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Letter (#32) from Private Thomas Buchanan Linn, Co. B, 16th OVI
to his uncle Reverand J. Caldwell Tidball
November 11, 1863
Brashear City, 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 Uncle Rev. J.C. Tidball

Brashear City, La., Nov. 11, 1863

I received your kind and very friendly letter several days ago and as we were moving about so much I was always tired and deferred answering it till this morning. I am well although we have had a pretty tough time of it lately. We were in the great Texas Expedition - were to pass through Louisiana but like all other plans of the "great" Gen. Banks failed and we have returned to Brashear City - probably to New Orleans to start out afresh; out-generaled and driven by an inferior force and that too almost without a battle. We were as far as Oppolousas over a hundred miles from here - had not more then got there till we were ordered back to New Iberia to protect the rear. We made the backward trip, about 53 miles, in three days - took four advancing. We lay there three days and then Col. Kershner was appointed to command the Post and our regiment was to garrison it. Our front had fallen back to Roundabout Bayou twelve miles this side of Oppolousas. Here they suffered themselves to be completely surprised and a short but bloody conflict ensued. Our boys were being paid off when the rebels came yelling right into their camp driving them back with heavy loss. They afterwards rallied and then Mr. Reb. had to give way leaving us in possession of the field. Our loss was about 600 in killed, wounded and missing - mostly prisoners. The rebel loss in killed and wounded was heavier than ours although we did not take as many prisoners. The army fell back fourteen miles to Vermillion Bayou and made a stand - in a couple of days afterward we were all ordered back here.

For once since we came to the front the 16th was fortunate. We had 89 prisoners and a long train of empty wagons to bring down. The prisoners were sent ahead with a guard and the rest of us got into the wagons and rode twenty-eight miles to Franklin where we got on the boat and came on down the bayou arriving here night before last. Yesterday the rest of the division came in and we put up our tents. How long we will stay or where we will go from here I am not able to state. The general opinion is that we will take boats and go by water toward Galveston. I wish they would send our regiment to some point for garrison duty and leave us there the balance of our time, we have had our share of both fighting and hard marching for one campaign or enlist-ment.

I am glad the election is over and that the Ohio Patriots have done their duty so nobly and have politically killed her greatest and boldest traitor for ever and ever.

Yes I have lost my little twin brother and sister. It seems as though they were just sent to smooth the ruffled surface of our grief at the loss of our dear Lizzie and Casper - that done and they were called home to rejoin those dear ones and beckon us to come too.

I suppose your parsonage is finished by this time and you and Aunt Deb are at home again. Hope she had a pleasant visit at her father's. I should like to see you drill your company. I could look on with a kind of professional eye. I have not heard from the Sheely boys or Maria for a long time. Write again and frequently. I am always glad to get your letters. Give my love to Aunt Deb.

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