Genealogy Trails History Group

Belmont County, Ohio
Genealogy and History


Civil War Letters

These are copies of Civil War letters written by Robert MILLIGAN to his wife during the Civil War.
He was born 2 Nov 1800 in Kirkwood Twp, Belmont County, Ohio. Their home was Richland County, Wisconsin during this time.
Robert Milligan is the 3rd great grandfather of my husband, James Warren Jessie. All words in the letters are as he spelled them.

Submitted by

Jeanne Wallendal Jessie

Picture above is of "Watson's Dictionary" a biblical and theological dictionary, with a Biblical atlas and preachers' text book, which belonged to Robert Milligan.

Source: Private Documents Copied from those of JUNE THOMAS CHRISTOPHERSON and Submitted to Genealogy Trails by Jeanne Wallendal Jessie
The following Letters are from Robert Milligan to wife Mary Milligan, West Lima, Richland Co. Wisconsin from Camp Washburn near Milwaukee, WI June 1864.

Dear wife and children,
I am in good health with the exception ov little cold. I in listed in the party first Rig. Capt. Bayley's Co. and have bin examined and will soon be mustered into the service then our hundred days will commence. It is expected that we will be consined to Shearmans division but not certain. I send you the receipt of the money I left in Madison. It is not taxable. I have no money taxable only the thirty seven dollars that I left in the drawer. You can hire the putting up of the house or let it lay, as you think best. Sell the stock when you have oportunity iff I am not there. Yours as ever, Robert Milligan ______

Dear Wife, I take this opportunity to write few lines to you, to inform of my health & whereabouts. We are two miles east of Memphis. the intence heat and soft water has given me the disentary so that I am excused from duty for the last week past. I have not bin confined have bin able to go about all the time and wate on myself. None of our ridgment has died yet tho the measles & mumps has bin in camp more than a month & a great many like myself with diarea. I visited the hospitle yesterday. There was nine there, mostly on the mend, none dangerous. Our Rig is doing double picket duty at this time and never more than half are in camp at any time.

I received the N.W. advocate of the 22nd June that you sent me last evening & was glad as I had not had one since I left home. We are gitting news purty freely, now the Christian commission is given us some. I will send you a paper. I am writing with borrowed instuments. The pen don't suit my hand no more. The grace of God be with you. Amen. Robt Milligan Write when you can.
June the 21th 64 Near Memphas Tenn

Dear wife and children, I am in good health in campt in Beauragards orchard. The weather is very warm, not many sick. There is about thirty thousand troops here. I am in Capt Bailey's Co. Forty first Rigment ___ volenteer. Corn is in silk, aples and peaches are about half grown, very plent. We git but little news here. Know less about the war than when we were at home. Have no papers since we left Milwaukee. Yours in haste, Robt Milligan
June the 29th 64 Near Memphas Ten

Dear wife and children, I am in common health. We are in campt two miles east of Memphas on the conviscated property which was Buregard Munphards. there is near thirty thousand soldiers in this vicinity. Our camp is in Mumpherd's garden. The weather is intencely warm. The themametry ranging from one hundrd to one hundred twelve this ten days.

I received your letter on the 15th last evening. Do nat grieve about me. I have given myself to my God and my Country. If I never come all will be right with me.

In respect to my business hire Hugh and Calaway to have the lumber. The note is in my drawer. Git them to settle with Smalley & Mrs. Booker. You may git J. L. Dehar to imploy Cossaw or some other purson to do the house as you pleas.

If you can't hire some one to work the road or gourden can wate till after my hundred days expir which will on the 14th of Sept as we was notmustered in till the 8th ov June. You are entitled to five Dollars per month from the State of Wis begining with the seventeenth of May. The excesive heat makes me nurvis so I make but a poor hand of writing. I keep no pen ink or paper only as git from others, tho I am not at a loss for anything that is in the rigement. Both officers and men are very kind to me.

I have sent something home every week tho you only speak of the little book I sent to mathias. I am sorrow to learne of your afliction but hope you will before this comes to hand. Write when ever you feel likt it direct to care of Captain Bailey, forty first rigment, Wis Volinteers Memphas Tenasee.
Yours as ever Robert Milligan
August the 12th 1864
Chikawaw Blufs near Memphis Tenn
Dear wife and children, I take this opportunity to inform you that I am in comfortable health. I received your letter of the 28th July with the medasine in it and have found some benifeit from the use of it. We was inlisted to do garison duty for one hundred days. Our time is two third out and we never have bin in a garrison. We have bin eight weeks in this State and I have not bin in a house or even a soldiers barrick but out all the time. The wether has bin dry and was until this week is wet and raining every day. We expect to be ordered from this place in a few days. There is some raids out now. When they return to take charge ov this post we expect to be removed. Whether we will be sent north to quell the Buswhackers and Copperheads and in force the draft or some place else I do not know.

Prices of produce is high here. We are compelled to buy some things as many ov us is in poor health. Five have died in our Rigment, none since the twenty fourth of July.

Butter fifty cents, cheese forty, meat thirty. Potatoes four dollars per bushels, green apple two cents a piece, watermelion from one dollar to one fifty and other things in preportion.

I remain yours as ever, Robert Milligan
Saterday August the 21th 1864
Dear wife, I take this opportunity to inform you that I am in good health. I received your letters ov the 15th July and 17th August last evening. One was more than six weeks on the way. Our time will be out two weeks from next Thursday. We may leave here before that time if other troops come to take our place as well. There is not many here now and a large portion ov what is here is sick. You ask what I am doing. I have not bin doing mutch for six weeks or more. I have bin excused from duty mostly on account ov poor health. I have come to this week our business to keep guard. Memphis is a City of about thirty five thousand. They are pend in with rebels and our picket line around is ten to fifteen miles long. Takes fifteen hundred men all the time to watch. They cant go out to get aload of wood with out two or three hundred armed men to guard there waggons.

This week has bin a time of excitement. Sunday morning about two oclock Forrist broke through our pickets with about twenty five hundred cavelry into our camps of sick, killing and piliging all before him. About six hundred dashed into the center of town as the will give a better account I will for bear. Discribing the raids I was on camp guard near the officers tents. I heard the whole of the mater for some till yells became more plain. On Tuesday I was on picket on the River bluff about three miles south of the City when three gun boats was sheling the rebs. One shell went over us a half mile with the fuse roring. I have heard heavy firing two or three times since but don't know what the trouble was.

As to our eatables let it sufise to say we have enough to do at present and will tell you more about it if I should be spared to git home.

There is seven of our Rigment dead and half the balance sick. The other two Rigments that came down at the time have lost many more. One fifteen that I know.

My rupture is a little worse and I am more polsyed but they do not put me on duty unless I am willing to go.

Yours as ever, Robert Milligan

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