Camp on the Lamine
Near Otterville, Mo.
Dec. 29th, 1861
Dear Brother John,
I received your most welcome letter about 2 weeks ago. I wish that I could be there to take a hunt with you on some Saturday or else go a skating with you. I have not seen a pair of skates this year. And I guess that you would like to be out here in Mo. seeing the Secesh. I saw about 1500 of them the other day. They were prisoners that were taken at the battle of Black Water Creek. We expected to help take them but when we got as far down as Sedalia they stopped us and let the others have the fun of taking them.
Well, just then the call for "Co. K" to fall in was heard. We fell in, formed the "Co." and was marched on to the parade ground and had "divine service" After the sermon was over, the command was two ranks right face to your quarters march. The next was, "halt front ,right dress, two ranks right face, break ranks march. I came to my tent, sat down and went to writing again.
Well, Jack, I expect that you had a big time on Christmas, but nothing like I had, I know. And next New Years Eve when you go to the watch meeting, if they have one, when 12 o'clock comes just think of me. I will be walking my post on guard, as it will be my turn to go on and I will try and get on the 2nd relief which goes on at ll o'clock and comes off at 1 o'clock in the morning so that I will be on when the new year comes in.
Now, Jack, I want you to write me often. Not wait for an answer every time for I owe more letters now than I can answer for a week if I was to try. And don't be much surprised if you see me home sometime next summer. I can come on a weeks notice if I have a mind to, but I think that I will stay until I get into a fight or get more home sick than I am now. I am going to get a pass to go to Otterville next New Years and as only two from a company can go at a time I guess that Ed Robinson will go with me and, if I can scare up enough loose change, I will have my picture taken and let you see how a soldier looks that has traveled over Mo. a little.
Tell Mother that I got a letter from Willie the other day. He is well and says that he has gained more in flesh than I have. Give my love to Charlie Vance and tell him to write. Also my love to Sallie and all others of my friends and remember your affectionate brother.
Thomas R. Brown
Jan. 3rd, 1862
Dr. Fithian just returned from Sedalia yesterday and as the well part of "Co. K", was up town on Provost guard. I did not get to see him until this morning. He told me to go to my tent and write a letter to my mother and so I came and commenced writing.
While I was at the Captain's tent talking with him I showed him my picture. He said, "Why, Tom, they won't know you at home. You have grown so fat. But I can tell them that it is you." It is not a very good one, but maybe you can make it out when you get it. Take a knife and raise the picture out of the can and you will find some reading.
This morning I received a letter from you. It was very welcome I can tell you as I had not received a letter from home for some time. In the letter you complained of not hearing from me as often as you did from Willie. Well, I guess that you had a right to complain, but I can tell you one thing and that is this, that you will hear from me from this time out as often as you do from Willie.
I went up to the Major's tent and we were talking about one thing and another and finally the question arose about letter writing. He said that he read Willie's letter in the Republican Press and he liked it so well he sent me to my tent to hunt up all of his letters that I did not care anything about for he wanted to read them. I got him some 1/2 dozen and gave them to him. As yet he has not returned them.
I owe Will a letter now that I must answer. We have kept up a correspondence ever since I left Camp Webb. I wrote brother Jack a letter the other day and I want him to answer it as soon as possible. Miss Prince owes me a letter and I want her to answer, too. Give my love to Sallie, Lu, Mary and Charlie and Jack and the rest of them.
Your most Affect. Son,
T. R. Brown
Camp on the Lamine River
near Otterville, Mo.
Jan. 6th 1862
I received yours of the 31st, yesterday and it relieved me a great deal, I can tell you. In it you requested me to answer every letter that I received and I intend to do it for awhile anyhow. You also spoke about me attending devine service. I will tell you now that our chaplain has been at Boonville ever since we left there. I believe he has preached but four times to the Regt. since he has been in it and I have been there to hear him every time. Yet he is one of these money making chaps that get their living by cheating the Government.
And next pay day, Mother, I think that I can send about $20.00 home perhaps a little more. I can't tell until I see how much I get. I wrote a letter to you and one to father which I sent by Dr. Fithian. Also I sent my likeness. Perhaps you will receive this first as the Dr. went to Sedalia from here.
The boys as a general thing are all well in camp, there is nothing new in camp that I could write that I know of. Tomorrow is my turn to go on guard. That and marching is the worst part of soldering, but we do not have to do those things all the time nor every day. Yesterday I wrote a letter to Cousin Ella Reeves but I forgot to tell her where to direct her letters. Ask Aunt Emma what Regt. cousin Elli Parish is in? If I knew I might get to see him some place out here. Much love to all. The Capt. sends his best respects to you and father.
T. R. Brown
Camp near Otterville, Mo. on the Lamine river
Jan. 9th, 1862
I have written several letters home lately, but this time I write a different letter than written before. Yesterday I was on guard and about dark I was taken sick and had to have a man detailed in my place. This morning the Captain was down here and says that anytime that I want an honorable discharge that he will get it for me. Now, Mother, I want to know if you want me to come home. If you do let me know by the earliest opportunity and I will come, but on the other hand if you would rather that I would stay, I will do so. If I do take a sick spell here it will go pretty hard with me for I have been hearty all along. With much love to all, I remain your affectionate son.
Camp on the Lamine near
Jan. 12th, 1862
This mornings mail brought a letter from you and also one from brother John. I read them both with a great deal of pleasure. And according to promise I will answer yours now and Johns in the morning.
I suppose that by this time you have received a letter and my likeness by Dr. Fithian. The picture is a poor one because it was taken on a very bad and cloudy day. In your letter you wanted to now if I smoked or chewed tobacco. I do neither one. I don't know that I have had a pipe in my mouth since I have been in the service and I do not believe that I could chew if I was to try.
In my last letter I complained of being sick. I was only so a day or two when I was able for duty again.
This morning being Sunday I took a good wash and put on a clean shirt after which I feel a great deal better. The report in camp this morning is that Jim Carouthers is dead. Please write and let me know if this is true. Mother, I would like to get the town papers pretty often, but there is not much use to send them for three times to one I will not get them. Once in awhile but very seldom. There are several boys in the company expecting to get discharged but no telling whether they will or not. The Captain tells me that they cannot hold me if I am of a mind to go. I heard that Gen. Wallace's brigade had got into Mo. I hope that it is so for then I may get to see Willie and Web. It is getting along towards dress parade time and I am getting tired and running out of substance. So I will close pretty soon. Tell Miss Prince that I would welcome an answer to my letter. With Much love to all I remain your affectionate son.
T. R. Brown
Mrs Wm. H. Brown, Danville, Illinois
Camp at Larmine Crossing
Near Otterville, Mo.
Jan. 16th, 1862
This morning I received a letter from you and one from Charlie Crane and was glad to get them, I can tell you.
Yesterday morning while I was sitting in the Captain's tent, Lieut. Bandy came in and said, "Tom, your father is out there." Well, I would no more believe him at first than nothing. He had to tell me several times before he could get me to go out, but when I did go, sure enough there he was with a crowd of boys around him. I started off at double quick to where he was. He seemed very glad to see me. He even kissed me. And I know that it didn't do him a bit more good to see me than it did me to see him. I was so little expecting it that it took me all by surprise.
But it didn't surprise me any more than those pies and cakes. They surprised me good. That jelly cake was most delicious. I told the Captain that I got a jelly cake and nothing must do but he shall have a piece. And you could not have sent any eatables that suited me better than those pies, especially the mince. The turkey was nice. The bread, ginger cakes, rusk* and butter was very acceptable. All of these things the Zouave slipped up on. You will find after all the Zouave is not ahead in everything.
I think that father is looking as well as I ever saw him. I think that his beard improves his looks.
At present I am acting in the capacity of company clerk. I am making out a clothing account for each individual of the company. It will take me some two or three weeks to get it all finished, during which time I am excused from all duty.
Corp. Reisser got a letter from the 12th this morning and up to that time the troops had not left Paducha and father, consequently, will start for there in the morning.
I hate to see him leave so soon. I was in hopes that he could get to see how things look around here. I will try and find Eli Parish if I can. I know just where the 47th Regt. is - if he is in that.
Give my love to all. In haste, your affectionate son.
T. R. Brown
*A sweet raised bread or cake.
Camp at Lamine Crossing
Jan. 23rd, 1862
Another pay day has arrived and instead of fooling it away I have concluded to send home a little. Paying and collecting all of my debts I find that I have $30.10 left. Out of this I will send $30.00, for I might as well have no money at all as to have it and spend it all for nothing.
And, Mother, I would like for you to send me $1.00 worth of postage stamps. I send the money to you for father has not got home yet.
I can't see why you do not write as often as you used to.with much love to all, I remain your affect. son.
T. R. Brown
P.S. Mother, we start on the march again. We think for St. Louis, but we are not certain. And I have concluded to take out 5 dollars of the $30.00, so here is
T. R. Brown
P.S. Day after tomorrow we start on the march. (write soon)
Yours, T. R. Brown