Joseph Weir

Company K, 73rd Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Submitted by James Ron

This letter was sent home from the army by Joseph Wier who was a corpl. in Co."K" of the 73rd. Regament of the Ill. Vol. He was wounded at the battle of Chickamauga, (gun shot wound to right leg.) which caused his death soon after. His mother Emily requested that it be published.

The Spelling and grammer has been preserved.


At my post I am standing--'Tis a dark,dreary night,
The sceanry around is shut out from my sight.
With a gun in my hand, I stand this alone,
While my thoughts, they are wondering to the loved ones at home.

Per chance in their slumber they're dreaming of me,
While I stand here on picket in old Tennessee.
With my cartridge box filled with powder and lead,
I stand winking and blinking and nodding my head.

Now I rouse up again and rub hard my eyes,
Peep out in the darkness and see rebel spies.
Not a sound can I hear, nor a soul can I see,
There is nobody here but grim darkness and me.

So I lean on my gun, while my thoughts again roam,
To that circle of loved ones that I left at my home.
There's a father with locks that are growing quite gray,
Who is anxiously thinking of his son far away.

Not knowing how soon he may see that son's name
Among those who in battle were wounded or slain.
Then there's mother--with a choke in that word-
What a thrill it creates when-'er it is heard.

The counsels she gave looms up from afar,
To shine in my pathway-like some guiding star.
And you, brothers and sisters, me thinks I can see
so earnestly looking for letters from me.

And scanning "The Union" news from "Rosy" to find,
Yes, dear brothers and sisters, you're oft in my mind,
While the letters you send, I read with delight,
And ponder their contents when standing by night.

Far away on the sentry, so silent and lone,
Who is there that can blame me for thinking of home?
Then there is another who is young, bright, and fair,
While my thoughts, they will roam, she comes in for a share.

The sweet hours we have spent seem now like a dream,
I contrast with the present, so hallowed they seem.
Wonder if she ever thinks of the one
Who is now standing picket alone with his gun?

Yes I know that she does, how gladly I hail
The assurance she sends me so oft by the mail.
So kind and so true, ah, she shed bitter tears
When my name was enrolled with the brave volunteers.

I would say to her then, if my thoughts she could see,
That her letters are welcome-most welcome to me.
And oft, foot sore and tired on returning to camp;
A kind letter repays me for the long weary tramp.

Bright spots in my pathway to lead me along.
Are the sweet loving letters she sends me from home.
Two hours on and four off we must stand the night through.
And then are rejoiced when relief comes into view.

To them we "present", they "present" in return,
Then to " right shoulder shift" and to camp we return.
Thus hour after hour and day after day,
While our routine of duties pass slowly away.

Our frinds in the north with solicitous care,
Are watching the progress we make in the war.
And we will assure them with "Rosy" to guide,
On our banners true history we'l always inscribe.

Where ever the Cumberland army shall go,
They are brave sons of freedom, the world shall e'er know.
The "Butternuts" find us too much for their metel,
When brave "Rosy" moves on they are sure to skedadle.

And we'l closely pursues them, with saber and sword,
Till the last "Reb" is vanquished and peace is restored;
And the stars and the stripes float triumphant again,
O'er a land that is purged of all disloyal men.

Then 'tis homeward we'l turn and we'l sing as we go,
Ho, frinds we are coming, we have conquered the foe
The "Rebs" are defeated and all put to rout,
The rebellion is ended- a secession played out.

But, Ah ,there are those that will shed bitter tears,
for the loss in this struggle of brave volunteers.
How many there are who in anguish will mourn,
For the bold soldier boys who will never return?

Should it be my lot in this struggle to fall,
Dear friends in the north, I would say to you all,
Mourn not at the fate which may take me from you,
The patriots grave with no terrors I view.

He who tempers the wind to the lamb that is shorn,
Will guide, guard, and protect you when I'm dead and gone.
But we hope for the best and sad thoughts will dispell,
And trust in the end that " all will be well".

That the day will soon come when our frinds we will greet,
And that circle of loved ones again we shall meet.
Then keep up your courage till rebellion is crushed;
Remember dear Jesus our cause, it is just.

The above are my thoughts and I send them to thee,
From your ever true brother, now in old Tennessee.

Joseph A. Wier

NOTE "ROSY" refers to Major General-- William Starke Rosecrans, (Federal Comander of the Army of the Cumberland)

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