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Letter (#22) from Private Thomas Buchanan Linn, Co. B, 16th OVI
to L.S.
abt. October 8, 1863
near New Iberia, Louisiana (assumed)
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.

This letter is addressed to L.S. Research by contributor John Pierson uncovers some confusion. Pvt. Linn married an Elizabeth Shafer in November, 1864, just a few weeks after mustering out of the army. In his letters, Tom used the nickname Lizzie and it is likely most letters addressed to L.S. were to his future wife, Elizabeth Shafer. However, Tom also was acquainted to a Lizzie Shera and may have also written to her. Research continues.

Pvt. Thomas Buchanan Linn

Letter addressed to L.S.

I received a letter from you four days ago just as we were preparing for another march and had no time to answer then. We are halting at this out of the way place for a few days to rest and bring up more provisions, when we will resume our march for some point in Texas as yet un- known to high privates although both Galveston and Fort Brown on the Rio Grande are spoken of. I hope we will go to Galveston, our mail facilities will be so much better than at Fort Brown. It is said we are to protect the borders from the French. When I wrote you last I was sick if I remember right. I am glad to tell you I have entirely recovered. You ask what I mean when I say I intend to come back again when my time is out without shouldering a musket. I hope the war will be over and I will not have to come at all but if it is not I mean if the government will accept my services in some other way than a private I will come again but will not come as a private or a drummer. I will serve again as a Lieutenant, Captain, Commissary Clerk or sergeant or any other way that I will not have to carry a knapsack when I march. Probably I may try for something to do in the War department without going into the field. I have not fully made up my mind how I will apply nor is it necessary yet till I get out of the service this time. I intend going home first and then will think of and decide what I shall do. I wish to see and talk the matter over with you before binding myself again.

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