Letter to James William Prouty, who served in the 65th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, from his father, Austin Prouty, believed to have served in the 30th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.
This information was submitted by Nancy Prouty. Note from Nancy - The misspellings are either his or my inability to decipher the handwriting.
My dear son,
your long looked for letter came to hand at last you stated that you wrote to me from Chicago I received one from you mailed at Chicago giving an account of your being taken prisoner at harpers ferry and I answered it right a way and have wrote two or three since but could here nothing from you so I gave up righting I wrote to Cecillia but could get no word from her I was in the hospital at St Louis one month and wrote three letters to her but could get no answer from her I would ? went out to see her but I had no money and I could get no furlough so I had to return to my regiment without seeing her. I suppose you have heard before this of our exployts around Vicksburg I was in three had fights there the battles of Port Gipson Champun hill and milikins bend I was not in the charge at black Ribert being sick at the time but I took a hand in the seage at Vicksburg and was there on the forth of July when Pemberton surrenderd and a few dayes after the surrender I took sick and was sent to St Louis to the Lawson hospital I was a way from the regiment two months and while I was a way the regiment was ordered to New Orleans from there they came to Brasure City on Brashure Bay 18 miles from the Gulf of Mexico where I found them ninty miles from New Orleans we lay there a few days and then started up this direction not knowing where we were bound for we marched up the Atchapala River we had an idea we were a going through to red river and up it to Schrieves Port and then through texas to galveston we march four days then lay by a few days then we marched on up to Opelousas where we stayed a few days then was orded back to this place which is one hundred and fifty miles from Orleans Opelusas is two hundred miles from Orleans the opinion is now that we will go back to Orleans and from there no one knows without we go back up the river the governer of texas has been in orleans making speeches in which he offers to bring texas back into the union and rais twelve thousand troops for twelve months to protect that state if banks will not invade that state and it is my opinion that is the cause of our being orded back that the raid into texas is a bandoned we may go up the river and we may go to mobela there is no knowing where yet if the eastern armeys would clean them out as compleat as the western armey has the war would soon close I understand that your uncle William Watkins is rank Copperhead I truly hope that you my dear son have none of the tratorus sentiments in you I want you to be a chip from the old block your grate grand father (my grand father on my mothers side) was seven years in the war of the revelution he fought to gain our countrys independence your grandfather Prouty (my father) fought in the last war with england to maintain our independence and now your father and your uncle Adolphus Prouty (my only brother) and your self my dear son all of the name that is of sufficient age to be is in the army trying to preserve our glores union now my brave boy be true to your Country be brave but not rash sun all eavle vices be saving of your money but not stingey put your trust in God who rules the destinees nations and of all man kind pray to him continuley to protect you through this fire trial that you may return safe to your friends onece more I hope that we may both live and have the pleasure of meeting once more on earth I wrote an answer to your letter several day back but for fear it would not get it I concluded to right a nother and it may be that you will get one or both of them
may the lord bless and protect you my son is the prayer of your affectionate father
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