Three letters from Company H soldiers
On July 30, 1862, William Temple of Wilton, Will County, enlisted in
Company of the 100th Illinois Infantry Volunteers. A week later, his
Temple, and nephew, James T. Douglass, also from Wilton, enlisted in the
same company. All three were privates. The company later became Company
Ira Temple was captured during the Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863.
Temple was wounded during the same battle. He was captured and then
Temple was imprisoned at Andersonville Prison where he died June 10, 1864.
Temple was discharged in June 1865 and later received a disability pension.
in 1903 in Nebraska.
James T. Douglass, who was 16 when he enlisted, was wounded in the arm
Battle of Dallas, Georgia, in June 1864. He apparently remained
the end of the war. At the company's muster out on June 12, 1865, he was
military hospital at Keokuk, Iowa. He returned home and died in 1867.
These three letters -- two from James to his mother, Sarah Douglass, and
Ira Temple to Sarah Douglass, his sister -- describe some of the conditions
faced by soldiers of the 100th Illinois Volunteers.
From Ira Temple to his sister Sarah Douglass:
Murfreesboro, April the 22nd, 1863
Well sister, as I have time to write, I will spend a few minutes in writing
My health is poor. I have nearly lost my speech. I am not been able to
for the last two weeks, but I am a getting better. I think all but my
I am in hope I will get that again. There have been some that has not
spoke a loud
word the last three months so it hard to tell.
James is well as usual. William has some poor spells, but is well now.
both out on picket today. If you can let James some money, I will take it
him ten per cent on it and pay it in one year from next February. If you
any better with it than that for I want that you should do the best that
you can for him with
The last letter that he got from you said that you had let the first
he sent. I wrote to you before that I would take his money, but I suppose
was taken by the Rebels for they stopped the mail train.
If you let me have it you may send it to Stephens and have it paid on the
we have sent home over boats. We sent them to Manteno to Soll Seaver.
in a bag. The top one is Harry Doncaster's. It has a piece of rope tied
button hole. The others you keep. Have Seaver look for them. As I am a
getting tired, I
will close for this time. Write to me if you please. It has been a long
any of you has written to me. So goodby for this time.
From Ira Temple
Well, I will try to write a few [words] to you. Got your letter and was
glad to hear
from you. It was a good letter. I answered you a time ago, but I do not
you received it, so I will write again. I don't write much this time for I
am sick. So you must let me off with a short one this time. James is well
well now and so
is Uncle William. He is out on picket watching for the Rebels, but they
are a little
afraid. We have [been] watching for them ever since the battle, but we
[seen] them yet. I guess that we shant see them very soon. I guess that
they are afraid
that we will kill them so they stay away.
Write as soon as you get this. So goodby for this time
From your Uncle Ira Temple
From James T. Douglass to his mother:
Camp in Chattanooga
Nov the 3rd 1863
Well, Mother, it was with pleasure that I received and read your kind letter We are
in Chattanoga yet and I guess we shall be here for the next six months. We
into the reserve corps now. We are in General Waggoner's brigade of
General Sheridan's Division of General Granger's corps.
A part of our brigade is [standing] guard in Chattanooga and the rest is
to build fortifications around town and on the hills. Our brigade has got
easy now. If General Palmer ever gets back we are out in front ---- in his
He has gone to drive the Rebs off from Lookout Mountain if he can. He
went a week ago
last Sabbath. I don't know how long before we will be back.
We have to go on picket every third night now. Our pickets and the rebs
are in plain
sight all the time. They are about 80 rods from us in the day time and
their pickets up within about 20 rods of us at night to keep their men from
and coming over to our lines. There is lots of them come in every day.
one of the rebs' pickets went out to relieve their sentinel and got lost
out over almost to our lines and our sentinel hailed him and said who comes
The reb said, "relief" and our man said, "advance
relief." He come up to relieve him and
our man see he was a reb. He told him that he was his prisoner and kept
the relief come and then took him to the post.
He said that the rebs was all drawn up in line so we had to sleep with our
boxes on. I have not seen Uncle Will but he was wounded. Uncle Ira was
I have not much more news to write now so I will stop. Write soon.
from James to Sarah Douglas
One of our boys was over to the field hospital the other day and Uncle Will
a book to send Jamsey. I have got it. Write as soon as you can.
From James T. Douglass to his mother:
Company H, 100th Regiment, Illinois Vol. Infantry
Camp near Loudon Tenn Feb. 15, 1864
Well Mother I will try and answer your letter or letters that I received
last night. I got one with two dollars in it. I guess that we will have
pay in about a week more. If we do I guess that I will send you 20
will be all that I can spare for we don't get much to eat and what we do
get is sick flour
and when we do eat it it makes us sick. So we have to buy most all that we
that mounts up pretty fast on 12 dollars a month. I wrote five letters
and I guess that I will write two to day and when stop for a while.
It rained like everything all night last night and all day today. I wish
Nelson would hurry and hunt up that box before long for I want my boots and
to keep me dry and I should like to have some of the grub to eat. When
you write again, I wish you would let me know whether you [put] my name on
the things that
you sent me or not. I hope you did for I don't want anything only what is
I guess that I will stop this.
from James to his Mother. Write soon.
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