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Letter (#21) from Private Thomas Buchanan Linn, Co. B, 16th OVI
to his mother Margaret Buchanan Tidball Linn
October 2, 1863
Berwick Bay, Louisiana
Web Author's Notes:
The following letter of Thomas B. Linn, a drummer in the 16th OVI, was transcribed by contributor John M. Pierson who obtained it from Mary Bavender. The letters were part of a collection of papers from Linn and included a detailed diary. Combined, the letters and diary entries give us an intimate look at the life of a soldier in the 16th OVI during the Civil War.

These letters were all written or received while Linn was a Private in Company B. He was later promoted, on July 1, 1864, to Principal Musician, as a drummer, and transferred to Field & Staff. He survived the war and mustered out with the regiment on October 31, 1864, near Columbus, Ohio.

Pvt. Thomas Buchanan Linn

Letter addressed to Mother

Berwick's Bay, La., Oct. 2, 1863

Mr. Eckle leaves here for Millersburg in a few days as soon as we leave this camp and has offered to take any thing the boys have to send home with him. I seize the opportunity to send a few relics with him. Mr. Eckle was formerly of the firm of Everly, Eckle & Co. of Nashville, is now with Ezra Lemon (one of Capt. Tanneyhill's men who had a leg shot off at Chickasaw Bayou) Suttlers for our regiment. They only got here yesterday, don't know how we will like them.

There is some talk of our moving on tomorrow, don't know whether we will or not, expect we will move forward in a few days anyway. If Mr. Eckle will take them I wish to send a music book I captured at Jackson, a bible, comb and brush and a toothpick I took on the battle field of Champion Hill and some Alligator scales I got at Carrollton.

I can not understand why it is that I get no letters; with the exception of one from Mary Ellen Williams I have not had a single letter from any one since we left Carrollton and yet my papers have come through from Millersburg. Why is it? Not because my friends do not write I hope. If that is what's the matter I will tell you and you may tell them that although I am way down here among the Louisiana swamps almost out of the world it is true, I am not defunct but still able to draw breath and eat government rations of hard-tack and rotten pork. When I wrote last I was not well had diarrhea, headache, etc. I have got entirely over that and am enjoying usual health again.

I dread the march before us - it is a long way to Galveston or to Maramoras if we go to either of those places. I am afraid the rainy season will set in soon and then - Oh the mud!! We had a three or four days rain and everything we have is wet -- wetter -- wettest -- our shelter tents are very poor things in wet weather the rain beats right through them - under them and in at the ends. They are splendid for a summer campaign but not fit for a winter one. Hope we will have good winter quarters to go into when we get to our journey's end.

I suppose our County will give the Valandingham ticket a big lift next Tuesday week. Do all you can to make their majority as small as possible. Old Val. will not get much encouragement from the soldiers. He will not get more than one vote in Co. B. if that. Hurrah for Brough and freedom.

Mail just come in - two letters and a paper from Tom - one from Billy Fleming - the other from College Corner. I must stop to read them and my Republican of Sept. 17th.

Well I have read my letters and will try to answer Billy's and send it with this.

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