Snyder Bluff, Miss.,
Monday July 21st, 1863
My Dear Parents:
As it is some time since I have had an opportunity to write to you and knowing you will be anxious to hear from me, I will try and write a few lines to you, so that you may know I am still among the living and enjoying good health as usual.
You of course have heard of the fall of Vicksburg and the particulars. I guess more of the particulars than I have.
We get no papers so I would like to get hold of an Old New York or Philadelphia paper.
We expected to hear some very heavy firing on the Fourth of July but there were only two shots in the morning so we were sure
something was up. We did not have to wait in suspense very long for news soon came that
Pemberton had unconditionally surrendered with eighteen thousand effective men. I
can assure you it was good news for the Fourth.
If I could have only flew to the North I could have spent my Fourth better than laying in camp until noon and being on the road with sick men until midnight. as I did but I suppose it is Just as well now.
The regiment received orders to march to the Big Black. They found no enemy on this side but found some on the other side. They had some skirmishing on the other side of the river.
We were delayed some in building bridges but as soon as possible we crossed and perused
The advance guard was frequently in sight of them and exchanged shots with them.
We were about eight days marching from here to Jackson where we came up with Johnson's main force and there the 2nd Michigan did honor to our State and their friends at home.
They were the only regiment of the Division or Corps engaged.
The whole loss was about sixty. There were nine killed and our company losses were, one killed and four wounded.
The Homer boys escaped unhurt.
After our boys drove them out of their works they had to fall back for the want of support. Then we followed
McClelland's old plan for we commenced entrenching ourselves.
I don't see but what Grant does just about the same as McClelland did.
Johnson retreated from Jackson in the night, We then went down the Memphis and New
Orleans Railroad toward Memphis about fourteen miles, tore up the track and burned it.
They would make to piles of ties and lay the rails resting at each end. Then they would pile the middle full of ties and set them on fire. When the center of the rails became red hot the weight of the rail would make them bend and be unfit for farther use.
We were gone three days then returned to Jackson. We stayed in Jackson one night then took the wounded and came back to Sniders Bluff. The wounded stood the journey very well.
We expect to go back to Kentucky any day and I assure you we cannot go too quick.
I have not written home since the Fourth so you can tell whether you are receiving all of my letters.
I received one letter from Laura while we were at Jackson dated July 6th, one of
July l7th and one from Mary of July 25th.
You can see about how regular I get my mail, sometimes I almost get tired looking for mail.
I did not intend to let this letter go so long Without finishing but I did not feel very well so
stopped for a spell.
Yesterday I was nearly sick having a very sore throat. Today it is some better but is still quite sore yet and I can see it is festered.
I expect we will soon leave here to go back to Kentucky. We are waiting for transportation. We cannot leave too soon to suit me. We hear quite encouraging news of it, but cannot tell if it is so.
I think we will have to take their whole Army to bring the war to a close by cold weather. I will be very much surprised if it is over by then.
I will not write again until we get to Kentucky or on the road.
If you have not sent those things you had better wait until we get back to Kentucky for we will be going very soon.
I will have to stop for the want of room on my paper.
My love to all. I remain as ever
your affectionate son
I am anxious to hear from Ashley.