CORINTH INFORMATION DATABASE Version 1.3 © 1995 Milton Sandy, Jr.

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The Hugh Johnson Civil War Letters

Camp Before Corinth Miss June 1st 1862 Dear & beloved wife I take my pen to inform you that I am in good health of body[.] thanks be to our heavenly father for the blessings bestowed on me in this land of sickness & death[.] disease kills more men in ther army than the Sword & musket[.] it is warm here now[.] your letter of the 12th Came to hand last night[,] also your letter of the 20th on tuesday night[.] I was glad to hear by them that the children were well[.] it does me a great deal of good to read your letters[.] it brings to mind old pleasing hours that we have Spent together in the family Circle[.] how I wish I Could enjoy at the present time with you & Sympathise with you in your afflictions & help you take Care of our afflicted son[,] but that canot be now[.] you will have to except the will for the deed[.] try & do not fret about me as I have not been heartyer for years than at present[.] the Climate agrees with me[.] I was on provost Guard for 25 days[.] on duty all the time[.] I went on Sick but I got well without medicine[.] I have taken none since we left St Louis[.] I was released of Guard at 10 1/2 o clock p m on tuesday & our regt was ordered to march at midnight about 80 miles & distroy a r road bridge & Depot where they had arms & ammuniton Stored [the next couple lines were at the bottom of the first page which was badly tattered and unreadable] we made the march in about 50 hours & camped within 1/2 mile of the depot & lay there some 3 hours until day light when we advanced on the enemy & took the Camp with about 1000 Secesh without firing a fun[.] we ttook 16 Cars loaded with arms[,] tents & ammuniton[.] 1 locomotive & the Depot was Stored full of arms & equipment for the Secesh army[,] all of which was burned up & the r road track distroyed[.] we had 7 men taken prisinors[.] taken they were wandering roun & a small force of Cavelry cut of their retreat & bore them of with them[.] we staid there about 2 hours then Started for Camp which we made in 40 hours without any trouble[.] we got in last night all very tired but a nights sleep makes us all right. Corinth is ours[.] the Secesh Evacuated in friday morning[.] I cannot tell how many was killed on either side nor how many prisenors we took as there is So many rumors[.] one thing is certain [-] it was a hard fought battle lasting 2 days[.] the enemy has fallen back 14 miles & our forces are within 2 miles of them Skirmishing every day along the lines[.] we will drive them & make union men of them or kill them[.] you in the west know nothing of the Suffering that we See every day[.] women & children without meat or bread & their men fighting against us[.] they have no Coffe or Salt here & shoes is $6.00 per pair[,] boots $20.00 to $30.00 pr pair[.] corn $1.50 & 42.00 per bush[.] they See hard times & some Union men.... [remaining lines of the page unreadable] I hope this war will be brought to a close & we get to return to our families & friends and enjoy their hospitality for all coming life[.] those that have not been in the army know nothing of the privations a Soldier have to endure[.] yet in our army we have plenty to eat & well clothed[.] I wear 2 Shirts & blous the hottest days & woolen pants lined & rool myself in m y blanket at night & ly on the ground which I could not do in Iowa with the sky for a roof & mother earth for a bed[.] there is Some of the boys fo our Co that is Sick[.] none of them dangerous[.] the 2 missing men in our Co have not been heard from[.] I Suppose they are dead[.] the charge they made on that fatal day has given us the neame of the Iowan Devils by the enemy[.] they hate our regt like Satin [-] so say the prisinors we have taken[.] we have not disgraced our nobel State yet[,] nor are likely to do it[.] you know more that is going on in our army than we know that is in front of the enemys guns[.] we hear a a hear a great deal of news but they are like Mr Reeds hunting storys [-] not much depindance to be put in them [.] So I do not think worth while to write them to you[.] there is a good many Soldiers getting discharges now. We do knot know the reason that Lieut McComb was mustered[.] none of our Co officers knew about it to the discharge Came [.] there was a good many officers mustered our at the same time [bottom of this page unreadable] I sent to your $5.00 in money by him[.] also one white blanket[.] there will Send you Some more Shortly as the pay master is here[.] money I have no need of here[.] I have $7.00 of my money yet [.] you will please use enogh to keep you & the children Comfortable & pay your hired help[.] keep a girl if you need one & take care of your health & look on the bright Side of the picture & hope that we will Soon meet to part no more this side of the grave[.] may God in his rich mercy bless you and our little ones is the fervent prayer of your Devoted husband[.] you will excuse me for not writing Sooner[.] you will please write often & I will write when I can[.] give my respects to Mr & Mrs Crawford & to Mr & Mrs McComb & the children all but I must wait for the present[.] A Crawford is on provost guard duty guarding priisenors[.] he is going all the time[.] he wrote to his father a few days ago[.] John Mc is here yet[.] he is wanting his discharge[.] he may get it in a day & then it may be Some time yet[.] Sell your oats if you can get 25 cts for them[.] keep some for use[.] keep wheat to do you[.] my love to you all[.] kiss the baby for me[.] no more. your loving husband. Adieu my love[.] H Johnson [the following paragraph was inverted at the bottom of the page] ...thinks you are doing well farming[.] take the weeds before they get the start of you & you will have no trouble [.] If I was at home I would help you[.] be kind to your ma & the rest of the children & if you get behind with your work hire help[.] you will excuse the shortness of this[.] yours[.] Adieu my son[.] H Johnson
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June 13, 1862 Camp 5 miles south of Corinth

Previous letter:
May 7, 1862 Camp on Corinth Road


HUGH JOHNSON entered the 2nd Iowa Cavalry, Company M from Andrew, Iowa. He left the family behind on the farm...his wife Catherine (Cassy) and four children. The oldest son, John, was but 12 years of age when his father went off to war. A fifth child, Hugh Elliot, was born approximately eight months after he left.. This child lived little more than a year. The constantly hoped for furlough that Hugh wished for was never granted, and he was killed on February 2, 1864, just north of West Point, MS. He was initially buried on the James Randall plantation, and later his body was transferred to the National Cemetery at Corinth.

Hugh Johnson Turnbull

Hugh Johnson letters reprinted by permission of Hugh Johnson Turnbull from electronic, transcribed copies
submitted to Milton Sandy, Jr. April 1996

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