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[civilwarwest] New Year's Wishes

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  • Terry Arliskas
    Friars Point, Mississippi January 3, 1863 My Dear Sister Jane - Another year has rolled around and I am permitted to enjoy the same good health that has ever
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 27, 1999
      Friars Point, Mississippi
      January 3, 1863

      My Dear Sister Jane -

      Another year has rolled around and I am permitted to enjoy the same good
      health that has ever attended me, as also is Alfred. New Years was a happy
      day for me for I had the pleasure of receiving eight letters all of which
      were very welcome, one was from you. Alfred got five with the one West
      brought him. So we had a regular old time reading letters. I suppose you
      would like to know what we had for New Years. Well, New Years eve Alfred
      and some of the other boys drawed a great fat pig. I dont mean I drawed it
      from the commissary, no, we drawed it by the ears across the field and New
      Years we had a spare rib. Alfred went foraging and he had all the honey he
      wanted but I was on picket guard and could not go. There was a cow came
      along the picket line and the boys thought they would have some milk for New
      Years. So we caught the cow and two held her by the nose and horns and one
      by the tail and I milked her but the cow was a dry one and we did not get
      only enough for tea. You see we want anything here we dont pretend to steal
      it but take it and welcome.

      Last night we were called out in a fury of officers shins, and a peacible
      citizen thought it was a volley fired into our pickets. In the hubbub last
      night some one set fire to one of the buildings and if the wind had been
      favorable would have burnt the whole place. Lieut. Barney is bragging that
      he stood up bravely to the racket last night, but the boys think he was
      badly scarred. One of the men asked him if he should load his gun when we
      were falling in last night. Yes, said he, for Gods sake load your guns
      quick! It is a hard thing for me to live up to the first and second verses
      of the 2nd Chapter of Timothy, where it says pray for all those that are in
      authority. I am like the old woman that I hear Mother tell about that
      prayed for her enemies and after she was done praying come to think how mean
      they were, she said God curse them cause I can't bear em.

      Love to yourself in particular and I hope next time I write we shall all be
      tough as tripe.

      Peter [Tubbs - Co. I, 29th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry]


      As you may have deduced from the letter, as of New Year's, 1863, the 29th
      Wisconsin had not yet been under fire. They had but four months service
      under their belts, and were settling into military service at Helena,
      Arkansas, and then across the river at Friars Point, Mississippi. The cold,
      damp southern winter, and living in the mud was taking its toll on the
      regiment however, as diseases such as bilious fever, typhoid, pneumonia and
      measles ran through the ranks, and the death toll started to mount. The
      29th Wis. would rank 8th out of 53 Wisconsin Infantry Regiments in total
      number of deaths (334), more than the famous 2nd Wisconsin of Iron Brigade
      fame. 1863 would be a very active year for the regiment - they had their
      baptism under fire at the Battle of Port Gibson on May 2nd, taking heavy
      casualties, and the regiment would suffer heavily 16 days later at Champions
      Hill, where they, along with the rest of Hovey's Division of the XIII's
      Corp, bore the brunt of the fighting.

      Peter Tubbs would go on to participate these battles, the siege of
      Vicksburg, Red River Campaign, and battles for Mobile, and be mustered out
      with the survivors of the Regiment on June 22, 1865.

      Here's hoping that the year in front of you will be easier than the one
      Peter faced in January, 1863! Happy New Year to All!

      Terry Arliskas
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