History of Buchanan County, Iowa 1842 to 1881
Transcribed by Tommy Joe Fulton and Peggy Hoehne
ON BOARD STEAMER BELLE MEMPHIS,
CAIRO, ILLINOIS, September 7, 1864.
MESSRS. EDITORS: - You will see by above date that the surmises contained in my last are verified. The Twenty-seventh is again travelling, and it is currently believed that the point of destination is some place beyond Atlanta. The whole Third division is now here and on the river, and the Second is expected to follow on its return from White river, where it was sent a few days since. The several divisions of the Sixteenth corps will very likely soon be reunited under the command of either General Smith or General Dodge. The removal of these troops, and the return of the one hundred days' men, together with the sending of the second division of cavalry into the department of Arkansas, will very materially lessen the forces heretofore operating in the district of Memphis.
We arrived here at an early hour this morning, and may remain an hour or a week - just how long is unknown. There are now present with the regiment very nearly five hundred men. All men able to travel have been returned from hospitals, and also men on detached duty. There are yet many absent on sick furlough and in various hospitals. It is rather a serious matter when nearly three-eights of a regiment are absent for such a cause, but many regiments have such reports to make. Companies C and H have a few sick - none dangerously.
First Sergeant G. W. Smyser has been promoted to the second lieutenancy. Major Howard, Captains Hemenway and Granger and Lieutenants Bedung, Robins and Sims are returned from absence or sick furlough. Lieutenant Colonel Lake has returned and is now in command of the regiment.
The question of the enforcement of the draft is exciting considerable discussion. It seems to be agreed that the last men called for must be forthcoming at once, in order to take full advantage of our present successes, and it is very generally believed that there will be no postponement. Let them come, we say, and let us conquer without delay. The army demand the most vigorous policy possible, knowing that in this manner only can the Union be preserved.
The nomination of McClellan is satisfactory to many, and mainly on the ground that he is the man to carry on the war. Unconditional peace men are scarce. Enough of this. I just heard that we are to tranship to the Souix City, probably for Louisville. The pay rolls are being signed, and we expect a supply of greenbacks which will be very acceptable just now. You will hear from me again when opportunity offers.
H. C. HEMENWAY.