James Alexander Wallace
Company A, 83rd Illinois Volunteer Infantry
August the 17th 1864
Mrs. Emelline Wallace
It is with the greatest of pleasure that I seat myself this morning to drop you a few llines in answer to your letter which I received last night. It did not find me in very good health for I have been having the toothache and neuralgia for several days I have been nearly crazy wit it I got the tooth pulled then my jaw swelled up awfully I have not done anything for several days and am lying around around quarters. I will not go to the Hospital as long as I can help it. I would rather stay in camp any time than go to the Hospital. I was so sick last night that I could not read your letter until along after night I got up several times and run around for pass time and in the night it got easier and I lit the candle and read the letter. I feel a great deal better this morning our Company got up this morning before daylight and started out on a skoute but they have come back again I dont know what was the matter that they did not go, it rained last night pretty hard and is tolerable muddy that may be the cause of their not going it is not quite so warm now
as it has been for some time past. They have put the blamed negros in the fort now and I expect if we ever get into a fight they will kill as many of our men as the will rebels. They are manning the seige guns. This world has come to a pretty thing now when a negro is as good as a white man and in some things a great deal better. I am getting more down on this abolition war every day. A white man cant express his opinion any more or he is a rebel I would like to have a chance to kill negros Abolitionist and rebels all at the same time. I would not make very much difference in them either. I am weasing on the last year now and when it is done farewell to this abominable war of wace you see mother when I was at home I was crazy it is as father siad I did not know what I was comeing out to fight for if I had knew what I do now I never would of come out at all I think this has learned me a lesson that I never shall forget. But I will do as i have been doing though till my time is out There is lots of men in our company that is just of the same opinoin that I am too Abe Lincoln did not do right in calling out a little handfull of men every time and letting them get killed off then call out some more and get them killed off the call out some more and get them killed off why not made a big call at first and whipped them out. Old Abe has been the cause of many a hundred of lives lost.
the abolitionist here now are loosing my confidence in old abe he is not liked half as well as he was. It has commenced to rain again. i think we will have plenty of rain now before long for it is getting about the time of the year for rain down here. I wish it would rain hard and raise the river so that the big boats could come up. there is nothing but the small boats that comes up now. We have sent off yeaterday for our new horns, they will be here in about a week, we are getting the best kind of horn that ismade now the Cehotary valve they are the best horns made now days. We are only getting five new ones it costs too much to get a whole new [ ] six hundred and fifty dollars it would cost, we only raised [ ] hundred dal. and that will buy five horns if we live in about 12 months you may be looking for us comeing in on the cars playing on our brass band again that time I expect we can play pretty well I have some of my painting of pictures I would like to send home I will send on in this letter if it will not make it too full I expect it will be too big though.
from your son
J. A. Wallace
Co. A 83d Regt Ill
[written in alternating lines of red, blue and brown ink]