December 17, 1863

Hd. qrs. 11th Corps Lookout Valley

My dear brother

You will smile at my two story pink sheet [the letter is written on long pink paper]. It is some paper captured and confiscated from a Rebel newspaper Printing office – “The Athens Post”. We were glad enough to get back to our old camp and valley yesterday. Troops marched by way of the base and over a portion of the nose of Lookout Mountain – in coming from Chattanooga here. The night before we were at Tyner’s Station on the Knoxville & Chattanooga R.R. and the night and day before that were at
Cleveland. Thence I sent a letter to you adding a brief P.S. in pencil the morning it left. Now I shall take pleasure in answering the two letters from you which Col. Hiram Hayes brought me there, thus agreeably celebrating the event of his first joining the Corps.

It was the first mail since leaving the north end of Mission Ridge – where when the fight of Sherman in which one of our Brigades was engaged and in which I lament to add poor brave McAloon (formerly of our staff but at that time commanding his Regt.) was mortally wounded. When darkness had closed the fighting that day (Wednesday 25th Nov.) we were chased by a mail. A letter from you mailed the 16th Nov then reached me. From that time no mail nor newspaper save one till last Monday at Cleveland nearly three (3) weeks. Besides the brief letter enclosing Everetts oration at Gettysburg another Nov 29th & 30th when you had them of the battle. You were right in supposing our “Trains would not follow in the rapid pursit of the enemy”. My letters will have informed you how we even swung off from our base completely and still managed to supply our troops and to get on as comfortably almost as ever. Continue reading

July 14, 1863

Farmington

My dear Lizzie,

I was very glad indeed to hear from you again. I wish I could see you, which would be far better. Rowland has not yet come home and I don;t know when he will come – though I shall look for him now everyday a little. I think he will go to Augusta if he can. But he has been away so much more yet than he anticipated, that I suppose he’ll feel as if he must hurry home as soon as possible. I hope he can go to Augusta – It would be so pleasant to see some one right from Otis. He was with Perry when he wrote last. Perry has lost an arm close up to the shoulder. I don’t know which one. Rowland said he was very much frustrated by it. The shock to his system was very great. [...]

Mary Ellen “Ella” Howard to her sister-in-law, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Ann Waite [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]

May 8, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps
Near Brook’s Station, Va.,

My dear brother,

You must be aware that for the past week I have had no opportunity to write. Since the furious attack upon our Corps which began about 5 o’clock on Saturday neither my outward circumstances nor my feelings were favorable to letter writing. Sunday, Monday, & Tuesday we were more or less under fire. On Tuesday the Rebels showed a special design upon Otis. Finally shot Col Meysenburg’s horse under him as he was by the General’s side. After that Otis consented to go on foot when on the front and in certain range of the enemy’s rifles.

Sunday, Monday & Tuesday until 3 o’clock Wed. morning we held the left with Gen. Slocum who was upon the extreme left. We were behind rifle pits but all the time expecting an attack and several times during night & day our Pickets were driven in. Continue reading

March 18, 1863

My dear nephew Guy

Grandmother Gilmore came up last evening and we heard all about you and Grace and Jamie and your Mamma. We have not heard for a long time before and were glad that Jamie has gotten over his cough – that Guy can read in the Bible as well as anybody and that Grace has improved very much. I went to Brunswick after your Papa went back, to see him! But he went the day before. What a good time you must  have had going to meet him!

[...]

Your loving uncle, Rowland

Rowland Bailey Howard to Oliver Otis Howard’s son, Guy [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]