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Letter (#46) from Private Thomas Buchanan Linn, Co. B, 16th OVI
to his mother Margaret Buchanan Tidball 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 Mother

Decrow's Point, Tex., Wednesday Eve.

Dec. 30. 1863

I have written a sheet to Father and one to Zekie and now I must see what I can do for you. I have so many things to say to you that I cannot write, so when I take my pen I am always puzzled to know what to write and never write what I want to . I cannot concentrate my thoughts.

I received your letter of Nov. 24th without the O.V.I. but it was a wonder. I suppose it was done up with others coming here from Millersburg. Yours of Oct. 20 was backed correctly. I received the ten stamps and used them; also the things sent by Frank Wilson but I wrote about them before - you will get the letters before you do this. The vest Corns brought was the one I wanted - my buff one. I am beginning to think my good clothes will be too small for me when I get home. I have got to be a great broadshouldered heavy set fellow weighing 160 pounds - no deductions made for beard and mustaches. I am foolish enough to think rather better looking than when you were acquainted with me.

I expect I too would laugh at that little politician if I could see and hear him denouncing all democrats except "Uncle Alec." I remember a few of my old expressions then but not that one. I remember one "My Father is a Whig and I am a Whig" for which I came near getting a trownsing for bringing Father into my political squabbles.

I do not know what was done with Gen. Ord. He was put under arrest and ordered back to New Orleans - that was the last we heard of him. Gen. Washborne, a gentleman, took and still has command of the Corps. Corps Headquarters are at Brownsville. Gen. Lawler has been relieved and Gen. Benton takes his place as Commander of the First Division. (ours.) My ankle is well and Tom is all right side up with a cane. You see we did go back to New Orleans but only to take ship for Texas. Easier than the first route. We had official announcement of Grants success in Georgia but no particulars till this mail's papers. While we were with the 22nd Ky. their Chaplain frequently distributed tracts and papers through our regiment and when he preached he always let us know and invited us to attend. I think he is one of the best men living, I do not know his name. They left us at Brashear City the 20th November and are now on the Mississippi river. Since then we have no preaching or prayer meetings. There is an old preacher in the 114th but I never hear of his preaching or any thing else. I am sorry Grandmother has forgotten how to write. It would do me so much good to get a letter from her. Aunt Nancy writes good letters but I am afraid she too will soon forget how. I am glad Grandmother is a good advocate and scolds you good for not writing oftener. Father says you got Ida's and Julia's letters. I am glad. I have some scraps for my diary which I want to send in this letter. I am going to send you a list of all the letters I have written and received during this year.

No. to eachTo whom writtenNo. from eachFrom whom Received
37Lizzie Shafer 29Lizzie Shafer
8Wm. Fleming9Wm. Fleming
6For Publication
6Lizzie Shera5Lizzie Shera
5Ike McCullough1Ike McCullough
4John F. Linn4John F. Linn
4Hen Levingston3Hen Levingston
4John Shera4John Shera
4A.B. Frey4A.B. Frey
3Nancy R. Tidball3Nancy R. Tidball
3Dave Williams3Dave Williams
3Rebecca Powers4Rebecca Powers
2Ellie Williams2Ellie Williams
2Jake Hostettler1Jake Hostettler
2Tom B. Bird2Tom B. Bird
2Frank Wilson2Frank Wilson
2Cy Martin3Cy Martin
2John Fleming3John Fleming
2Maria Sheely1Maria Shelly
2Will Shera1Will Shera
1Homer Sheely1Homer Sheely
1Virgil Sheely1Virgil Sheely
1George W. Smith1George W. Smith
1J.C. Tidball1J.C. Tidball
1James Williams1James Williams
1Newt Gorsuch1Amy Jones
123 Received

1 each to Rachel Palmer, Dick and Fitzgerald, I.S. Bently, James Parsons, Kasandra Ross and N.M. Bell ----- equals 161. A pretty extensive correspondence is it not? I do not now write to them all and am going to change it more.

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