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Letter Home from Civil War Soldier James D. Jones

It is a letter written during the Civil War by James DeJarnett Jones while he was in Natchez, Miss. James was a resident of Coles Co. He enlisted in Co. D., 8th Ill. Inf. - Union

October 15, 1863
Natchez, Mississippi
We are camped about two miles north of the city of Natchez, a very pretty little place, which has escaped most of the ravages of the war that are so plainly visible in most of the little towns we seen in the South. I think the citizens are becoming somewhat reconciled, and seem to be willing to mix with the Yanks, as there was a ball given the other night and I am told that ladies and gentlemen of the highest society attended and enjoyed themselves hugely.

We hear a good many conflicting reports about Rosecranz getting whipped, but, of course, we don't think he is whipped. He may be driven back to Chattanooga, but as for whipping such an army as he commands is simply impossible, in my opinion.

I suppose you are getting well and, in fact, I am in hopes before now that you have entirely recovered, but when I saw you on Sunday on that ever memorable April 6th, I thought it very doubtful that you would ever get well. That wound may cause you inconvenience, but, believe me, a man who gets such a wound while standing at his post, as I know you was, will always be honored by his fellow soldiers and all true Americans. I presume you have a class of beings up there called Copperheads that are a disgrace to anything that is pure and good, but all you have to do is to stand firm until the soldiers return and they will stand with you. Such a set of men should be discountenanced by every honest man. I have heard of them threatening to shoot soldiers. Now if I were at home on furlough and one of them would make any such demonstration I would as soon shoot one of them as I would one of those tall looking fellows who come up more boldly and honorably at Shiloh. How is it with you?

I have seen some fighting since you was with us and a great many hardships, but I haven't seen enough yet to convince me that our country is not worth all it costs to save it. I don't think because some good men are perishing that it is any good reason why we should not fight on, for who can tell of a single instance when any great object has been attained without any great cost, and I look upon this war as being a purifier of the political atmosphere, just the same as a thunder storm purifys the natural world

Published in the Charleston, Ill. newspaper - date unknown.
Submitted by Ann Baughman who notes: "James D. Jones was my gr-grandfather."

Civil War

8th Illinois Infantry - Dick Oglesby's regiment, mustered in for three months April 25, 1861 , re-enlisted March 24, 1864, mustered out May 4, 1866, having served over five years, our roll of this regiment contains 107 names, at Fort Donaldson this regiment lost 54 killed and 188 wounded during their five years service, there were 1, 942 officer and men enrolled in this regiment, it sustaianed a total loss of killed and wounded 543, missing or captured ________(unreadable), prisons 23.

These are the 8th Ill. Infantry survivors after the war.

R J. Oglesby, Colonel
R. H. Sturgess, Lt. Col.
S. T. Trowbridge, Surgeon
Geo. S. Durfee, A, Capt.
L. M. Temple, C, Pvt
Wm. A. Dunkie, K, Pvt
Thos. Mullen, F
Isaac N. Martin, A
Chas. W. Beeman, G
G. W. Taylor, E
Barney Zick, B


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