December 4, 1863

[Mailed at Crab Orchard Ky. Dec. 15, 1863 ] Headquarters Eleventh Corps,  Loudon Tenn.

Dear Brother,

We are waiting here for other columns to get in position and cross the Little Tennessee, when we will all move forward to the relief of Burnside and against Longstreet if we can find him. The latter has about 30,000 men & made an unsuccessful though but a partial attack on Burnside last Tuesday. We can get no news since. The garrison here escaped but we captured flour & meal enough to feed our command two or three days. This morning we put a Regt. across the river and they drove off the Cavalry videttes of the Enemy and just now I learn they have found four cannon abandoned by the Rebels. In our advance the 15th Corps comd’d by F. P. Blair has the right Wing. The 4th Granger, the center and the 11th, (ours) the left. Today we have been building our bridges across the Little Tenn.

Sometimes we fear Burnside will not hold out (as he has only 15,000 and is probably short of provisions). Then again sometimes we fear Longstreet will get off to Va. In the latter case we will congratulate ourselves on Burnside’s relief and a campaign grandly successful and important in its results. But there still seems good reason to believe that Longstreet tarries. Not a quarter of an hour ago we learned that our cavalry Regt. left to guard the bridge at Charleston (the Hirvasee) had come away and that the Rebel Gen. Wheeler was approaching. It is a pity an Infantry Regt. had not been left there – still we chased a Rebel Infantry Regt from there. Wheeler will probably destroy the bridge and pick up some stragglers – possibly some wagons – but we are without trains and have none on the way to join us that we know of. So Wheeler will find the rear unusually dry. Continue reading

April 22, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps,

My dear little daughter,

Papa thinks it is time for you to have a letter. Guy must have received his and read it before this time. I would like to look in upon you all this morning. I think you must just now be a breakfast. Jamie just at Mamma’s left, bothering her while she is pouring out coffee. Yourself on her right with a bright happy face and Guy directly opposite ready to laugh, or to tell a story. Uncle Rowland says Guy has no time to write him a letter. Guy must be very busy.

Do you still get impatient when you get tired and cry very hard? Or have you gotten older and wiser?

[…] Much love to dearest Mamma, little brothers Guy and Jamie. I hope you all pray for Papa. Your affection papa, O.O.Howard

Oliver Otis Howard to his daughter [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]


April 10, 1863


Dear Brother Otis

I write you tonight in preference to Frank and Charles to both of whom I believe I owe letters because Guy is here and I know you will wish to hear about him!

He came up last Tues from Bruns. with Ms. Patten. The next day we went to a “sugaring off” at Mr. Titcombs and he had plenty of maple syrup. He went to school one day with Frankie and Otis Sargent and has played with them a good deal. He has worked for me two hours upon different days at 6 cts. per hour piling some dry store novel and shingles. […] Guy wants to get enough to buy a drum but he put 3 ct. in the contribution of the L.S.

[…] We have seen the order for you to change to the 4th Corps. but are entirely ignorant of that command and hardly know whether to congratulate you or not. All western troops lacking in discipline and cleanliness we fear. As I hear of the gathering of these mighty hosts to battle, I feel we need a real fast. I hope we will have the monthly letter. […]

Your Aff. Bro., Rowland

Rowland Howard to his brother, Oliver Otis Howard [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]