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Letter (#44) from Private Thomas Buchanan Linn, Co. B, 16th OVI
to his father Cicero Boston Linn
December 30, 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. 30, 1863

I received the most extensive mail last night I have received since we were at Cumberland Ford when my scholars all wrote me. I received eight letters, two Republicans, quire of paper and pack of envelopes. I am going to tell you who my letters are from for I know you will have a curiosity to learn, One from Father, one from Mother and Zeke, two from College Corner, one from Miss Becky Powers, one from Cy Martin, one from George Smith (a discharged soldier) and one from Jake Hostetler (sick mess-mate at New Orleans) worth waiting two weeks for, is it not? Not much wonder I was glad when I saw the noble steamer St. Marys slowly moving in over the bar at the entrance of the harbor. The pen and stamps were also brought through in safety. I was greatly in need of stamps - had but one left. I write a great deal, it is good employment to pass away the time as well as profitable to myself and then O how I do like to hear "T.B. Linn" read out when the mail comes in. I wrote a letter Kasandra Ross (Graham Ross' daughter) the other day. I had answered all my letters and felt like writing to somebody, one of the boys mentioned her name in conversation and I just sat down and wrote a letter to her.

Newt Gorsuch is greatly pleased with his pen. He says he "has the best pen in the regi-ment without exception. I think Tom's will write as well if used by a skillful hand. Newt was expecting it this mail and said to me yesterday if he did not get it this time he would think if was lost. I am so glad to get the writing paper and envelopes you sent me. Paper and envelopes are very scarce here and hard to get. When we can get them we pay 50 cents a quire for this size paper, 60 cents for size larger and 40 cents a pack for envelopes, all of a far inferior quality to that you sent me. Hillow, here's Newt with his new pen and I must try it. Writes first rate, will be better when the rough edge wears off.

I am glad you have your clover-seed hulled and sold. I don't know what ground you had in clover, so can't tell whether it turned our well or not. I am glad you got so good a price for it. How much were your taxes this year? I wish I were there to spend the holidays and eat sausage meat and corn dodgers. The way I would stow them away would astonish the natives. I tell you now I could do justice to a good mess of corn cakes and sausage gravy with a slice of the hashed meat thrown in between. It makes my mouth water to think of it. My old grinders long for some-thing softer than hard-tack to try themselves on. About three years more chewing hard-tack and I will be toothless. I would like so much to spend an evening with such company as were at our house the night Mr. Layenberger was there. Aggie is a large girl by this time - does she remember seeing her brother, Tom? Ida and Ada Burkholder are two of the young ladies and Jim Davidson and Zeke are two of the young gents of Paint Creek society as it is now. The young ladies of my time are, to them getting to be old maids I suppose and Tom when he gets home will be looked on as a piteous old bachelor. Well, soldiering will make a man feel old at least. Sometimes after a hard days work I have felt older by ten years than Grandfather.

James Robertson arrived safe and sound to the regiment while we were at Berwick. Our Berwick letters had not reached you when you wrote. I thought Will Reed was dead; I had not heard of him since he was left at Cairo, Ill. I hope he will write, I would like to receive a letter from him. I am looking for a letter from Cicero now. Wish he would write. I wrote him asking how much it would take to start a small store and telling him if we could make it pay well and fast enough. If I go in with Cicero I can't buy any land; if I buy land I can't go in with Cicero. I am determined to do something that will make me a home as soon as possible - the quickest and best way is the one I want. Write soon and give me your opinion. What can that land be bought for now?

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