Ltr #33 Able Bodied Citizens, by H. B. Talbert
- [Father's letters, mentioned below, took five weeks to arrive and it was the first letter father had written. It was probably written in response to Harrison's August 22 letter telling about the death of George, Oliver, and other family friends at Lone Jack. Remember Harrison's parents and most of the Talbert's were Quaker. Harrison's going to war in August 1861 did not have the family or community blessing.]
Oct 29th 1862
Dear Parents Father & Mother
It is with pleasure I seat myself to write you a few lines in answer to Fathers letter of the 21rst of Sept which was received and perused [studied] with pleasure yesterday evening. Father I cannot express the feelings that thy letter gave me, it proved a parentals love to their son far from home. And O how my heart leaped for joy on opening the letter and finding it [in] thy hand write to think that I am still remembered while far away from home by those who are most dear to me. I cannot never repay you for your kindness shown me from a child up. But I am determined for the future to do all in my power to render you happy while in this troublesome world and I do hope that if we should be deprived of the happy privilege of meeting on earth, that all may so live and conduct themselves through life that we may make an unbroken family in heaven. [....]. There is but few troops here now, not over two hundred. Companies of new militia are still filling up here and other places. But nearly all the able bodied citizens of Mo are now in the army on one side or the other. But very few will be seen in traveling a days journey. We have no marching orders to leave this place yet. I would not be much surprised if we spent the winter in Calhoun. The rest of our Battery is still at Sedalia. But it is now the report that they are going to a little town by the name of Harrisonville about fifty miles N. W. of this. We went past the town when going to Lone Jack.
Yesterday our clothes was brought to us by a provision train that was sent from here to Sedalia. I had a carpet sack [carpetbag] & bundle of clothes out of pocket [stolen]. The carpet sack contained two calico shirts, 1 check shirt, 2 or 3 towels, portfolio with paper, envelopes, stamps, & gold pen (costs $2.00)[about 5 days pay] & a great many other things too numerous to mention. Bundle contained about 6 over shirts and the same of under shirts & drawers. 2 prs new pants & 2 or 3 blankets. And all that I got of what I have mentioned was the pair of pants that Mother sent me and two or three old shirts. All stole away by soldiers. $15.00 would not pay me for what I have lost. [$13 = 1 month's pay.] Lt. Thomas is going to try to draw other clothes in the place of those that is lost when we get to a place where we have the chance. I hope he may succeed, but I am doubtful he will not.
In other letters I have mentioned the names of the boys that owed me. I will now add a few more words. The due bills that the boys gave me was left in George Wilcoxons care and I suppose they were lost in the Lone Jack fight. Barnard owed $6.00, Hungleford $6.00, Wilcoxon $7.00 [1/2 m pay]. If I was in the other section I could get several of the boys to certify to this fact. Collect it if thee can, and if cannot, let it go.
The dollar bill that George sent me while at Jefferson City came to hand all right.
In my two or three last letters I endeavored to tell you that I had a good overcoat and that I did not want you to send my overcoat but forgot it every time. It is now between 8 & 9 o clock at night and I am getting sleepy so for the present I will close. Hoping these few lines may find you all well in fine spirits and enjoying the luxuries of this world. I remain as ever your affectionate and well wishing son
Oct 30 Father write again. I could read thy letter firstrate. It was easier read than a great many other letters that I get. There is now a prospect for a battle at Pleasant Gap about 40 miles S. W. of this [Calhoun]. I dont no certain whether we are going or not. Troops are coming from Sedalia this morning on their way there.
- I like the Talbert letters to see what was going through the every day
soldiers mind. When he in essence states he is only is going to drop a few
lines, and it goes page upon page, almost the length of a POE short story,
What books did he write and send home when he was going to write a lenghty
letter? but I like the down home Talbert series.