Civil War Love Letters: June 4, 1862
James last wrote from Leavenworth, Kansas, on May 27, 1862. He and his company then traveled to St. Louis, arriving on May 31, where he finally had an opportunity to see Molly. While in St. Louis, his company learned that Federal troops had already captured Corinth, Mississippi. The men left St. Louis and went first to Cairo, Illinois, then took a steamboat to Columbus, Kentucky, arriving there on June 2.
June 4th 1862
My Dear Dear Molly
I am so sorry and pained to see you so thin weary & careworn, that I must as the least I can do write at once. I wish I could do something more positively useful to your health & spirits, & I need not assure you that if I could no sacrifice would be too great for me. I think change of scene & place w'd do you a world of good. If you were only out among your friends I think they would make you sit & rest awhile, & I do think that is what you want as much as anything else.
And now I want you to call on me at all times and places for any service I can do. Will you do that as a favor to me? But I fear you wont, you are so independent of the outside world - & yet you dont know what a pleasure it is to serve you, but I have had so little opportunity to pay attention to Ladies through life, sisters, cousins or others that I must appear to disadvantage with others – your brothers for instance who have had such chances to learn their wants & practice. Wont you instruct me. I will be an apt scholar.
I sent for my horse ere I left St. Louis. I found one of Major Schneiders had been left behind - so I wrote for it and my own same time, & if not sold it will I hope soon be under Sandy's care. Now if it comes & its feet is better as I expect they will be when shod - will you ride it occasionally for me. It is very gentle & very fast, & with two days training by a competent person will be a fine pacer. I put it under Sandy's charge and I wish him to use her (Fanny) & to see that you do also. I expect to write you very soon again, after I get to camp & perhaps may forward all together with one for Sandy. I left at 5 oclock after two or three abortive attempts & got here at six oclock this evening - it is now near midnight, & rains heavily but we have not finished unloading yet, & Ive been on the stretch driving up sneaks all that time. I suppose it will take us all night & I wont get to camp ere morning - so I seize this moment ere the boat leaves to greet you again.
What shall I say about being so tongue tied while in your presence - or vicinity. I mean about subjects of interest to ourselves alone. I wish'd to talk so much of many things, & yet I never said a word - but so it is through life - with me I never think to speak of things that are often the most necessary - unless asked - Yankee fashion - and then you say I tell too much - but then looking to the end of this war is looking a long way ahead.
I pray that it may have a happy termination and soon. I mean both the war & our suspense - and that I may come back to you safe & soon - & find you renovated in body & spirits & not near so ethereal. I always believed I'd got an angel, but I wish her to appear in good health & flesh for some time to come & when she must return to her native heaven - I wish to have lived so as to accompany or follow fast.
We expect orders very soon. Several boat loads of troops have just come down the Tennessee from Pittsburgh & now lay at Cairo.
This is a very nice place for a camp, & everything is in apple pie order – made so by the rebels. I should like to stop awhile but some of us will certainly go ahead in a day or two. Address for the present
Co. K 8th Kan. Vol.
Care Lieut. Col. Martin
for the present goodnight
June 5th 1862
I got into camp all safe this morning – and now we are under orders for Union City Tennessee tomorrow. We have a very nice camp here, with fine fortifications all left by the rebels with guns & munitions of war in quantity, & so I’d like to stop a while, but forward march into secessions is the order of the day.
So with much love to you & remembrance to all
I am my dear dear girl
James E. Love
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