Letter from Scott, James

Soldier: Scott, James
Allegiance: Union
Unit/Service Branch: 23rd Infantry
Home State: Wisconsin
Date Written: Saturday, January 17th, 1863
Location: Napoleon, Ark.
Correspondence Type: Letter
Subjects: Commanders, Comrades, Daily Life, Family, Newspapers, On the March, Patriotism, Politics, Rumors, Western Theater
on board the Ohio Bell

Dear Sister,

I embrace the present opportunity to inform you that we are all well as usual hoping these few lines may find you all enjoying the same. We are now laying at Napoleon I suppose to reorganize for another attack on Vicksburg. We dropped down here today from the mouth of White River. We had a mail this afternoon and all the boys except myself got letters, and I am just as mad as I can be, for where there is so many of you that can write, I think I ought to get more letters. I do not get near as many as I write. If you can't get postage conveniently, and I expect it is rather inconvenient to have the change always, don't send any stamps to me for I can send my letters just as well without the stamps as with them, but you will have to pay there. I traded for some and I have plenty for some time to come. I should like about one letter a week and I should like you would write the feelings of the people about the war and you could cut pieces out of papers and send them in the letters. That would give us an idea of how the people feel, for it is no use to send papers for they won't come. There is quite a feeling of discouragement growing in the army from some cause or other. The letters don't amount to anything more than to inform us the folks is well. That is a good comfort but we want to know how the world moves or if it does move for we know nothing, only to obey orders.

Monday morning, Jan. 19:

We are still here and I do not know when we will leave or where we will go. Some think we will go up to Helena and others say that we are ordered to report at Millikens and I think that is where we are going for I saw several boats moving down this morning. There is a good deal of sickness now in our Reg. caused I think by being on the boats so long. The weather is wet and cold. We had considerable snow but it is about all gone. I guess we won't get back in time to get that box before it will be spoiled. Robert don't get stout very fast. He coughs considerable but I think he is considerable better the last day or two, but he is not fit for duty yet or won't be for some time unless the weather should be a good deal pleasanter than it has been for some time.

Saturday, 24th:

We are laying at the mouth of the Yazoo River on the Louisiana side and calculate to camp for awhile for we have been cooped up so long on the boats that there is considerable sickness. We are getting reinforced now tolerable fast. 12 boats came down yesterday. They brough Gen. Mc[?] brigade. He has the 14, 16, 17 & 18 Wis. Some of the boys of the 16 was on our boat last night. They look well and feel fine. There was another mail yesterday but none for me as usual for which I am not in very good humor for I consider myself slighted. There is not one in the company has been more punctual in writing than I have so this is the last you will get from me till we get near even again. I can get along with out hearing from you as well as you can and I am bound to try it for a while. The last letter I had from you was wrote the 12 of Dec. I used to get so many letters as any one in the Co. Now I get none from home.

Jas. Scott