Troy Davis Co. Dec.7 1861
It has been so long since I wrote to
you & I have had so much to think of in the mean time
that I don’t know what I wrote. We were then in the midst
of the stirring events of war and did not know what a day
might bring forth. It is now quiet here although the Nation-
al struggle is not yet at an end. For the most of the
summer & fall we were in a state of excitement here
owing to our vicinity to Missouri & the fact that the rebels
in that state were in arms & sometimes threatening
to make an inroad into our state, but I think they will
be quiet along the borders this winter at least.
Col. Moore fought a battle with them last week and
whipped them soundly & since then many of the rebels
have been coming in and laying down their arms.
Gen. Price threatened a while ago to come up and
winter in Iowa, but if he attempts it he will
find warm work, for although many have gone
to the armies in different parts of the U.S yet
there are many left. Davis country has sent
a regiment to the field. The young men are pretty well thinned
off. About 20 of my scholars inlisted for the war
one young man from this place was killed in the
battle at Belmont he was cut in two by a cannon
ball, another of my cholars(sic) in the same battle
with 19 others were all that were left of one company,
& he had several bullet holes in different parts of his
Ioway “boys” are not slow in coming up to the defence
of their country. By an act of the Legislature
passed last summer Volunteer companies
were formed subject to the call of the Governor.
We formed two in this town one Cavelry and
one Light Infantry, of the latter I was chosen
2 Lieut and now Capt - but so many volunteered
that the required regiments were immediately filled
& the Governor has never ordered us out but ordered
to be ready for the defensive should any attack be
made upon our state, twenty five members of
my company have volunteered & are now in
Missouri and Kentucky.
The war is making hard times here so far as money is concerned,
but provisions ate plenty Pork is worth about two cents
or two and a half per lb - beef three, flour from three
to four dollars per barrel, butter eight cents, corn 15 cents
per bushel. If the war should continue up till another
year, provisions will be higher as so many farmers have gone
to the war, but I believe it will be finished before then.
Our company were sent for twice by Col Moore to go down
into Missouri as he was expecting an attack by the rebels,
but both times the rasculs pulled stakes and left before
we got to them - The second tine we went down we
had U.S. muskets. Col Moore is more than
a match for the rebels I would rather fight under
him in North Missouri than any other man.
I see New Hampshire is doing her part
in the struggle although I have not seen many
names in the papers except the company at Hampton
that I know. I suppose however that there are
a good many - I regret as much as any body can that
our once happy country should be distracted by a civil
war, but now that we are in the midt of it I
hope it will be carried on till slavery the sole cause
of the war is obliterated once and forever from the
nation & I can hardly believe God will smile upon us
as a nation till slavery is abolished - If it is not now
removed it will remain to be the source of trouble again
nor do I believe the country can ever again be united or
happy while it remains - Liberty or slavery to be decided by
this war. I believe our cause is just & one into which we
are forced that Lincoln is the man for the times & Mc-
Clellon destined to be the second Washington of our
country. I do not know how it is in the southern states
but in Missouri there will be a good deal of suffering this
winter, the rebels have been plundering & robbing all summer
& Fall taking provisions & cloathing until some parts of the
state must be pretty well stripped, whilst they have raised
little for themselves. When winter comes they
must starve or be supplied by the friends of the Union.
Col. Moore who commands in northern Missouri
has already had to supply many families - but he
will not continue to do it unlefs they lay down
their arms and return to their duty and in
many cases they will have to go into his army.
This last battle last week was only twenty miles.
We heard that a company of union men, were surrounded
by the rebels - marched 25 miles fought & conquered
before dark the same day. The rebels are more
afraid of him than any other man in Missouri - yet he
is a native of that state and has two sons in the rebel army
& he has been trying to meet them in battle all the Fall
Notwithstanding his energy & promptness in battle he is one of
the kindest hearted of men, every soldier under him loves
him - his hair is black as a raven.
It is vacation in my school
We scarcely do or think of any thing here but the war.
There are not many Yankees in the southern part of the state.
Our Minister has been talking of going into the army as chaplain.
The Methodist minister has gone as Capt. of company.
Mary sends her love to you & little Mary says tell Grandpa that
& am a good little girl & want to see him. She is as pretty
and bright a little girl as you ever saw I expect