Wednesday, January 19, 2011

From the Civil War Letters of Pvt (US) H. Talbert

Excerpt: "The Knights of the Golden Circle has long been talked of in this State and I have always been fearful that they would some day rise up against us but I hope our Army will be successful ...  keep the cowardly K.G.C. at bay."

Calhoun Mo
January the 6th 1863
 Dear Brother Alpheus
This evening finds me again Seated in my lonely Tent, No other Companion to cheer except the Stove which has been a very exceptible partner for the last day or two.  For the last 8 or ten days it has been raining considerable but last night it turned cold and to day feels like Winter for the first since Nov.  Times are very quiet, Nothing going on to create excitement but hearty wishes are daily heard from every true hearted Soldier in favor of our Army Now in the South.  Although your letter brought rather discouraging News, still I feel as I think every true Patriot ought to feel determined to never give up as long as there is a gleam of hope remaining for the Union as it was & the Constitution as it is.  And I cannot for my life think it will ever be settled otherwise.  Although I acknowledge things look very gloomy at present.  But I hope and trust time will bring things around all square.  The Knights of the Golden Circle has long been talked of in this State and I have always been fearful that they would some day rise up against us but I hope our Army will be successful in the Battle now in progress both at Murfeesboro & Vicsburg and thus keep the cowardly K. G. C. at bay.  Your ever welcome note of the 30th & 31rst of Dc. came to hand yesterday evening, which found me well, hearty and in fine spirits.  And I sincerely hope these few lines may find you all the same.  The health is good without any exceptions, not a sick man in the hospital at this post, and has not been for some time.  I am not as fleshy as I was last winter (weigh 170) but I enjoy as good health as I ever did in my life. New Years Day I went to Sedalia with Lt Thomas, staid three nights and two days, then returned.  I found  Frank, Wm. Worth, J. M. Ash, & all the rest of the boys well and hearty.  Frank appeared to be well satisfied.  I got there late in the evening, but in time to get some of his goodies sent him from home.
     Dc 7th I will now try and finish my scribbling.  We got a paper this evening which brings cheering news, Murfeesboro & Vicsburg is ours according to its statements.  You can hardly imagine how it cheers the boys to hear of such Union Victories: Hurrah for the Union.
     This afternoon I went out and set two mink traps on a small creek running close by.  While setting one trap I saw a mink slipping from one drift to another.  I think there is several along this creek.  Coon are plenty.  I do not no exactly what they are worth but mink about $1.00 & coon 50 or 60 cts.  Tomorrow me & P. C. Holland are going down the creek to set some more traps.  He goes with me for company, and I go because I have nothing else much to do.  To day Peter wrote a letter to Mother, in which he  gave me a very good name.  I objected to his praising me up so high but he said I deserved it and he would have his own way.  From the way he writes, you would at once suppose I had a huge pair of whiskers & mustache but if you was to see me you would think different.  My beard has grown but very little since I left home.  I was glad to hear that you had so plenty of money, and if you think you can not take care of it all just send me about five dollars in a letter.  I assure you I can find a place to deposit it.  There is four months pay due us now, and I do not no to what there will be four months more due us before we get any.   Uncle Sam and the boys in camp now owes me over $100.00.  Tell me in your next letter if Father has collected any of that money coming to me from the boys killed at Lone Jack.  And if he has not got that that is coming to me from Charley Hungleford tell  Milton he can have it if he will collect it.  Material for writing letters has become so scarce that I have concluded to only write home.  If you hear any one complaining about me not writing tell them how it is.  And this is not all, I have so little to write about that I think it useless to write so many letters to thee same settlement.  This leaves me enjoying good health and hoping it will find you all well and doing well.  I will close with love and respect, I remain your affectionate Brother
                                                                     H. Talbert
P. S.  Some of you must be sure and answer Peters letter.  And if you do not send me any money send a few postage stamps and oblige your Brother
                                                                     H.  T.