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Letter (#26) from Private Thomas Buchanan Linn, Co. B, 16th OVI
to L.S.
October 17, 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.

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.

Vermillion, La., Oct. 17, 1863

I received your dear letter of Sept. 23rd, a few days ago but as I had just put a letter in the office for you I put off answering it for a day or two. You see we are still at Vermillionville. I don't know when we will move forward, we are to be the last division to leave here. I guess the 19th Army Corps has been fighting some, we could hear their cannon and the fourth division went on to reinforce them. I do not think we will have any fighting this trip. There the drum beats for Guard Mounting and I must quit until it and drill is over.

Well dinner over and I can go to my letter again, have not much time to write as mail goes out at one o'clock today. How I would like to call over and help you put away some of those nice peaches and preserves you and Sallie are so busy putting up. But I will not get home now - furloughs have played out and it is too far. But eleven months will soon roll around and then no furloughs will be needed. I'll bet you have plenty to do now you are "chief cook and bottle washer" and have no time to have the blues. How is your grandmother and has your Mother returned? I did know Austins and if they are butternuts I have no particular desire to know them, you see I am no friend of butternuts. I am like you I think the Sunday school picnic would be more pleasant than the Austin party.

Our principal fifer Mr. Littell brought the tune of "When this Cruel War is Over" back with him from home and we now play it in the band. He was home on furlough. I have never seen the words but think it a splendid tune. I should like to have a copy of the song and notes, when you get them please send me a copy. I wish we were where we could get music, I should so like to send you a new collection of some of our war songs, etc. I am going to send you a couple of songs, one written by one of the 49th Indiana regiment belong to our brigade, the other by a lady of secesh from little Holmes County.

I must not forget to tell you that I put in my first vote last Tuesday and that too for Brough. We have four Valandinghammers in our Company and they are half ashamed to themselves. I will give you the vote of our regiment. Co. A. - 7 Brough; 9 Valandingham; Co. B - 16 for B 4 for V.; Co. C - 23 for B. 1 for V.; Co. D - 18 for B. 1 for V. Co. E - 8 for B. 6 for V. Co. F - 12 for B. none for V. Co. G. - 22 for B. none for V. Co. H - 19 for B. none for V. Co. I - 17 for B. 2 for V. Co. K - 15 for B. none for V. The regiment gave 157 for Brough and 23 for Valandingham - a snug little majority of 134 votes for Brough. The 114th regiment gave Valand-ingham 21 votes and 42nd gave him only 6 in the regiment. I must quit - good-by for this time.

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