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Letter (#43) from Private Thomas Buchanan Linn, Co. B, 16th OVI
to his aunt Nancy Tidball
December 27, 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 Aunt Nancy Tidball

Decrow's Point, Texas, Dec. 27, 1863

This is the Sabbath morning and I expect you are at this moment preparing for church if not already seated in your regular place in the "House of the Lord" listening to the words of divine truth as they drop from the lips of some eloquent though humble "follower of the Lamb." I am hundreds of miles away from that quite and peaceful scene so vividly reflected in my memory - in a country bleak and barren with no redeeming quality and where there is no Sabbath.

I know you are opposed to Sunday letter writing but it is one of our best employments. I was glad to receive your letter last week. The New York Observer you sent came a few days before the letter and was greatly welcomed. Reading matter is in great demand. I read the story you speak of - another marked article etc. I read the articles with interest. I always like to read of our young soldiers.

Give my compliments to Miss Buchanan also to the two Misses McLaughlins and Jenny Williams. I was not aware they were in Millersburg until I received your letter, then one from Miss Williams to her brother also informed us they were there. What room do the girls occupy? Where is the schoolroom? I find I am becoming as ignorant of what is transpiring in little Copperhead Holmes as if I had never known there was such a place. I see I will have to enlarge my correspondence thereabouts or give up trying to keep up with the times. Once in a while I get a glimpse of affairs and were I not a soldier used to seeing great changes in a short time I should be greatly surprised to find how far behind the times I am.

I do not wonder that Uncle William and Aunt Sue did not like the gales of Texas if they blew, where they were, any thing like they do over Matagorda Peninsula. We had another taste of its Nor'Westers last night. The wind had been veering round toward the west all day with an occasional shower of rain. In the evening it began to blow "big guns" and before eight o'clock we began to seriously think we would have to take our tent in out of the wind as we did on a similar occasion before when we took down our tent and lay out all night to prevent it from being torn to shreds. But we had the sand well banked up around it and the ends shut up with beef - hides this time keeping the wind from getting inside and thus prevented the tent from being torn from its' stakes. We did not dare to disrobe when we went to bed, but lay down will all our clothes on expecting every minute our tent would go. Fortunately every thing held firmly and the night was passed in safety. Pleasant though, is it not, to live in a country where you are afraid to retire lest you may have a race for your house before morning. The wind is now falling but still blows more than is comfortable. The sun shines brightly enough but the wind keeps it cold and the sand flies about like drifting snow.

The boys are all in good health and splendid spirits. This is our last winter in this term of service. Nine months will see us free again and then for a visit to old Millersburg, and a respite from the toils of war. I wrote a few lines to Mother last Thursday but did not feel in a humor for writing and could not write what I wished to tell her. I will write again to her in a few days - hope more satisfactorily. Give my love to Grandmother, Uncle and Aunt Love. I forgot to say I have not received Aunt Deb's letter yet. Hope soon to hear from you again. I like to receive your letters and they are far to few.

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