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Letter from James B. Young to his betrothed:
Yours of Oct. 3rd is in hand and has been read again & again. Oh! How glad I was to receive a letter from yourself, and to hear that you was convalescent and indeed almost well. No news could have been more welcome & cheering. May health and happiness attend you!!
I was very sick when your letter came to hand. Capt. [William W. P.] McConnell [Neosho Falls. KS] brought it from the office to me. It was a precious jewel, and I have been to the hospital again for 3 or 4 days, but I am now well again and with Co. M-. I had made arrangements to go to my Co. and had packed and sent my trunk to Pleasant Hill in case of it. Lt. J. H. Signor A.A.V.M. of the post at that place, and was going out with General [Thomas] Ewing's Com'd., but unfortunately was taken ill just as the command started and instead of going along had to go to the Hospital.
The last word from Co. "G" they were at Austin Mo., 13 miles S.E. of Harrisonville, but the man who told me, said he thought they were only on a scout and would probably return to H-. He said Maj. [Willocourt] Doudna [Humboldt, KS] was in command of the Detachment, including "G" Co., 19 Delaware Indians & a few men from the Co. He belonged to (6th Kans. V.), Gen. Ewing is at Sedalia with quite a force, and the telegraph brings word that he is engaging an attacking force of Rebels estimated at 5000 with doubtful success. We anxiously await the results.
The "Army of the Potomac" have had another engagement, and I think have been defeated and driven from Raphidan to the north side of the Rapahannoc. That Noble Army sustained considerable loss but seem to have acquitted themselves with as much honor as usual, or at least they seemed to have "Retreated in good Order". Great consternation has seized the people through this country and there does seem to be some danger, any of these Posts are liable to be attacked most any time, but - every possible preparation is being made to give them a warm reception at any place. They may make an attack.
We were all called out about a week ago to go to Wyandott, to save that place from destruction by Quantril [Quantrell], who was reported to have crossed the river at Quindaso with 400 men. We thought we would get a fight that time sure but - it proved a false alarm and we returned disappointed.
I believe it is generally believed that Schofield & Ewing will not be removed. Col. Van Horn is now in command here - I think Co. "B" was in big business burning our Hay!
There was an atrocious murder committed here night-before-last - by a soldier shooting a peaceable unarmed citizen dead! Soldier is in Prison!
Letter from Ed Corman to his sister Allie:
Larned P.F. Kan.
You must excuse my long silence for it is not every day that I have an opportunity of writing. Still - I think you will have to ask to be excused. I have wrote twice to your owner and have not heard from any of you for nearly two months. I don't know whether you did not write or whether your letters have been delayed.
You will observe by the heading that we are at this post. Thirty six of the Company left Fort Lyon on the 18th of Oct. On escort duty, we came down with a train of Indian presents for five Tribes the Comanches, Kiawas, Arapahoes, Shyannes and Apaches. We were nine days traveling of hundred and sixty miles. We only had two hours notice to get read in the train of seven wagons went on ahead of us. We did not get started till nearly night. We started in a hurry and some way or other we passed them without knowing it. I and some of the boys had to turn back and guard the train during the night.
We had a tolerable hard time for a few days. We never got into camp till after night. It turned very cold one night about midnight and we did not have our tents pitched. We nearly froze. We had to get out about daybreak and start with out our breakfast. As trains generally start very early and we had to start with it. It was so cold that it froze the Arkansas River entirely over. We traveled all day and not a stitch of timber in sight except some little cottonwood bushes. What fire we had we had to manufacture out of Buffalo chips, but we got through all right.
When we got down to the crossing, the Indians would not receive the goods as they was to have eleven loads instead of seven. We camped about five miles from their lodges. Col. [Jesse H.] Leavenworth sent a dispatch back to the rest of the train which was empty. They came up the same night after dark and we took enough out of the seven to load four more wagons. We done all this in the night. The next morning we had eleven loads, the number that was promised. We went on down to their camp and distributed the goods to each Chief of the tribe. After we got through with the goods one of the Chiefs gave the Col. two ponys and a mule. The Comanche Chief said that the others could not make him ashamed and he gave him the nicest pony I ever saw.
We left them just as it was getting dark and traveled twelve miles and camped. We had a good time the rest of the way down. The boys killed four buffalo one day. They killed one right close by the road. The Capt. And some of the boys has been out on a three day hunt. They killed a nice fat young cow and two calves. They took a bottle of strychnine with them. They killed eighteen large grey wolves. We have more buffalo meat than we want. Buffalo quarters are scattered all around our camp. We make a practice of using bacon to kindle fire with. Don't you think that is extravagant.
Lt. Dawson of the Colorado Troop was shot by a sentinel at Ft. Mackee which is up near the semeroune crossing. He was drunk and under arrest in the guard tent. The sentinel had orders to shoot him if he tried to get out. He came out and drawed his revolver on the guard and tried to drve him off the post. The sentinel shot him through the heart. He was brought down here and buried. He was hated by all the Soldiers of the Regiment, and our Company too.
Fifiteen of the boys got here yesterday from Ft. Lyon. There is about twenty five of the boys up there yet. Isaac [Ed and Allie's brother, also in the 9th Kansas Cav.] is up there. Twelve of the boys started to Ft. Mackee yesterday with some prisoners. We received four months pay since we came here. One month more there will be four months pay due us (Regulars) and four months irregular pay due us. We will get it all next pay day.
I would like to see all of you first rate. How is Mary getting along. Is she as wild as ever. Does she say anything about me. How is Heather and Mother, John and Mary and every body. I want you to write and tell me everything, and more to. And tell me what you are doing and how you all are getting along. We will not stay here this winter as there is not forage for our horses here.
I think we will go to Ft. Riley or Fort Scott to winter as soon as the rest of the boys get here. Give my respects to Mr and Mrs. Sonnborgh. The mail just came in and no letter for me. I will not write any more this time for there is no news. My love to all.
ever thy Brother
I would have wrote to you before this but there was no paper at this post. And I left mine at Ft. Lyon with the expectation of going back there again. I will [not] write any more till I hear from home. Write as soon as you get this. E.C. Excuse the mistakes and bad spelling. And help Mary forty thousand times for me.