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Letter (#39) from Private Thomas Buchanan Linn, Co. B, 16th OVI
to his father Cicero Boston Linn
December 9, 1863
Decrow's Point, Texas
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

Decrow's Point, Texas, Dec. 9, 1863

I received your affectionate letter of Nov. 4th while on the steamship St. Mary's while coming down the Mississippi River on our way here. I would have answered sooner if I could have sent the letter. I wrote a long one to Uncle Frey for the paper and sent it on the return trip of the St. Mary's. It told all about our trip here and incidents occurring on the way, you probably saw the letter before he gave it to the editor if not will see it in print before this reaches you so I need not repeat but little of it. We met the paroled men at Algiers and I tell you it did our hearts good to see them again. It reminded us of old times and our regiment presented a livelier appear-ance the next evening at dress parade than it had done for a long, long time - since the morning of that fatal 29th December, 1863 - nearly eleven month before.

Frank Wilson brought me the vest, socks, pin cushion etc. through in safety. The vest and socks I had rather had not been sent as I had bought a vest a short time before and had socks enough for this winter. I let Raymond Fenner, my bedfellow, have one pair of socks. The needles and pins I needed. I must thank Ida's little fingers for the pin cushion she made and sent to me. How it cheers me up when I think of so many little kindnesses expressed by the many little things sent me from home, speaking so plainly "You are not forgotten," that I am missed in the home circle.

The sea beach abounds in shells of all sizes, shapes and hues. I have been gathering a lot of them and to show I have not forgotten my little brothers and sisters - that I still think of them I will send some of the prettiest little ones I could find to Ida, Julia, Willie, and Aggie. While Zeke who has grown to be a great big boy and will not care for them for himself, has not forgotten his baby interest in bugs and will be interested in looking at and admiring them almost as much as little Aggie herself. I have a pretty shell here with a beautiful star on it. It is off of a starfish. I could not find any small enough to send you. Yes, here is one if it don't make too much bulk I will try it when I do up my letter. They are so brittle I expect it will break all to pieces.

We received some glorious news last night by the steamer Arkansas, if it is true. That Bragg's Army is entirely annihilated. We are anxious for a mail for papers to hear the particulars. If true this looks more and more like crushing the rebellion, looks as though we may not get to serve our nine months through. I wrote at Brashear City, to Cicero about his proposition for us to go in together in a jewelry store. What do you think of the idea. How much capital will we have to have to set up, etc., etc.

The boys with the regiment are all well. We left Ike McCullough at the general hospital at New Orleans with a recommendation for a discharge by Dr. Brashear. Have not heard from him since. I have a letter for him, I think from his wife, but I do not know how to send it to him.

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