Ltr #20 Totten, Price, Horses, by H. B. Talbert
[Bushwhacker - A Confederate soldier who engaged in guerrilla warfare.
This letter was written to Uncle Anderson 52 and Aunt Mary Talbert. Lucinda, Harrison’s cousin, was their daughter.]
Jefferson City Cole County Mo
Tuesday May the 20th 1862
Esteemed Uncle and Aunt
This stormy day while it is raining too hard to be out of doors I will try and write a few lines in answer to yours, which came to hand two or three days ago. I also received one from you about the 10th of May bearing date of February the 5th [13½ weeks in the mail]. On receiving the latter I wrote a letter to Lucinda. And have since found out that Oliver wrote one to you. I would like to see the letter you wrote to us before I try to write an answer. But I sent it to the hospital for George & Oliver to read the first chance I had after I received it, and it is there yet. I dont know whether George or Oliver has wrote an answer to it or not. I am happy to inform you that I am well and hearty and in very fine spirits But really sorry to tell you that George K. W. is still sick in the hospital, and I cant see as he is but little if any better than he was two weeks ago. I am afraid it will be some time before he recovers. Oliver is still waiting on him. He is well and hearty. The health is generally good in camp. George and one other is all that is at the hospital now that belongs to this company. It is almost an aggravation to me to try to write a letter when I have no news to tell. But in order to get you a letter indebt to me I will go ahead and do the best I can. We are still here at Jefferson City and no prospect of us leaving the state as I see at present. But there is strong talk of part of this battery and a lot of cavalry going on a scout away down S. W. between here and Springfield Mo. The secesh is very quiet around here now, but I am afraid they will soon commence collecting in little squads and committing depridations on the union people, as the trees and bushes is now in full bloom, which gives them all the advantage, and a good chance to bush wack. The cowardly and ignorant rebels how darest they risk their lives in such a cause. I pity them and hope they will soon find out their error and regret that they ever raised their puny arms against the Goverment of the U. S. A. They have got several secesh officers prisoners here at Jeff City. And only yesterday they arrested a Major that was from Prices Army. He rode a horse into town and went and gave himself up to the Provost Marshal acknowledgeing what he was. Thinking they would make him take the oath and then be released. But General Totten who is pretty severe ordered him to be arrested and confined which was immediately done. He (General Totten) thinking he was a spy. The Major asked Totten if he wouldent take care of his horse. O, yes, say Genrl Totten, I will turn him over to the Quarter Master. Enough of that. There is a good many troops here now and they are coming every day. I dont understand such a movement but hope it is all for the best. There is a heap of horses here now to feed and forage is very scarce. Our horses has been as long as four days without any corn and nothing to eat except a little about half rotten hay. Last Saturday we took all six of the baggage wagons and went across the Mo River to get some corn. We made the trip there and back safe. I drove George’s team [two or more horses harnessed together]. They will not ship any corn or hay from St Louis here as long as they can help it. We have had very nice weather. No rain for a long time until to day it has been raining a very cold N. E. rain. The farmers is generally done planting corn. I believe I have nothing more to write at present. So I will quit and go to getting supper. I hope these few lines will find you all enjoying good health. Hoping to hear from you soon I will close. I remain as ever your well wishing nephew
N. B. Direct [to] Jefferson City Mo Capt Cockefair 3rd Ind Battery.
I send my love and best respects to all the family and none excepted
Harrison Talbert To Uncle and Aunt Mary Talbert
Write whenever convenient. But dont forget to write sometime or other.