The 124th Illinois Infantry in Vicksburg, Mississippi – Letter by Edward Kelley of Company D – All about the 1864 Election: “I THINK THE POLITICAL HORIZON LOOKS BRIGHT FOR LINCOLN AND DARK AND GLOOMY FOR LITTLE MAC.” “COL. J. H. HOWE AND CHAPLAIN HOWARD MADE SPEECHES IN FAVOR OF THE OLD RAIL SPLITTER.”

Offered is a 4-page letter in ink on 5 x 8-inch stationery.  There is quite a bit of staining and faults, but the ink is nice and dark, and it’s cheap.  This letter shows the soldiers strong sentiment for Lincoln.  Edward Kelley was from Lincoln’s home town of Springfield, Illinois. 

Here is the content:

  • Camp 124 Regt. Ills. Volt. Inf. Vicksburg, Mis. Oct. 2nd /64.  Dear Brother George, Your last kind and welcome letter of August 25 reached here about three or four weeks ago. I ought have wrote before this, but I had so little to write about. In fact there is no news worth writing about, for we are only a post on the River for the selling to Rebs outside of the lines is hoped here. So we do not get so much news from Southern Forces.
  • An expedition is down the River towards Port Gibson, but how it is making out, I have not heard. The news from the East gets better every boat that comes down. Grant will have Lee in a tight place before long. Sherman’s Army ought to rest for they have had a hard time, but they have done nobly, and I think the Rebellion is going to pieces.
  • A few more blows with full Armies and all will be well. I am in hopes that we may get home before our time is up yet. I suppose the draft is going on all right, and there is a good chance of filling up the Army which ought to have been done months ago, but better late than never.
  • I suppose I need not say anything about Fremont. He is off the tract. For my part I am glad of it. The soldier seems to have a contempt for him. I do not think he could get two votes in our Regiment.
  • Little Mac would get some few, but very few. We had a meeting one week ago last night. COL. J. H. HOWE AND CHAPLAIN HOWARD MADE SPEECHES IN FAVOR OF THE OLD RAIL SPLITTER.  
  • We passed a set of Resolutions about as strong as any I have seen. There was only one no in the crowd. Our Col. is trying to get the Regt. home to vote, but it is doubtful to me whether we go or not. We will vote to see how we stand.
  • At Hospital No. 2 Vicksburg, they took a test vote. It stood about Fremont 6. McClellan 35. Lincoln 150. I may not be exact about the number, but if I am not, it stood more in favor of Lincoln.
  • We are having a sick time of it in our Regiment. About one third of our Company is sick. Most of them chills and fever. We had one man, a Corporal died last week of remittent fever. He has been sick since July 2nd. Our Captain has the chills and fever. Our Regiment has had so much picket duty to do this summer. For some time we were expecting an attack. We had to double the pickets at night.
  • The day is hot, the nights cold and chilly, and we have had quite a wet spell for the last 10 days. I still keep well myself. I was afraid I was going to have the chills, so I have been taking bitters every morning for several days. We had a review last week, the first we have had this summer, and I hope the last for it rained and we got a good wetting. It is a week since I had a letter from home. Mary and children. were well then. The St. Clair people do not write to me any more, so I get no news from them, only what I get in the Miners’ Journal. You did not say whether Louisa went to St. Clair with Mother or whether she was gone to school.
  • I am sorry the numbers of the Union League should be so bigoted as refuse to go to hear H. C. Wright. I am not a believer in Spiritualism, but that would not stop me to hear him speak in favor of the Union, for some of our leading politicians are as wicked a sin can make them, and to refuse to hear such men as Wright and hear some others so wicked is not very good science, but so the world goes. My love to Ann and Family and Friends. Yours as ever Edward.  P.S. No draft in Kewanee, quota full.

#L10-2-64IL – Price $100

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