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Letter (#34) from Private Thomas Buchanan Linn, Co. B, 16th OVI
to his mother Margaret Buchanan Tidball Linn
November 13, 1863
Berwick, 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, La., Friday Morn., Nov. 13, 1863

I received your more than welcome letter yesterday. I have answered Ida and Julia's part and now will write a few scattered thoughts to you just as they come into my mind. I have told the girls all the news, etc, etc. and will have to write of other matters less grand or exciting but probably none the less interesting. I was much interested in your account of the Brough meeting in Millersburg. I was anxious to hear from there, how it went off etc. I should so like to have been there. I'll bet had companies B and E of the 16th O.V.I. marched from the depot up through Main Street they would gather a larger crowd than the procession did and cause more excitement than even John Brough himself.

While we were at Vermillionville we heard the boys were exchanged and coming to the regiment - we expected to meet them every day. The day before, we came back to New Iberia Col. Kershner met us. He told me the boys were exchanged and thought they were in New Orleans then -- said he expected they would meet us at New Iberia. We looked for them all the time we were there - watched the soldiers as they would come up on the boat expecting to see some familiar face - but we watched in vain - they did not come. Lieut. Boling and Warner Hall joined us here they knew nothing of them. When we got back here we learned there was no exchange at all, that the boys were still at Camp Chase, that the Commissioners could not agree on the numbers.

I am very glad you sent me those ten stamps I was almost out and wrote in my last for some. They came in the very nick of time. I hope this will reach you before Frank starts and you will not send me either my vest or those socks. I have as many socks as I like to carry -- have four pair, all good as new - two you sent me, the others new home made captured at Champion Hills never worn until I got them. I had no thoughts of you having a chance to send me a vest and bought a new one while at New Iberia. Yes I put in a full ticket for Brough and all the Union Candidates. I am glad to hear Abe Weatherwax is getting better - he is a good soldier. I have copied off Sammy Risinger's diary because it goes farther back than mine. I send it home for future reference. You will find it interesting.

How do the Valandinghamites bear their defeat? I guess the old traitor is good for two more years residence in Canada - by that time he will become naturalized and stay there I hope. You never told me before that you had a girl. If Newt had not told me Isabel Torbett was at our house I should not have known who you meant by Isabel. I expect my next will be dated some-where in Texas. I will send part of this diary in the little girl's letter.

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