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Letter (#23) from Private Thomas Buchanan Linn, Co. B, 16th OVI
to parents, Cicero and Margaret Tidball Linn
October 11, 1863
Vermillionville, 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 Father and Mother

Vermillionville, La., October 11, 1863

Your letters of Sept. 20th the first I have received since some time before we left Carrollton, has just been received. It brought me sad, very sad news that my little twin brother and sister are no more of this world; their pure little spirits are gone to join their sister and brothers in heaven above: they were sent as it were to cheer up our hearts and prevent us from fretting and mourning unnecessarily over our heavy -- yes God only knows how heavy - blow of last winter - the deaths of our much loved and deeply mourned Lizzie and Cappie. Their mission performed and they are called home again. They were only lent of the Lord. I have never seen them and never will see them on earth yet they are my own brother and sister and the tear will start and my heart feel sad - how much more severe the stroke on you, you who have raised them, who have been with them ever since they saw the light and who only knew to love. Were they buried at the Temple?

I got my pen. Newt Gorsuch arrived safely and is now with us well and hearty. He stayed one week with his sister and his brother-in-law, who is a Doctor, completely cured him. I have written every opportunity since we left Carrollton and you know by this time that we are on our way to Texas, are now about 160 miles from New Orleans in a North-west direction near Vermillionville. I do not know whether it is marked on the map or not. We are resting today. We are making the trip by easy marches going three or four days and then rest a day or two. The march day before yesterday nearly became a forced one as we had to march 20 miles before we found water. We generally march about 12 miles a day, stop about two o'clock P.M. and put up our tents.

I sent a bundle of things containing a couple of books, etc. a letter to you and one to Billy Fleming with Mr. Eckle, told him to leave them at Uncle Freys shop did you receive them? Has Cicero got work in Fort Wayne? Was he at Wapakenneta and at Henry McConnels? What did he appear to think of the business qualities of Wapakenneta? How are Mr. Levingston, Henry and the rest of the family? Tell Hen I am patiently waiting and looking for that long letter he promised me. Give my love to all. Send your letters via New Orleans instead of Memphis. I will write again as soon as I can.

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