Peabody Singing Tower

 North Manchester, Indiana

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Source: NMHS Newsletter Aug 1987


 The following is a letter written during the Civil War by a local soldier.  It has been typed exactly as it was hand written, including misspelled words.  Letters in brackets have been added by this editor to help in understanding the writer’s meaning.  There was very little punctuation or capital letters used.  Where the writer did use capital letters, they are typed that way.  It is hoped that the meaning of the letter has not been misinterpreted.  Special thanks to Judy Scheerer for the loan of this letter.

 In Rear of VicksBurg

                                                                                                            June 5th, 1863

Mr. John B. Tyer

                                                                                                            My old friend,

John having read the letter you sent directed to Ed or myself and having enterogated Ed this evening to know w(h)ether he had answered your letter or not he told me he had not.  I concluded to penn a few lines to you myself and in the first place I will say to you Ed’s health was never better in his life and my health is firstrate although I feel as though I needed some rest for I (am) pretty well wore out.  I assure you as I have b(e)en on the go for the last four months nearly all the time and have had but very little help from either of my Sgts. And for nearly two months now atall during all of our hard marching, hard working hand fair and most thundering hand fighting mixed in thick and fast.  I will not pretend to give you any full account of any of our fights at this time as I have no time for letter writing but will just say I have no anxiety to get another as warm place as the fight at Champion Hills.  I got off well however with my company having but eleven killed and wounded, a list of which will be published in the Wabash paper.  We are at this time engaged in the siege against the Southern Gibralter, namely VicksBurg.  How much long it will last I can(n)ot say, but think not long as they are entirely surrounded and in short we have got them where Cale had the Hen, so it (9s) only a question of time in the takeing of VicksBurg and the entire Army.  John the world history has never recorded as many victorys in so short a time as Grant’s Army has achieved since we crossed the Mississippi at Grand Gulf on the 29th of April ’63.  One victory after another has crowned our efforts in rapped succession although some of them (were) pretty dealy bought.  John if you can dry up the butternuts in the north this war will soon end.  O that a speedy retribution may await them for their hell deserving conduct.  They are the most lothsome, depraved and degraded of all beings on God’s footstool.  Not was they a place amongst good people.  John I would like to write you a long letter but have not time to do so at present.  I will say however I have not received the letter you spoke of in Ed’s letter nor did Ed get his.  Ed receives his Wabash paper as regular as any of us.  Our mail was very uncertain  for a while.  We are getting mail matter more regular at this time however.


The sign and wounded from Indiana are all being sent up the river at this time which will save a many a brave boy’s life as this warm country is a bad place for a wounded man.  John just as soon as VicksBurg is ours and we get into camp all qu(i)et-I am comeing home and will fetch Ed with me and then I will tell you some long yarns.  Sure give my love to all enquireing friends.  Write often.  With respect, I remain your old friend.

                                                                                                            Jas. R. Bruner