. it is to alfird hot to sleap in the daytime. i am afrad that i would not make a very good living if i had to work out doors. the boys had a pretty hard time after i went home. some of them have ben sent home. some was sick when i got here but they have got better and returnd to duty. most every day some one cums back to the regimint and sometimes two or thre and five or six. we are exspecting some from Defiance this weake. we heard they was agoing to start last monday and then i shal loock for a letter from you. it seams a long time since i left home but i can wate a little longger when i haf to. i do not no whether you got mi letter or not that i roat when i first got here but i hope you have for i sopose you want to here from mi as bad as i want to here from you. if i was sertin that you and the baby was wel i should feal better but i think i wil get a letter from you this weake or next. our division was orderd out a weake ago last monday to take holey springs twenty five miles from this plase. when we got with in thre miles of thare the rebels fierd on our advst gard from the bushes and kild one man and wonded three more. the 48 was orderd forward but the rebels left before we got to see them. they retreted about a half mile and formd in line of battle about one mile long. we had 4 of canons with us. two of them was orderd forward and plast rite in front of us. they fierd 10 or 12 rounds and they run in to the woods and that is the last we have sean or heard of them. i exspected a hard battle that day and so did al of them but we ware disapontde. i have maid up mi mind to be disaponted when we ar lead to exspect a battle with the rebels. they do not like it any better than i do i guess. we staid thare five days and then came back to this plase last monday and we was very glad to get back agane i tel you for we left our coocking utensils here and al we had to eat was cornmeal and watter dried a little by the fire. we got it from the nigers at 25 cents a loaf bout as large as you can bake in a round tin and some potatoes that we found whare thay was not loist a little fat pork and coffee with a smal coffee pot to mak it in. the first night we found a chckin and coocked it in the coffee pot. i exspect you would have laft at us if you had sean us but we don the very best we could. the next day we got some fresh pork that was runing about without any oner and got apples and black bers. the third day of July we got some flower and i maid som dumplings for dinner. our forth of July dinner consisted of fresh pork potatoes coffee salt and dumplings. a very good dinner we thot. now what did you have? i dont think you can beat ours under the curcumstanses. we hierd a niger to bake us som bread the day we started back. it was bread with a vengents[vengence]. it would go two pounds to the pint. we maid it al rite since we got back here for instans. i wil tel you what we had for dinner to day. we had coffee shoger molases ham eggs potatoes and a jonecake that was worth having for i maid it mi self. i put sody & eggs in it. i do not no whare we wil go next. som think that we wil stay here to gard this plase and some think we wil be sent to virginia. thay had a big battle thare but we do not no whitch got whipt. i have just heard that ritchmond is capttured. if that is true we wil not haf to go thare. we are in a nise plas hear. plenty of good water and a good plase to go in swiming and wash clos. wel i can not think of any thing mor to rite now. as sone as you get this i want you to rite how you are getting along. if you have any trubels dont be afraid to let mi no what tha are and how the baby is geting along. how many teeth has she got can she walk yet and the rest of the folk are they al well. how is the corn potatoes watermelons the old cow and hefers asherg[?]. i want to no al about everything that is going on.
wel good by for a short time
this is from your affectionate husband
John E. Richardson
to Rosetty Richardson
ps tobackco was .50 cents a pound at holey springs but it is onely one dollar here
salt was 20 dollars a sack a few days before i came hear. J. E. R.
John E. Richardson's letters are published here with the generous permission
of Ralph Baughn, Rochester Hills, MI. Ralph owns the original letters and retains
the exclusive copyright to them. They may not be reproduced in any form
without his explicit permission.
Many thanks to Sue Boggs for providing the background
information on the Richardson family.
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